Poor and Poorly? The archaeology of inequality in a Nordic welfare state

Author(s): Tuuli S. Matila; Marika Hyttinen

Year: 2023


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Poverty And Plenty In The North", at the 2023 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Finland is a modern Nordic welfare state and has a coherent national narrative about poverty or rather the inexistence of it. In this paper we examine a community called Vaakunakylä that was located in Oulu, Finland during the post-war reconstruction period (1947-1987). The community that lived there was subject to eviction from their homes because the community was unfoundedly labelled criminal, restless and unwanted.The archaeological record from the demolished site tells a very different story. It affords the possibility of presencing inequality in Finland via the materiality of the vulnerable community that lived there. Had the people living in Vaakunakylä been allowed to keep their homes, they would now own allotments in a prime location in the city, but instead were moved to city rental apartments which influenced the families’ life trajectories in a significant way.

Cite this Record

Poor and Poorly? The archaeology of inequality in a Nordic welfare state. Tuuli S. Matila, Marika Hyttinen. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Lisbon, Portugal. 2023 ( tDAR id: 475869)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: 19.648; min lat: 59.807 ; max long: 31.582; max lat: 70.089 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Nicole Haddow