Historical Consciousness in Finland project is led by Pilvi Torsti (D.Soc.Sc.) and coordinated by the Department of Social Science History at the University of Helsinki. Torsti specializes on the phenomena related to the presence of the past in contemporary societies. Her works have included articles on political uses of history and historical consciousness as well as in the past and present of the former Yugoslavia region. In her doctoral thesis Torsti examined the presence of the past in Bosnia and Herzegovina and carried out a Youth and History -survey on the historical consciousness of youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Current project brings together Torsti’s previous experience with survey methodology and her interest in the political uses of history.
Professor of Statistics Seppo Laaksonen provides the present project his wide experience on surveys. Laaksonen has been involved in large-scale international survey projects (incl. PISA-survey and European Social Survey) as a Finnish delegate. Representing most wide-ranging social science survey experience in Finland professor Laaksonen ensures the statistical quality of the survey.
International cooperation during the project with academics from similar survey projects in Canada, Australia and United States has been fruitful. Professor Jocelyn Létourneau (Canada), assistant professor Paula Hamilton (Australia) and emeritus professor David Thelen have all commented the project and shared their views and experiences with Pilvi Torsti. Torsti has also collaborated with Mr. David Northrup responsible for the data collection in Canada as well as the entire 6-member co-investigator team.
Of the Finnish researchers involved in the Historical Consciousness in Finland project Marko van den Berg (D.Ed.) concentrates on the historical consciousness of youth. On the basis of the survey results van den Berg interviews adolescents about their conceptions of the past and historical progress. In his doctoral thesis van den Berg examined the historical consciousness of teacher students.
From the Department of Political Science Hanna Wass (D.Soc.Sc.) studies how historical consciousness varies within different generations. In her doctoral thesis Wass analyzed the turn out for polls within different generations in Finland and how the turn out percentages have changed as a result of generation effect.
Senior Lecturer in the Department of Applied Sciences of Education Jan Löfström specializes in the questions of dealing with difficult past and the need for symbolic reparations and apologies.
Postgraduate student Najat Oukrim-Soivio is working with the question of historical consciousness of immigrants living in Finland. In her doctoral thesis Oukrim-Toivio examines the historical consciousness of youth with immigrant background.
Emmi Vainio from the Department of History at the University of Tampere examines the reactions and comments of respondents who answered to early version of the survey. Vainio interviewed twenty respondents with mixed background and age as a part of testing the survey questionnaire is to write her MA thesis based on her material.
In his master’s thesis Kyösti Knuuttila from the University of Helsinki carried out a pilot survey of the project with some 150 respondents. On the basis of the survey results the questionnaire was completed into its final form.
Following persons have also participated in the working meetings of the project: contributed their time and effort to the project: professor Sirkka Ahonen, professor Jorma Kalela, professor Jukka Rantala, researcher Ohto Rintala, Senior Lecturer Kimmo Vehkalahti, professor Hannu Salmi, professor Marjatta Rahikainen, researcher Kirsi Mäki and researcher Katalyn Míklossy.