The project investigates the Finnish elites, their cultures and their relationships to the broader society. The project focuses on Finland’s wealthiest 0,1% and asks who belong to this wealthiest group, how one becomes a member and what its relationship is to the rest of society. The project aims to draw a picture of the elite, the lifestyles of members and their understandings of their roles in society. Furthermore, it asks whether the wealthiest segments of Finnish society are detaching themselves from the rest of society, and if so, how and where this can be seen.
Academic research has traditionally shown that the elite is not an internally homogeneous group, and in particular, that political and financial elites differ from each other. It has also been suggested that elite identities and elite cultures are currently in transition due to globalisation. The project contributes to this research tradition by offering a more detailed image of the backgrounds, compositions and lifestyles of the contemporary Finnish elites.
This research project consists of two separate components: mapping the composition of the Finnish elites and carrying out qualitative interview research. The mapping includes discovering what kind of elites there are in Finland and how they are constructed. The interview research aims to find out how members of the elites understand and perceive their own lives and social positions. By interviewing members of the Finnish elites, the project examines their perceptions of their multiple roles in Finnish society and the globalised world.
The project combines academic research and journalism. However, the project keeps a firm “firewall” between journalism and research, so that the interviewees have the right to remain anonymous, and the journalists working on the project do not know their identities in such cases.
Professor Anu Kantola
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