Suomalainen identiteetti ja arvot: sosiaalipsykologista historiaa

Translated title of the contribution: Finnish identity and values: a social psychological history

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientific


Finnish values, as part of national identity, consist of 3 layers: 1) Protestant values (education, equality, work, honesty) shared with the other Nordic countries and the Netherlands, 2) nature-related values, constructed by the 19th century nationalist movement, and 3) national defence, from world war II. They can be found in autostereotypes, word association tests, conceptions of history, and cross-national value typologies. The individual value hierarchies of Finns, examined since 1975 by the Rokeach/Schwartz value surveys, a) diverge from the “national values” (eg., work and nature-related values are less important than we imagine) and b) have changed somewhat but not according to dominant (Schwartz, Inglehart) theories.
While 1975-1993 changes follow the patterns predicted by current theory, subsequent changes are understandable in terms of the interaction of national values and individual values. From 1993 to 2007 conservation values increased in importance and national and local identities became stronger. Simultaneously, however, equality, a universalism (and a national) value increased in importance among supporters of all political parties, while all other universalism values decreased in importance. The Finnish economy did not grow 2007-2015, but a clear zeitgeist effect was observed for self-direction values, while security values increased in importance in most age/education categories. Possibly, economic recession activated education (and by implication, self-direction) as a national value. Based on these findings, it is argued that attending to the interaction of national cultural values and individual values yields a more accurate picture of value change than do current theories.
Translated title of the contributionFinnish identity and values: a social psychological history
Original languageFinnish
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)302-319
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
MoE publication typeB1 Journal article

Fields of Science

  • 5144 Social psychology
  • values, national identity
  • history

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