Media, the Elite and Modernity

Defining the Modern among the Finnish Cultural Intelligentsia in the Twentieth Century

In: International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity
Jukka Kortti
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This paper discusses how the Finnish intelligentsia has defined the modern and has reacted to modernity in the twentieth century. The cultural intelligentsia has had an important role in this process, since in Finland intellectuals and the state have historically had a close relationship. The article focuses on the role of the media in the making of the modern – both as an abstract concept and as a concrete programme for building a new society. The main examples come from the Finnish student magazine Ylioppilaslehti and Finnish television broadcasting. The main periods discussed are the cultural modernism of the 1950s, the societal modernism of the 1960s and the cultural postmodernism of the 1980s. These were the times when discussions about defining the modern reached even the public sphere in Finland.

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