Families with Children and the Changes on Societal Atmosphere in Finland
Department of Social Policy Studies University of Helsinki University of Helsinki, Finland
Since the economic recession of the 1990´s the Finnish social policy has been permeated with post-expansive economic policy, new public management and new types of techniques of responsibilisation. As these Anglo-American origin influences have become to be a significant resource in Finnish social policy, the question arises, to what extent they have also showed their way into Finnish child welfare policy?
This paper addresses the changes in societal atmosphere, political interest and societal reactions towards children and families with children in Finland 1970-2006. Utilizing parliamentary records (N=8521), the paper is focusing 1) how the themes of discussion, political goal-setting and the ways of intervening have changed. Furthermore, causes for a change are analyzed. Records are standardized by Mp´s (N=2200) cultural and political capital. Methods are quantitative content analysis and logistic regression analysis.
The results indicate a gradual change from wide-range family and cultural policy towards the post-expansive politics of order, concern and fear.
The paper is based on a chapter of Finnish-speaking monograph Stigmatized by Risk. Children and the Young in the Politics of Concern and Early Intervention published in 2008.