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An integrated and recreated nation: socio-semiotic approaches to Finnish vacation propagandist short films in the late 1940s

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Abstract:

This article is a social historical analysis of a specific vacation propaganda campaign run in Finland in the late 1940s. The analyses of four propagandist short film narratives are opened up with a specific three-step socio-semiotic close reading. This article identifies which ways of spending one's holidays were regarded as 'proper' and worthy and how the imagined audience was defined, as well as towards whom vacation propaganda was aimed and in what ways. The 'proper' holiday ideology for Finnish people - to receive annual leave for rest and recreation - was pursued in the short films by various methods of verbal and visual argumentation. The interpretations are presented together with a case-connected social historical contextualisation. In post-war Finland the economic and political situation was very unstable. For this reason, the vacation propaganda can be defined as integration propaganda, where the people's work and patience were to be rewarded in the future with the promise of upward social mobility and a better standard of living. The more you have to work staying still/the more vividly you have to exercise during leisure time. Our summer is short, so, use the fleeting moments for your health. (Summer Pleasures, takes 15-17)

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725860902732702

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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