Original Research Reports

The Naturalized Nation: Anchoring, Objectification and Naturalized Social Representations of History

Eemeli Hakoköngäs*a, Inari Sakkia


This study focuses on the connection between social representations of history and collective memory from the perspective of elementary concepts of social representations theory: anchoring, objectification and naturalization. The aims of the study are to arrive at a conceptual clarity of this connection and demonstrate how to apply basic concepts of social representations theory to the study of collective memory. The study also focuses on the naturalized characteristics of Finnish history. The data consist of the covers of twenty Finnish history books between the years 1965 and 2014. All the covers are embellished with typography or visual images. The covers were analysed using a semiotic approach in which the interest is in the description (denotation), the associations (connotation) and the meaning system these construe (myth). The analysis shows how national history is concretized with visual images (objectification), how the meaning of representation is conveyed (anchoring) and how collective memory is maintained (naturalization), transmitted and shaped during the years. The results show how the stable collective memories and changing social representations of history are interacting. The most frequently used visual element was the colour blue, which alludes to the Finnish flag, a symbol of the nation that represents the core of Finnish history. The study suggests that it is possible to conceptualize collective memories as naturalized social representations of history. It shows how processes of anchoring and objectification serve as tools of collective memory and how the naturalized conceptions are subtly changed. In addition, the study develops the use of visual semiotic analysis in social representations research.

Keywords: social representations, collective memory, anchoring, objectification, naturalization, visual analysis

Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 2016, Vol. 4(2), doi:10.5964/jspp.v4i2.664

Received: 2016-06-01. Accepted: 2016-11-18. Published (VoR): 2016-12-19.

Handling Editor: J. Christopher Cohrs, Jacobs University Bremen, Bremen, Germany

*Corresponding author at: Department of Social Research, Social Psychology, Unioninkatu 37, P.O. box 54, 00014 University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. E-mail: eemeli.hakokongas@helsinki.fi

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

The social power of visual images, especially photographs, has been known for a long time. For example, the photographs depicting the napalm attacks in Vietnam in the 1960s are believed to have helped turn public opinion against the war. As these images appeared repeatedly in school textbooks and documents countless times, they gradually became part of the collective memory of the present generations. These images are also examples of the concretization of a complex historical event in visual form. Everyday knowledge of history is a powerful symbolic resource that can be used to influence public opinion (Liu & Sibley, 2015).

Research on collective memory and social representations of history has been a vibrant area in social psychology in recent years (e.g. Liu & Sibley, 2015; Wagoner, 2015). Although the contents of collective memories have been widely explored in international studies (Hanke et al., 2015; Liu et al., 2005, 2012), the structure, formation processes and maintenance have not received much attention (with exceptions: see Liu & László, 2007; Tileagă, 2009). Wagoner (2015) has recently theorized about the connection between collective memory and social representations of history. Furthermore, Hakoköngäs and Sakki (2016) offer a model of the dynamic process between these two concepts and enlarge the observation to the visual side of everyday conceptions of the past. In the present study we attempt to develop further the understanding of the relationship between collective memory and social representations of history by focusing on one component in Hakoköngäs and Sakki’s (2016) theoretical model, namely the construction of social representations of history (objectification, anchoring and naturalization). The study aims to show the potential of using the basic processes of social representations in analysing collective memory.

We agree with Denise Jodelet (2008), who, referring to the pioneering work of Serge Moscovici (1961), claims that

one of the most serious gaps in developing Moscovici’s heuristic proposals refers to the processes of production of social representations, namely anchoring and objectification. They are referred to by many researchers but rarely with a complete account. Very few take into account the different phases identified by Moscovici. (p. 425)

In this paper, we would like to argue for the importance of the analysis of naturalized representations – social knowledge that has become taken-for-granted. Social representations theory was originally developed to explain how new phenomena emerge and become part of the social world. Conversely, naturalized social representations are not new phenomena, but constructions that are already socially meaningful and have found a permanent role in social reality (Philogène, 1999). As we will argue later in this paper, this means that the anchoring process of such naturalized phenomena cannot be based on their novelty, but rather must be based on their familiarity.

Collective remembering is based on language, and its roots are in social communication. For these reasons researchers have directed their interest to written language (Wagoner, 2015), while the study of other forms of social communication is still scarce (Arruda, 2015). The topic of the present study, visuality, is an inseparable part of social representation (Moscovici, 1984) as well as social communication in general (Arruda, 2015). For many people the role of visual images in the construction of everyday knowledge is paramount (de Rosa & Farr, 2001; Joffé, 2008). Thus, the qualitative perspective of the present study is intended to add to our understanding of the visual forms of everyday knowledge. We hope that at the same time visual data will concretize the theoretical points of this study: how abstract conceptions of history have received a concrete form, how they are conveyed and changed during the years.

Social Representations of History [TOP]

According to Halbwachs (1980), collective memory is shared knowledge of a common past. This knowledge is constructed through social communication and creates a sense of continuity and stability, justification for the existence of a group as well as grounds for a group’s identity (Pennebaker & Banasik, 1997). Since the challenges that groups face are changing constantly, groups need to reconstruct an image of the past that can meet both present and future challenges (Halbwachs, 1980, p. 84; 1992, p. 47). Social representations theory (SRT) was developed to explain this kind of fluctuating social knowledge of modern times (Moscovici, 1961).

According to László (2008), these concepts, namely social representations of history and collective memory, can be translated into each other: they are both rooted in French social theory and were developed to contrast Durkheim’s concept of collective representations. Unlike Durkheim, both Halbwachs and Moscovici have tried to conceptualise the inseparability of the individual and society. Wagoner (2015) states that social representations are collective memory, but maintains that the theoretical relationship between them is complex resulting from the heterogeneous nature of both fields and partly from their different emphasis: while collective memory studies are more focused on reconstructions and transmission of the past, the focus of SRT is broader.

Social representations are organized as narratives (László, 1997) and according to Liu and László (2007), collective memory is made up of these thematically arranged narratives. Tileagă (2009) views the narrative form as necessary in order for knowledge of the past to acquire socially shared status: communication requires narration. Because research on collective memory addresses socially shared knowledge, social communication and ties that make a group cohesive, it is placed at the crossroads of two classic theories in social psychology, namely social identity and social representations (Licata & Klein, 2010). Since collective memories work as a basis for social identity, they reflect present values and norms (Liu & Hilton, 2005).

Hakoköngäs and Sakki (2016) offer a model in which communication (representing the past), social representations of history and collective memory constitute a continuous circle: social communication (e.g. media, textbooks) addressing the past leads to the formation of social representations of history, which are preserved in collective memory. This circle keeps moving as collective memory guides the social communication in the future, and in this way the old knowledge is always present while new conceptions are constructed. Wagoner (2015) also argues that deep-rooted knowledge of collective memory is used as a tool to orient new phenomena and collective memory works as a kind of background for understanding. Thus, the dynamic process between collective memory and social representations of history conceptualized by Hakoköngäs and Sakki (2016) and Wagoner (2015) prompt us to examine more closely the formation of social representations of history.

The Formation of Social Representations of History [TOP]

One of the simplest definitions of a social representation provided by Serge Moscovici elucidates the significance of formation processes. According to Moscovici (1961), “Representation = image/signification”. In this view, it is the process of objectification that produces the figurative aspect of representation, while the process of anchoring gives representation a meaning.

Objectification is considered to be a transformation of the object of study, in this case Finnish history, into something almost physical and concrete, which may take the form of a symbol, a metaphor, a figure, a person or a group (Wagner et al., 1999) or, in this case, a compact form of book cover. Usually, the objectification process is described as having three phases. The first step is to discover the iconic quality of an imprecise object or idea and convert a concept into an image. Thereafter, concepts that could be represented or converted into images, symbols or metaphors are integrated into a pattern, which Moscovici (1984) calls a figurative nucleus. Finally, in the third stage, a figurative nucleus becomes a topic of everyday communication in connection with the formerly abstract phenomenon (Moscovici, 1984). Jodelet (2008) has summarized these three stages of objectification as information selection, schematization and naturalization.

To anchor means to classify and name something (Moscovici, 1984). Through the process of anchoring, Finnish history is given meaning. This history is identified and upon it are imposed a set of familiar or existing characteristics in a culture-specific and value-laden way. Despite the fact that anchoring is a key concept in SRT, it has long been neglected in empirical analyses (e.g. Jodelet, 2008; Selge & Fischer, 2011). Usually, the process of anchoring is described on a rather general level as a process of drawing a new, troubling phenomenon into an old, familiar system of categories (Moscovici, 1984). However, equally important is the meaning-making function of anchoring. This ascription of meaning concerns “the interdependence between the elements of representation by a principle of signification and the cultural and social values to which the subject adheres” (Jodelet, 2008, p. 426).

The two generative processes of social representations, anchoring and objectification, are two sides of the same coin (Marková, 2000, p. 448; Wagner & Kronberger, 2001, p. 151). In this study, the two processes are regarded as interdependent and analytically distinguished, as Lloyd and Duveen (1990) have suggested, as two moments in the formation of social representation.

In SRT, representation formation has been primarily treated as something that happens at the beginning when some new phenomenon emerges for the first time (e.g. Moscovici, 1984). Treating representation in this manner gives the impression that representations are conceptualized as having a clear and definite beginning, marked by their being anchored in old and familiar structures. Considering the formative processes as happening only at the beginning is an aspect of SRT that we would like to problematize in this paper. Instead, we would like to argue for the importance of analyzing naturalized representations and regarding naturalization as a third process of social representation instead of a part of the objectification process (e.g. Jodelet, 2008; Philogène, 1999). Through the process of naturalization something abstract becomes real, an object becomes part of social reality. In Moscovici’s (1961) words, what was once a concept is transformed into an object. The differentiation between concepts and objects is no longer possible; instead, concepts and objects become elements of reality. The naturalized object becomes an instrument that can be used to categorize – an anchoring point for other concepts and objects.

Shared knowledge of the past, collective memory, is often deep-rooted and difficult to challenge: it has become naturalized. Despite their naturalized state, representations of the past are continuously negotiated and constantly undergoing transformation. Naturalized representations continue to process and be processed, continue to categorize and be categorized; and they also continue to negotiate, be negotiated, transform, and be transformed. Even as they become less what is talked about and more what is used to enable everyday social communication, they are still transforming (Sakki & Menard, 2014). When we analyse naturalized social representations, such as social representations of history, an important consequence for the analysis of formation processes, particularly for the process of anchoring, is that the anchors are themselves part of the naturalized phenomenon. In other words, the anchoring process of naturalized phenomenon is not based on its novelty but on its familiarity. This means that anchoring is not just about integrating the new into the old but also involves creative integration of the past into the present, and both the past and the present into the future (Sakki & Menard, 2014).

Visual Collective Memory [TOP]

Collective memory is part of everyday social interaction and can have very different forms, from oral narration to rituals and material manifestations such as museums and memorials (Halbwachs, 1992). Even though oral and textual narrations are important means of transferring stories of the past, visual images have come to play an increasingly important role. In nearly every Finnish home there are, for instance, family photographs, which are examples of material memorabilia (Wagoner, 2015). In their studies of Finnish history culture Ahonen (1998) and Torsti (2012) showed that different visual media such as television and photographs are important tools for creating knowledge of the past.

Despite the volume of visual communication today, research on the topic has been marginalized in the social sciences (Arruda, 2015). Even qualitative research has treated the analysis of visual images as less important in comparison to words and as too difficult to approach with traditional methods (de Rosa & Farr, 2001). However, we argue that SRT can bring the visual aspect to the centre of collective memory research.

The visual nature of everyday knowledge has been noted in SRT since its origins. Moscovici (1984, p. 38) defined the core of representation as “a complex of images that visibly reproduces a complex of ideas”. He believed that the first step in objectification was to find the iconic nature of an abstract phenomenon and change it into a concrete image. Visual images can work as tools of objectifying (de Rosa & Farr, 2001).

Social representations are constructed through social communication. Visual images differ from verbal communication because they are processed more indirectly. The visual message is perceived less critically and thus can be used to affect discreetly the formation of attitudes and conceptions. In particular, photographs play a special role because of their strong realistic and documentary illusion; a photograph tries to prove that something has really happened (Joffé, 2008). The documentary nature of photographs is one reason why they are often used to illustrate scientific texts. In general, visual images provide a text with supporting evidence; they work as memory devices that crystallize the verbal narrative in memorable and concrete form. The viewer completes the narrative almost automatically with previous and subsequent moments (Zelizer, 2004). The visual message also resists time: the central figures in social representations can be passed down in visual images from generation to generation (Arruda, 2015).

To study the relation between collective memory and SRT, three characteristics of visual images are important: their illusory realism, their concrete form as well as their ability to work as devices of memory. Naturalized everyday knowledge already has a visual form, which is easy to repeat without excessive debate or negotiation. Collective memories look natural and are used as guidelines in present-day life. Yet their socially constructed nature is often neglected, and the illusory and documentary power of photographs supports this forgetting.

Collective memories are widely shared. In comparison with texts, visual images are easy to repeat and spread among a group of people. One example of how visual images can work as “memory makers” in a Finnish context is Eetu Isto’s painting Assault (Hyökkäys), 1889. The painting portrayed the national personification of Finland as a Finnish maiden defending herself against Russia, symbolized by an aggressive double-headed eagle. Thousands of copies of this picture were distributed throughout Finland, and the painting quickly acquired the status of a symbol of resistance. It has been reprinted in schoolbooks and other media. After more than one hundred years it is still used to concretize a specific period of Finnish history (Rönkkö, 1990). From the perspective of Finnish history Isto’s painting serves as a tool with which to objectify and anchor one political development, the Russification of Finland in the 1890s. In its own time the painting was meant to be a comment on the current situation, but in later years it acquired new meanings as a part of the social representation of Finnish history and became a concretization of the political atmosphere of a certain time.

The Present Research [TOP]

In the present study collective memory and social representations of history are approached by analysing the cover images of Finnish history books. To follow the argument of de Rosa and Farr (2001), covers are seen as a crystallization of the whole topic of “Finnish history” and thus present the most central characteristics of it. The aim of the present study is to demonstrate how the processes of anchoring, objectification and naturalization work on the one hand in the maintenance of social representations of history, and on the other hand, in the gradual negotiation and transformation of those representations. We argue that the covers are one aspect of visually mediated collective remembering as representations of history. Collective memory responds to the needs of a group at a certain moment. The adaptation and selection of past events gives collective memory different manifestations at different times and places (Wagoner, 2015). The focus of this study is on visualizations of Finnish history in the beginning of the twenty-first century. However, in order to show the temporal and cultural dimensions, our data also includes covers of older books and books that target an international audience. Temporal and cultural supplements of the data enable us to see the historical and social context in which the present covers have been produced and make it easier to understand the socially construed nature of these social representations of history.

We address the following questions: a) What images are used to represent Finnish history in the history book covers? b) How social representations of Finnish history are objectified, anchored and naturalized in cover images?

Method [TOP]

Finnish History Books as Data [TOP]

Finland became independent in 1917. Earlier it had first been part of the Swedish Empire and thereafter an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire. The writing of the Finns’ national history began in the 1850s as a result of an awakening nationalistic ideology. The first professor of Finnish history, Zachris Topelius, Jr., was appointed in 1854 and the first history textbook, entitled A Reader in History of the Finnish People [Oppikirja Suomen Kansan historiasta], was published in 1869. Since 1917, Finnish history has been a popular topic with Finnish publishers, and publishing in this field is still lively.

The data for the present study includes twenty covers of Finnish history books between the years 1965 and 2014. The sample is representative since it includes all overviews of Finnish history printed by main publishing houses in the period. Encyclopaedias and books focused on more specialized topics, such as A History of Winter War or A History of Finnish Economy, are excluded. Also excluded are reprints of selected twenty monographs whenever the cover has not changed – the same cover could have been used in different version of the book. Since many of them are reprinted several times, the data is representing a much larger number of books than just twenty. The effect of repeating certain images more than others by reprints is discussed later.

The books, authors, publishers and years of publication are presented in Table 1. The number at the end of each line refers to a copy of the cover in Appendix 1.

Table 1

Authors, Titles, Publishers and Dates of the History Books Analysed

Author(s) Title Year: Publisher Appendix number
Jutikkala, E. & Pirinen, K. Suomen historia [A History of Finland] 1966: Weilin+Göös C1
Suomen historia: Kivikaudesta Koivistoon [A History of Finland: From stone age to President Koivisto] 1989: Weilin+Göös C2
Suomen historia 2002: WSOY C3
A History of Finland 1972: Heinemann C4
A History of Finland 2003: WSOY C5
Klinge, M. Lyhyt Suomen historia [A Brief History of Finland] 2011: Otava C6
A Brief History of Finland 2000: Otava C7
Meinander, H. Suomen historia: Linjat, rakenteet, käännekohdat [A History of Finland: lines, structures and turning points] 2006: WSOY C8
Suomen historia: Linjat, rakenteet, käännekohdat 2011: WSOY C9
Suomen historia: Linjat, rakenteet, käännekohdat 2014: Schildts & Söderströms C10
A History of Finland 2013: Oxford University Press C11
Rajala, P. Suomen historia selkosuomeksi [Finnish History in Plain Language] 2014: Opike C12
Finlands historia [A History of Finland] 2007: Lärum-förlaget C13
Tuomikoski, P. Suomen historia kolmessa vartissa [A History of Finland in three quarters of an hour] 2009: WSOY C14
Vahtola, J. Suomen historia: jääkaudesta Euroopan unioniin [History of Finland: from the ice age to the European Union] 2003: Otava C15
Virrankoski, P. Suomen historia 1 & 2 [A History of Finland 1 & 2] 2009: SKS C16
Suomen historia: Maa ja kansa kautta aikojen [A History of Finland: country and people throughout the ages] 2012: SKS C17
Wuorinen, J.H. A History of Finland 1965: Columbia University Press C18
Zetterberg, S. (ed.) Suomen historian pikkujättiläinen [A Little Giant of History of Finland] 1987: WSOY C19
Suomen historian pikkujättiläinen 2003: WSOY C20

The data show that in early twenty-first century Finland there has been a boom in books on Finnish history. Since 2002, eleven “Finnish histories” have been published. In the 1990s and earlier, the number of similar books was limited to one or two histories per decade. The large number of new books indicates that national history interests Finnish readers. Torsti’s (2012) representative study considering Finns’ – the audience of the Finnish books analysed in the present study – relation to history shows that they are strongly engaged with topic: 94 percent of Finns believe that the basics of history are an essential part of general knowledge. Among Finns, Finnish history was viewed as more interesting than either European or world history.

There are no exact statistics on the circulation of the books analysed here, but the number of reprints suggests that these have had a wide distribution: A Finnish History by Jutikkala and Pirinen has been reprinted six times in Finnish and in English; A Brief History of Finland by Klinge has been reprinted seven times; A Finnish History by Vahtola, four times; A Finnish History by Virrankoski three times; and A Little Giant of History of Finland, no fewer than ten times. The wide circulation establishes the social significance of the data.

All the books target a wide audience, and ordinary readers as well as history lovers. The titles show that their authors intended the volumes to be comprehensive surveys of Finnish history. Some emphasize this comprehensiveness in the subtitles: “From the Ice Age to the European Union” or “A country and people through the ages”. The books are published by well-known Finnish or international publishing houses and eight of the ten authors are professors of history, which indicates the authority. Following these premises, it is justified to say that the analyzed books represent ‘official’ history writing in Finland.

The object of the analysis, the books’ covers, consists of typographical and visual elements (one or more visual images). Covers are not uncommon as data in the social sciences; dozens of studies have focused on magazine covers, which are typically approached with one or another form of content analysis (Bell, 2001). However, covers of non-fiction books have rarely been studied. As data, the covers of magazines and non-fiction books have similarities, yet also differences. The cover images of magazines are meant to tempt readers to buy a monthly (or weekly) issue with articles on many different topics. The covers of non-fiction books also are intended to sell a product, but at the same time they inform the reader about the books’ main topic, content and objectivity. In other words, the cover is one factor that helps to categorize a book in the field of literature (Phillips, 2007). Instead of focusing on the meanings of any single visual image, our interest here lies in determining the common and distinctive characteristics of a large number of cover images of books on Finnish history.

Analysis [TOP]

In this study we take advantage of semiotic analysis to examine the role of anchoring, objectification and naturalization in the process of representing history. In semiotics the visual image is seen to be constituted by signs and meanings that together construe a meaning system. The concepts used to deconstruct this system are, following Barthes (1977), denotation, connotation and myth (see also van Leeuwen, 2001).

Denotation refers to the concrete meaning of a visual image; for example, the depiction of a forest landscape on the cover of a Finnish history book (Appendix: C3). Connotation refers to associations that are connected with the image and based on the viewer’s personal and cultural position. In our example (Appendix: C3), some viewers see just an image of nature, while others are able to locate the image geographically and link it to national artworks from the 1890s that depict the same place. The mythical stage combines concrete (denotation) and associative (connotation) meanings in a meaning system that is larger than the sum of its parts. In our example (C3), the forest landscape and its association with romantic nationalism construct a frame in which the cover image can be perceived as an iconic Finnish national landscape imbued with specific values and narratives, such as perseverance and a long history. A semiotic approach makes it possible to deconstruct a meaning system into elements and uncover its socially constructed nature.

Denotation, connotation and myth are concepts that help to trace different stages of a research subject. SRT in turn provides tools to understand how the whole meaning system is constructed and maintained in social interaction. Veltri (2015) has recently investigated the relation between semiotics and SRT. He argues that concepts of SRT, namely anchoring and objectification, can be seen as a result of semiosis taking place within a group. Denotation and connotation are parts of this process. In Veltri’s (2015) words, “[t]he signification processes that involve denotative and connotative meanings lead to anchoring and objectification” (p. 244). Thus, from the perspective of semiotics the construction process of social representation starts with identifying denotation, the concrete meaning of the topic studied. This is typically done by the group that has the power to present new phenomena in the “field of meanings” (Veltri, 2015). In the present study publishers and professional authors have the power to decide which images represent Finnish history.

Connotations, or associative meanings, are produced, for example, by narratives or symbols, which show how to read denotation (Veltri, 2015). Connotations thus resemble the process of anchoring, which in previous studies has been operationalized in terms of pre-existing beliefs and categorization within existing beliefs (Devine-Wright & Devine-Wright, 2009) in terms of comparisons and analogies (Castro & Gomes, 2005), in terms of naming, thematization, antinomies, metaphors (Höijer, 2010) and in terms of linking to existing knowledge and personal experiences (Selge & Fischer, 2011). These operationalizations are useful in the analysis of visual images. In the history book covers, for example, a collage of different images under a title such as “A History of Finland” can simultaneously be used to make comparisons, draw analogies and create metaphors that promote understanding of the entire narrative.

It is possible to draw also a parallel between Barthes’ (1977) third stage of signification, that is, myth, and the process of naturalization. Myth is culturally-bound and deep-rooted knowledge that explains the social reality. Compared with other types of everyday knowledge, mythical knowledge is so deep-rooted that it is not easy to question it. In fact, Barthes (1984) himself has used the concept of naturalization, observing that it changes the debated history as a part of shared knowledge: “the very principle of myth: it transforms history into nature” (p. 129). The titles of books, for example, “A History of Finland”, can be seen as a tool that fastens multiple meanings of visual images and establishes an explicit framework with which to interpret the narrative as a myth of the Finns.

As the processes of anchoring and objectification are interwoven and partly simultaneous, it would be too simplistic to say that denotation equates objectification and connotation equates anchoring. Veltri (2015, p. 236) remarks that any sign (verbal or visual) of denotation and connotation can work as a vehicle for anchoring and objectification. In a visual meaning system the concrete and associative sides appear simultaneously – similar to the processes of anchoring and objectification not being separated but two sides of the same story (Marková, 2000). Even if in practice a clear separation of objectification and anchoring as denotation and connotation might not be possible, in this study we have addressed these concepts more plainly: visual images are seen as a way of making concrete a social representation of history (objectification, denotation), a meaning that depends on the cultural position of the viewer (anchoring, connotation).

In the following we first present the objectifications and anchorings of Finnish history on the covers of history books. The observation of temporal transformation of the covers and the books targeted to international audience is used to contextualize the visualizations of the present books along the analysis. Finally, we discuss the mythical level of the naturalized social representations of history that emerged from our materials.

Findings [TOP]

Objectifications of History [TOP]

In objectification the abstract is made concrete and visible. Some of the covers of the books examined for this project have no images, while others have one to eight visual images. In the analysis below, we have grouped denotations according to the types of objectification they represent: symbols/figures, landscapes, persons, metaphors and missing objectifications. Denotative and connotative elements of each cover are listed in Appendix 2.

In the older books the objectifications are simple: a map, for instance, showing the geographical location of Finland (C4) or the country objectified in its official national emblem, a crowned lion on the coat of arms (C18, C19). While the amount of images in the Finnish covers tend to increase over the years, international editions have had only one visual image on their cover since the 1960s.

Different landscapes, such as a block of flats, factories, squares and streets are used both on national and international covers (C6, C7, C8, C9, C11, C12). For example, in the most recent editions of international books there is a typographical design resembling neon lights (C5), an urban view (C7) and a white tower soaring into a blue sky (C11). Forests, fields and natural watersides are used on the national books (C10, C13, C14, C15, C17, C20).

In international editions history is not objectified even once through personifications, while persons are the most common means of objectifying history on covers for the national audience (C10, C13, C14, C15, C17, C20). Most of these persons are men, but women appear on some covers (C13, C14, C17, C20). Although the persons in the image are still persons, in the cover they are also representing something more: in this case a history of Finland. Thus, it is reasonable to refer to these images as personifications (Moscovici & Hewstone, 1983).

Metaphors are typical figures of speech both in the spoken and the written language. Identifying visual metaphors is more difficult and requires more interpretation in order to connect the perception with the connotation (and with an anchor). If a metaphor is considered simply as an equation between two or more visual elements, then it is possible to state that all covers that use a collage (group of several visual elements) are metaphorical. Juxtaposing different images from different historical periods makes an imaginary connection among them and suggests that they have something in common. For example, in book C17 six visual images from different eras are combined into a single unit connected to each other by the colour blue. The blue tone is also used in other books to tie a group of different visual images together, encouraging an imaginary connection between them (C14, C20).

Covers without any visual image are mostly the older books on which the title is used as a typographical element, in some cases repeated several times (C2). Because space for objectification on book covers is limited, it is not difficult to identify missing themes. However, instead of listing possible missing themes here, it is the omission of one central symbol that requires discussion: the Finnish flag. The flag is one of the most important national symbols along with the coat of arms. It refers to the independence. The blue cross on the flag is also strongly associated with Christian religion and Nordic history. In our twenty book covers the flag appears only once (C14).

This finding – the missing flag – leads to an essential notion about the visual objectifications of Finnish history: the most widely shared visual element among the new and old, as well as the national and the international covers of Finnish history books is the colour blue. Blue (and its various shades) is the dominant general hue on most of the covers (C2, C5, C10, C11, C13, C14, C16, C17, C18, C19, C20). At the very least it is used in the font to underline the title (C1, C4, C7, C9, C12).

In the book covers an abstract idea of a Finnish history has been turned into visual form. In general, the images used in Finnish books are archive photos or pieces of art. With the exception of one urban view (C7) the visual images used in the international covers are not historical themselves, but were created for the specific book. Since there are always more images available presenting history than a cover can include, this stage clearly represents information selection of the objectification process (Jodelet, 2008). Selected visual images are schematized to tell Finnish history, and thus, integrated into a complex of visual images that construes a figurative nucleus of social representation of Finnish history (Jodelet, 2008; Moscovici, 1984).

Temporal Transformations in the Cover Images [TOP]

An analysis of temporal transformation in the cover images from the 1960s to the present shows that modes of illustrations have changed – from minimalistic typographical design and symbolic images to the use of multiple visual images. The cover from 1966 (C1) has no image, and the cover text refers to the academic status of the authors: “Professor of Finnish history… Professor of church history”. In 1989 (C2) the same book was illustrated with the subtitle “From the Stone Age to President Koivisto”. On the cover from 2003 (C3) there is a forest landscape. While the two earlier covers are more abstract, the twenty-first century cover connects history with a specific environment.

A similar shift from the use of symbolic images to a variety of images can also be seen in other history books examined here. While in 1987 the cover of “A Little Giant of History of Finland” (C12) depicts the Finnish coat of arms on a blue background, in 2003 (C20) the cover is crowded with a number of different visual images: instead of a national emblem, the central figures in the narrative appear to be national leaders, namely Väinämöinen and the Finnish presidents Mannerheim, Kekkonen and Halonen.

In the twenty-first century history books examined, none objectifies history in typographical design alone; one or more visual images appear on every cover. The main topic, “the history of Finland”, is explicit on all the covers and in some cases (C10, C16) this frame is even underlined. The title focuses attention on the images and provides a framework for their interpretation. In another context the same images might tell quite a different story, yet the title makes clear that here they are meant to be interpreted in the context of Finnish history. The subtitles confirm the impression that these history books cover a comprehensive period: “From the Ice Age to the European Union” (C15), “Country and People through the Ages” (C17), “Lines, Structures and Turning Points” (C8, C9, C10). To emphasize that the book covers a considerable long period of time supports the image of continuity of national history through the time.

Anchorings of History [TOP]

The analysis of visual connotations explores the meaning-making function of visual images. The analysis below follows the same structure as the analysis of objectifications starting from a discussion of anchors behind symbols, landscapes, persons and metaphors, and ending with a discussion of missing anchors (see Appendix 2 for a list of connotations of each cover). Also connective themes between most typical anchors are discussed.

Anchoring connects a topic to common sense and makes the topic understandable. In the older history book cover on which Finnish history is objectified in a map (C4), the intended anchoring is clear: instead of presenting only a map of Finland, this cover image shows that the country belongs to the wider Nordic world rather than Eastern Europe or the Soviet Union. In other words, the anchored meaning conveys Finnish history as part of Scandinavian and Western history.

The crowned lion in the coat of arms, used on two history book covers (C18, C19), is the oldest visual emblem of Finland. It is a demonstration of a long history and also authority; its use is limited by law and its incorrect handling can incur a fine. In everyday life the coat of arms is visible in the official emblem of the Finnish police force, the army and in passports. The meaning of the emblem, the crowned lion brandishing a scimitar (a two-edged sword), refers to the historical geopolitical position of Finland between East and West. Finland is anchored to its geographical and historical positions both in the older Finnish and older international editions.

As discussed above, since the year 2000 landscapes have been typical objectifications of Finland in the history books. Landscape images are anchored to the countryside and nature (C3, C13, C14, C15, C20) as well as to urban milieus (C6, C8, C9, C12, C13). In histories intended for international audiences the objectifications were urban (C5, C7, C11). Nature is itself part of the Finnish national representation (Finell, 2005) and plays a central role in the national anthem. Thus, the anchors are based on their familiarity and are part of the representation itself. In the history book covers studied here nature is anchored to distant history, to pre-historic times. This is emphasized in the subtitles like “A Finnish history: From the Ice Age to the European Union” (C15). The cover of this book portrays a famous painting from the Finnish national epic the Kalevala. References to the Kalevala are also made in three other history book covers (C10, C14, C17). These images connect Finnish history to the mythical times of the past.

Objectifications that anchor Finnish history to an urban milieu inform the reader that Finland has long been a developed country. City landscapes are associated, for example, with civilization and education (especially universities) as well as with progress (factories, workers). Associations of urbanism are strong especially in the international editions: city views and neon lights allude to modernity as does functional white building, which is the tower at Olympic Stadium in Helsinki. However, urbanization in Finland was slow until the 1960s, and only during recent decades has the urban population exceeded the rural population in number. Even if images portraying the countryside or urban landscapes seem to contradict each other, they are both anchors of the same meaning: Finland’s long history. This example shows how both traditionalism and modernism can be used for the same purpose. In other words, the formation of social representations of Finnish history is not only directed towards past ideas but it can be added creatively into the present and the future to serve the goal of long history.

Personifications of national history serve as anchors to leadership: the Kalevala hero Väinämöinen (C10, C17, C20), Marshal Mannerheim (C10, C20), President Kekkonen (C14, C17, C20) and Finland’s first woman president, Tarja Halonen (C13, C14, C15). These personifications suggest that Finnish history is narrated as a story of strong persons, the country’s leaders. Väinämöinen is a classic mythical hero and sorcerer, and other characters in the national epic were more or less his followers. Mannerheim and Kekkonen have been shown to be visually iconic persons in Finnish history in the previous studies (Torsti, 2012). The comparison of the smiling and informal President Halonen with her serious and formal predecessor is anchored to the Finnish values of equality and social progress.

One person, and personification of history, however, clearly differs from all the rest: Hitler, who appears on the cover of one of the most recent Finnish history books (C10). On the one hand, it is possible to anchor Hitler as an opponent of the hero (Mannerheim) shown in the same picture. On the other hand, the image anchors Finnish history to one of the most important events in world history, the Second World War. The role of this particular image as a “rupture” in the positive narrative in general will be discussed later in this paper.

Visual metaphors, the juxtaposition of different visual images under the title “History of Finland”, enable a reader to grasp an anchor that is important to a group’s identity: in this case, the long continuity of a nation’s history. A map defines a country’s borders. A crowned lion on a coat of arms devised in the sixteenth century fosters an imaginary connection between separate tribes living in the territory later called Finland. Chronologically, the demonstration of the longest continuity appears on the covers in which events of the late twentieth century are placed alongside prehistoric figures; collages of visual images show how the narrative of Finland has progressed from the Stone Age via wars and strong leaders to the present day (C17), how mythical time depicted in the national epic is linked to war and to Finland’s World Championship in ice hockey (C10) or how the richness of history is constructed by using a group of heterogeneous images (C14, C20). These observations also demonstrate how representational processes are not connected only with the past and the present but also with the future (Bauer & Gaskell, 1999).

Visual images in different covers and editions share similar characters. Especially three themes or categories are used in anchorings of history, namely: culture, war and sports. Paintings and sculptures are typical illustrations of cultural themes on the covers (C6, C10, C12, C14, C15, C16, C17, C20). The Kalevala, Finnish soldiers camouflaged in white, Marshal Mannerheim and the oak leaf as a symbol of Finnish war veterans all refer to war (C10, C14, C15, C16, C17, C20). The runner Paavo Nurmi, Helsinki’s Olympic Stadium and the ice hockey World Championship in 1995 refer to sports and at the same time are imbued with national pride (C10, C11 C14). Overall, on most of the covers Finnish history is portrayed as distinctively national and limited to the country’s geographical borders (C4 is an exception). International relations are presented indirectly. For example, in the images portraying war and sports championships, there is always another group implicitly present, although not shown visually.

Even if the Finnish flag is represented only once, its colour appears on almost every cover of our materials from 1964 to 2014, both in the national and the international editions. The blue colour anchors multiple meanings of the flag as a national symbol. The blue cross and the white background are themselves sources of metaphors such as purity, snow, blue sky and sea. The flag can be seen as an umbrella that gathers different meanings of Finland and Finnishness beneath it (Finell, 2005). The blue colour of the flag ties the different elements of the cover into a one big picture, a narrative, or in Barthes’ (1977) terms, a myth.

Naturalized History [TOP]

The third level of semiotic analysis, myth, will re-construe denotations and connotations found in the covers as the whole that is larger than a simple sum of its parts. Here this whole is considered as a visual narrative of the nation, which transforms into a myth in the final process of social representation, naturalization.

The naturalized nature of myth is most clearly apparent in the collages in which different visual images are grouped and connected with each other by means of the same colour (C14, C17). The choice of these particular images in the context of Finnish history naturalizes the myth (Barthes, 1984).

The cover images tell a story of Finnishness that started in pre-historic time and has remained unbroken down to the present day. At the level of myth, this indicates that Finland has endured thousands of years and is likely to continue (or must continue) in the future. In this myth Finnish history is a history of war and culture. There have been wars both in prehistory (as told in the Kalevala) and in the twentieth century (for example, the Winter War). The battles have been led by strong leaders, the heroes of the narrative. All these elements are packaged together in the colour blue. However, the shared blue tone also reveals that the naturalized story of long continuity is a relatively new invention: the Finnish blue and white flag was not authenticated before 1918. Prior to that year, the unofficial colours of the flag were red and yellow or red, yellow and blue or red. It is noteworthy that these colours are not used on the covers of history books at all because they would be associated with the flags of neighbouring countries, especially the former Soviet Union.

Discussion [TOP]

From the perspective of collective memory, visual images in the covers and the publication of history books are one form of collective remembering. Three characteristics of images, their illusory realism, concrete form and ability to work as devices of memory (Arruda, 2015; Joffé, 2008; Zelizer, 2004), are used to represent and construe social representations of history. Selected features of the past are offered and repeated for shared understanding and communal identity (Hakoköngäs & Sakki, 2016). It is justified to say that covers are transmitting narratives of national history in visual form. The present study attempts to show that central concepts of social representations theory can help us to understand how collective memories are communicated and maintained. We argue that SRT and its central concepts make it possible to observe different history narratives, not only as a historical product, a topic for culture historians, but also as vehicles of social knowledge – a topic for social psychologists. In this paper, we also wanted to revisit and problematize the formation processes of social representations (see Jodelet, 2008) and underline the importance of analysing naturalized social representations.

Social Representations and Collective Memory [TOP]

Re-conceptualizing formation processes is necessary to equip SRT to provide a dynamic approach for such phenomena as social representations of history and collective memory – a field that has become a vibrant area of research in recent years (e.g. Liu & Sibley, 2015; Wagoner, 2015 just to mention few). Research on social representations has traditionally focused on the coping and understanding processes of new and possibly threatening phenomena (Moscovici, 1961; Wagner et al., 1999). Even though certain topics of national history, such as the name used to label the events of 1918 in Finland – “civil war”, “class war” or “revolt” – can still cause heated debate among Finns, the main lines of the national narrative are not extremely current, but merely consensual. None of the books analysed here claims to present new interpretations or challenge the current conception of Finnish history. For this reason, national history cannot be considered as a typical subject of SRT. At the same time, the large number of published books and the recent studies on Finnish history culture (Ahonen, 1998; Torsti, 2012), the audience of those books, suggest that national history is a socially significant topic in the Finnish context. In national history and more broadly, in collective memories, it is possible to address “quiet”, naturalized social representations, which are widely shared and deep-rooted and thus can be referred to almost implicitly. In the present study the blue colour of Finnish flag used in subtle ways exemplifies a naturalized social representation. The naturalized object became an instrument of categorization and anchoring point for other concepts and objects (Moscovici, 1961) such as strong leaders, war and a long history. The blue colour showed which elements are included in the narrative of Finnish history. The colour unites these elements as a single story.

If our material were extended to cover more distant history, prior to the 1960s, it might be possible to trace the stage when the flag as a symbol of the entire nation was naturalized so comprehensively that its colour alone was sufficient to serve as an objectification anchoring all meanings related to Finnish history. In the older books (C18, C19) the colour of the flag and the coat of arms seem to have coexisted; the blue colour obtained a hegemonic position only in the early twenty-first century. Especially in Finland, a two-toned flag is easier to suggest with a colour than is a multi-coloured coat of arms, which besides includes colours of neighbouring countries.

Kress and Van Leeuwen (2002) have considered the semiotics of colours and concluded that they can function as tools of denotation and refer to concrete objects, such as a flag or even an entire nation. In fact, these authors argue that it is possible to construct a “grammar” of colours. This would mean that the blue colour on the covers of Finnish history books is almost unnoticeable because it is used culturally accurately. If the covers were hues of red or yellow, that would be more striking from the Finnish perspective as the grammar of colour would be challenged. To recognise all meanings that are anchored to the colour blue would require a multi-method approach and a semiotic analysis that could be completed with association tests or interviews.

The books targeted for international audience were used as a reference material for the analysis to show which characters of the visualizations of history have special meaning for the in-group. International books’ covers were visualized with one symbolic image, while books targeted for Finns exploited the documentary nature of visual images and presented a more nuanced visual narrative. The fact that personifications are used only in the book covers that are targeted at the in-group implies that these characters are of special importance. Alongside the visual analysis, the textual analysis of books might allow to confirm whether there are significant differences between the books with different audience (ingroup vs. international). This kind of analysis could also inform us more about the roles of these “heroes” in the national narratives.

Revisiting Social Representation Processes [TOP]

Naturalization means that a new phenomenon becomes ordinary and acquires a place in the social reality (Philogène, 1999). As a result, it becomes almost invisible to the in-group, which no longer actively processes it. The present study suggests that the social representation is used to interpret new phenomena even after naturalization. Naturalized knowledge is used to categorise and it also serves as a vehicle of power to outline borders: Is “their” colour similar to “ours”? Are they allowed to use “our” colour? Naturalized social representations are used, for example, in political rhetoric and decision-making to legitimize certain social categories and to exclude other categories. This is why they are an inseparable part of national identities and intergroup relations. Their deep-rootedness makes them difficult to contest or even perceive. Thus, an important question remains: whether denaturalizing these everyday conceptions would promote social justice by making prejudicial (symbolic) social practices visible. These are reasons why further research into naturalized representations is important.

In this study we have argued that the traditional conceptualisation of the process of anchoring is too narrow. In SRT, researchers have been encouraged to study the processes of social representations as they emerge for the first time (e.g. Moscovici, 1984). Treating representation in this manner gives the impression that representations are conceptualised with a clear and definite beginning, marked by their being anchored to old and familiar structures. In the case of naturalized representations anchors are themselves part of the phenomenon and therefore already familiar. The formation of the topic is not directed only towards past knowledge, but also towards the present and the future.

In general, it is possible to see the continuous repetition of naturalized representation as making the phenomenon significant (that is, the anchoring). If a familiar naturalized phenomenon was not repeated regularly, it would lose its latent currency and fall into a social memory lapse. In other words, even naturalized social representations continue to process and to be processed, to categorise and be categorised, to negotiate and be negotiated and to transform and be transformed (Sakki & Menard, 2014). Indeed, the chronological change of cover images shows that objectifications and anchorings, in this case, of the “history of Finland”, are changing.

New Voices on History Narrative [TOP]

According to Wertsch (2002), collective memory is either dialogic, wherein alternative perspectives are presented explicitly, or monologic, in which alternatives are present only implicitly. Marková (2003) has emphasised that common understanding is construed through negotiation and dispute. In visualizations of history conflicts and new perspectives are not strikingly present because it is not possible to change all the elements of a naturalized representation at once. We argue that books are mainly representing a familiar narrative of national history over the decades instead of making the familiar story unfamiliar. This is partially a result of the book genre, an overview of broad history. There are other types of books whose main aim is to contest the prevailing conceptions and to stimulate discussion. The books analyzed in the present study were more towards the maintenance of the narrative than to contest it.

However, a dialogue that introduces new voices into the social representations of history and the collective memory of Finns is also apparent on the covers. A clear example is the collage of three images, with the middle image portraying Marshal Mannerheim and Adolf Hitler (C10). This photograph shows an iconic Finnish hero, Mannerheim (Hakoköngäs & Sakki, 2016), side by side with Hitler, who is regarded by many as the most evil person in the world history (Liu et al., 2005). The photograph can be regarded as evidence of co-operation between Finland and Nazi Germany during the Second World War – a topic that has been debated among Finnish historians ever since. The view that Finland and the Nazis were brothers-in-arms has been accepted only recently. In 2008, sixteen Finnish history professors agreed that Finland and Nazi Germany collaborated during the Second World War, while six professors still argued that Finland had a separate war and four professors did not want to comment on the question at all. “Professors of history leave behind old dispute: according to interviews, Finland was a collaborator with Nazi Germany”, the main Finnish newspaper (Helsingin Sanomat) reported on 19 October 2008 (Mäkinen, 2008). The image of Hitler is at the same time trigger and result of this discussion among scholars. Presenting this kind of photograph on the cover of a Finnish history book would not have been possible in earlier decades.

From the perspective of SRT the changed viewpoint among academics is mediated to the general public by means of newspapers or in widely sold publications such as the history books studied here. The new perspective of professionals has aroused a rich debate that could be a topic of research itself. The discussion among Finns will show if the new interpretation of Finland’s relation to the Nazis will become a widely accepted part of social representations of Finnish history and the collective memory of Finns. As collective memory is reflecting a group’s social and psychological situation, emergence of a new voice or a “rupture” to the history narrative is a result of changes in this situation. In Finland more self-critical evaluation of common past came possible only after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The EU membership in turn has made it necessary to evaluate Finland’s relationship to other European countries and to common European history. The visualization on the history book cover could be seen as one of the first attempts to objectify and anchor this polemical topic of Nazi collaboration in the national narrative. The shift from single image covers to use of multiple images shown in the temporal comparison may itself imply the diversification of history narrative.

Limitations and Questions for Future Research [TOP]

The present study aimed to develop further the model presented in Hakoköngäs and Sakki (2016) by focusing on the re-presenting and maintaining of social representations of history in the context of “official” historiography. In order to complete the image of how books’ covers work as tools of collective memory, the conceptions of their audience could also be examined. This would reveal how the “official” narratives are received, negotiated and used by the public. The analysis of different ”social milieus” might also show, in the sense of Moscovici’s (1961) original work, how different versions of the same history narrative exist in society. Equally, the closer inspection of the production process of history books would inform us about the group that has the power to present new phenomena in the “field of meanings” (Veltri, 2015).

The present study focused on the contents and meanings of history books’ cover images. It is evident that this is only one form of re-presenting and constructing the conceptions of the past. Likewise, history book covers are only one possible visual vehicle of these processes. The examination of multimodal data – text, visual images and social practices – would be necessary to broaden our understanding of social representations of history.

The relatively small number of analysed book covers may seem limited, but in fact the data can be considered representative, because it includes all book covers focusing on general national history from the 1960s until the present. Furthermore, some of the books have been in use for many years and have been reprinted several times. We could assume that the more the book has reprints, the more it has an effect on the construction of collective memory. However, the question of impact was not the one we were interested in the present study. Instead, our aim was to analyse the different meanings of history transmitted through book covers, and thus, the books with several reprints were presented only once in our data.

Finally, the present study has demonstrated the potential to apply semiotic analysis to history representations. Following Veltri’s (2015) theorization we have shown that the basic concepts of semiotics are comparable to the processes of SRT. We argue that adding a concept of myth to Veltri’s theorization might help to draw an overview of the semiotic nature of social representation. However, while semiotic concepts help to structure qualitative analysis they may also simplify the processes of social representation. The attempt to theoretically bridge two theories is open for a debate and more research is needed to further clarify this relationship.

Conclusions [TOP]

The present study addressed the visual crystallization of Finnish history on the covers of history books on this topic. The analysis showed that the basic concepts of SRT can be used in research on collective memory. Collective memories are approached as naturalized social representations, and collective remembering can be analysed systematically with concepts of objectification, anchoring and naturalization. Furthermore, the study has shown that the traditional definition of anchoring is too narrow when we analyse naturalized representations such as social representations of history. In addition, this study completes Veltri’s (2015) initial idea of combining semiotic concepts of denotation and connotation with objectifying and anchoring, and it combines Barthes’ (1984) concept of myth with the concept of naturalization in SRT.

Research on collective memory and SRT share a common background in the history of the social sciences; many of their interests and main ideas are similar. Nevertheless, their theoretical connections have been seen as complex and uncertain (Wagoner, 2015). To bridge this theoretical gap, the present study has tried to clarify the theoretical connection and to open new avenues of collaboration between these two research areas. However, we should keep in mind that research on social representations is not limited to the analysis of social representations of history, nor can all social knowledge be regarded as collective memory. Therefore, the old formation concepts of SRT, namely objectification, anchoring and naturalizing, can help us address the similarities and differences between collective memories and other forms of social knowledge, and thereby enrich our understanding of their multifaceted system.

Funding [TOP]

The authors have no funding to report.

Competing Interests [TOP]

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Acknowledgments [TOP]

The authors have no support to report.

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Appendix 1: The Analysed 20 Cover Images of Finnish History Books, 1965-2014 [TOP]

By permission of publishers. © C1, C2 Weilin+Göös; C3, C5, C8, C9, C14, C19, C20 WSOY; C4 Heinemann; C6, C7, C15 Otava; C10 Schildts & Söderströms; C11 Oxford University Press; C12 Opike; C13 Lärum-förlaget; C16, C17 SKS; C18 Columbia University Press.

Appendix 2: Denotations and Connotations Found in Cover Images of Finnish History Books [TOP]

Cover Denotations Connotations
C1 A typography: author’s names and resumes Famous professors: Authority, professionality
C2 A typography: ”From stone age to President Koivisto” Nation has a long history, continuity
C3 Pine, forestry landscape Famous paintings: A national landscape
C4 A Map Northwest and North Europe: Finland as part of Europe and Scandinavia
C5 Graphic composition: “A History of Finland” Imitates neon lights: Urbanism, modernism
C6 Painting The market square in Helsinki: A long urban history, culture
C7 Painting The center of Helsinki: A long urban history, culture
C8 A view from the deck The center of Helsinki: Urbanism, trade, international connections
C9 A view from the ship The center of Helsinki: Urbanism, trade, international connections
C10 A piece from the painting, two men in uniforms, a men holding a cup Finnish national epic Kalevala, Väinämöinen, Marshal Mannerheim, Hitler, Ice Hockey championship 1995: Militarism, heroic past, a long history, a victory, a leader, role in the world history, questionable past, continuity
C11 A tower and blue sky Olympic: Modernism, forerunning
C12 A city view, a statue A center of Helsinki, Sibelius monument: Urbanism, culture
C13 Archeologists working in field; factories/workers; woman President Halonen: A long history, urbanism (Industrialism), forerunning, equality, a leader
C14 Man; A painting; hayfield; Finnish flag and national landscape; a runner; A Birthday Cake (“Hooray Finland!”); woman; a pile of logs President Kekkonen, national epic Kalevala, Paavo Nurmi, President Halonen: A hero, a leader, heroic past, a long history, agrarian past, national symbols, a victory, equality, leader, continuity
C15 A painting, waterside National epic Kalevala, Väinämöinen: A long history, heroic past, hero, leader, roots in nature
C16 Elk head sculpture; oak leaf Sculpture from stone age; relief from WWII: A long history, culture, militarism, continuity
C17 A painting, snowy forest; a woman; sculpture; man; skiing soldiers; a coin National epic Kalevala, a queen Christine, sculpture from Stone Age President Kekkonen, Winter War, own money: A long history, heroic past, culture, equality, leader, hero, military, victory, continuity
C18 The coat of arms The Finnish national symbol: Independence, a long history
C19 The coat of arms The Finnish national symbol: Independence, a long history
C20 Women in hayfield; a man; advertisement; a man; modern painting; a woman Marshal Mannerheim, President Kekkonen, President Halonen: Agrarian past, military, leaders, heroes, equality, culture

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