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Baby Box as an Emotional Object: the Sociomaterial Experiences of the Finnish Welfare State from the 1930s to the Present

Tampere University
1.1.2020–31.12.2024
Area of focusSociety
Koneen Säätiön logo
Vastasyntynyt äitiyspakkauksen laatikossa, Lapinlahti 1948. Kansatieteen kuvakokoelma, Museovirasto. Kuvaaja: Pekka Kyytinen.

Maternity package / baby box has been present in the lives of Finnish families since the adoption of the Maternity Grants Act in 1937, and it is closely connected to the history and the present of the Finnish welfare state. The research project, funded by Kone Foundation, explores the changing societal functions and the intergenerational meanings, experiences and memories related to the maternity package, and the baby box as an emotional and institutional object of the welfare state. In this wider socio-cultural-material perspective, the baby box is extremely rich with subjective and collective experiences that are multilayered, even sometimes contradictory. The project combines the methods of historical research and performative art.

Forthcoming event on 8-9 September 2022: Project workshop Everyday Emotional and Sensory Materialities, Tampere University

Impact

Project activities

Forthcoming event on 8-9 September 2022: Project workshop Everyday Emotional and Sensory Materialities, Tampere University

See Tanja Vahtikari's article in the Psyche Magazinessa: Finns start life safe and sound with a baby box from the government, https://psyche.co/ideas/finns-start-life-safe-and-sound-with-a-baby-box-from-the-government

4.5.2021 Tanja Vahtikari lectures on the history of the maternity package at the jubilee lecture series "The Century of the Childhood" of The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare Tampere region.

Autumn 2020 - spring 2021 The project organizes a reminiscence collection of baby box memories in cooperation with the Finnish Literature Society

26.11.2020 Tanja Vahtikari introduces the project at The Centre for Nordic Studies (CENS), Universtiy of Helsinki.

Funding source

Kone Foundation

People