My PhD research examines the relationship between Finnish bachelors and the home from c. the 1880s to the 1930s. I’m interested both in how unmarried men organised their homes and everyday lives as well as the meanings, feelings, material culture and relationships connected with their homes and, furthermore, how all this was linked to ideas of masculinity both personally and socially/culturally. My framework combines elements from the history of everyday life, micro-history, geographies of home, and gender history.
At the moment, the chapters of my thesis are structured around the following themes:
– The ‘bachelor box’ (a 1-2-room apartment inhabited by a bachelor by himself or with other bachelors) as a symbol as well as a physical manifestation of bachelor living and domesticity, including the material culture of bachelors’ homes
– The homemaking and domesticity of mobile workers with a focus on sailors
– Bachelors’ relationships with their family members and bachelors’ writings about marriage
– The “bachelor tax” introduced in 1935 as an example of how the state viewed bachelors
– Different types of communal ‘homes’ and housing solutions built for bachelors: student homes, sailor’s homes, homes for older men and a municipal ‘bachelor building’
This picture of rafting workers on a break is from my grandfather’s photo album. His father worked as a foreman for a forestry company and in the 1930s my grandfather worked with him doing logging work during the winter and rafting work during the summer. In my thesis, besides sailors, logging and rafting workers are another example of a group of workers who had to travel around a lot and work as well as live a long way from home.
These two articles provide examples of some of themes I am working with:
– Article published on the Port Towns and Urban Cultures -website: Protecting and Educating the Sons of the Fatherland – The Finnish Association for Sailors’ Homes (2015)
– Article published on the Notches -blog: The Hunger of the Finnish Bachelor: Married Men, Desire and Domesticity in 20th Century Finland (2015)