Browsing by Author "Ahlqvist, Kirsti"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-1 of 1
  • Ahlqvist, Kirsti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    The aim of the study was to find out how the consumption of the population in Finland became a target of social interest and production of statistical data in the early 20th century, and what efforts have been made to influence consumption with social policy measures at different times. Questions concerning consumption are examined through the practices employed in the compilation of statistics on it. The interpretation framework in the study is Michael Foucault s perspective of modern liberal government. This mode of government is typified by pursuit of efficiency and search of equilibrium between economic government and a government of the processes of life. It shows aspirations towards both integration and individualisation. The government is based on freedom practices. It also implies knowledge-based ways of conceptualising reality. Statistical data are of specific significance in this context. The connection between the government of consumption and the compilation of statistics on it is studied through the theoretical, socio-political and statistical conceptualisation of consumption. The research material consisted of Finnish and international documentation on the compilation of statistics on consumption, publications of social programmes, and reports of studies on consumption. The analysis of the material focused especially on the problematisations related to consumption found in these documents and on changes in them over history. There have been both clearly observable changes and as well as historical stratification and diversity in the rationalities and practices of consumption government during the 20th century. Consumption has been influenced by pluralistic government, based at different times and in varying ways on the logics of solidarity and markets. The difference between these is that in the former risks are prepared for collectively while in the latter risks are individualised. Despite the differences, the characteristic that is common to these logics is certain kind of contractuality. They are both permeated by the household logic which differs from them in that it is based on the normative and ethical demands imposed on an individual. There has been a clear interactive connection between statistical data and consumption government. Statistical practices have followed changes in the way consumption has been conceptualised in society. This has been reflected in the statistical phenomena of interest, concepts, classifications and indicators. New ways of compiling statistics have in their turn shaped perceptions of reality. Statistical data have also facilitated a variety of rational calculations with which the consequences of the population s consumption habits have been evaluated at the levels of economy at large and individuals.