”Ei elämääni lomia mahtunut.” – Naisten muistelukerrontaa palkkatyöstä talvi- ja jatkosotien ja jälleenrakennuksen aikana
My doctoral dissertation examines women’s memory narratives of paid labour during the Winter War (1939–1940) and the Continuation War (1941–1945, including the Lapland War) and in the years of rebuilding in Finland until early 1950s. As an ethnologist, I am interested in the personal level of everyday life and experiences of work. My main interest lies in the meanings women give to paid labour. The focus is on memory narratives, and I am reaching and I aim to bring to light the meanings given to work: what did paid labour mean for women during the war and the time of rebuilding and how do they tell about it decades afterwards? I analyse, for example, the effect of the war on women’s work experiences, encounters between men and women at the workplaces, memories of tiredness and managing it, and decision women sometimes had to make between paid labour and housewifery. Emphasis is on professions in towns, for example work in factories, bakeries, hospitals, harbours and shops. The key of the study is the expectations and experiences that women narrate about when recalling their work and work community. The effect of the Second World War to women’s positions in the labour market in Finland has only been estimated, not studied carefully. With my study about memories of work, I take part in the discussion on the history of women’s paid labour. Women’s work at the home front is also an important part of the history of the Second World War. In addition, I hope to contribute to the methodological discussion about written memories and oral history, and, furthermore, on the connection between cultural narratives and personal experiences. ...
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