Performing Power: Public Authority Styles in Finland 1945-2005
Department of Communication University of Helsinki Helsinki, Finland
The paper examines the public authority styles in the post-war Finland and in particular the revolutionary style of corporate authorities since 1960s. As Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello (2007) have hypothesized corporate authorities adopted a socially transformative role in the post war societies by developing new spirited authority styles, which can be characterized as revolutionary. A longitudinal qualitative analysis of the main Finnish current affair and business magazines, Suomen Kuvalehti and Talouselämä from 1945 to 2005 and tracks down how authority is performed in the stories concentrating on one person, i.e. in personal interviews and features. It is suggested that there emerge three distinct public authority styles: i) patriotic paternalism (1945-1975), ii) rational managerialism (1955-1980) and iii) enthusiastic individualism (1980-2000). These styles are seen as emotional regimes (Reddy 2001), which are in dynamic relation with each other. At the heart of each style are the positive feelings, a fantasy of ?we?, which give rise to it. Yet at the same time there is the darker side, negative and suppressed feelings, which often are addressed by the following regime. This dynamic has been clear especially in Finland since 1970s as corporate authorities have developed clearly a style of authority which can be characterized as revolutionary. Moreover, the corporate styles has had a wider societal impact, as also authority styles in other societal sectors have been clearly affected by it by mimicking the corporate style or otherwise being trapped in nostalgia or positioned in opposition to the revolutionary project.