New Book (In Finnish): Let´s Play! Children’s Peer Relations in 20th Century Finland (Leikitäänkö? Lasten kaverisuhteet 1900-luvun Suomessa)

The 20th century in Finland is seen as the century of wars and crises, and of industrialization, urbanization and increasing prosperity. But how did children live through these changes in their social worlds: in schoolyards, playgroups and suburbs – often together, but sometimes longing for company?

“Let’s play!” presents an exciting perspective on how Finnish children lived their lives in 20th century Finland by taking a closer look at the kingdoms of childhood – at places and situations where adults were not always present.

The peer-reviewed non-fiction book, based on a four- and-a-half-year research project (funded by the Academy of Finland and the Kone Foundation) offers a fascinating historical look at the multifaceted nature of children’s peer communities, often offering opportunities to play, for adventure, and excitement, even restoration and solace, especially for those for whom life at home was difficult. Yet exclusion, rejection and bullying, indeed even violence, also played a part in children’s social lives and interactions.

The extensive research material consists of written recollections of Finnish childhood in the 20th century, with interviews, archival sources and contemporary newspaper and magazine articles all used to further our insight into the lived experience of peer relations and their meaning in children’s lives.

The peer-reviewed non-fiction book “Let’s Play! Children’s Peer Relations in 20th Century Finland” is published by Gaudeamus and available in audio and book format:

More on the history of Finnish childhood (in Finnish) can be found on webpage and Instagram