Maternity pack as an emotional object: The social experience of the welfare state from the 1930 century to the 21st century

Activity: Consultancy typesConsultancy


The maternity pack, first introduced in 1949, has become a universal welfare provision in Finland. It is therefore a familiar welfare innovation for all Finns, with positive health implications. At the same time, the maternity pack has become a significant symbol of the welfare state. In our project, we look at the social history of the maternity pack as a more controversial and paradoxical of its universality.
The key concepts of the research project are sociomateriality and emotional. In its context, the maternity pack is a cardboard box containing supplies for the wellbeing of newborn babies. However, as soon as the pack is given to older expectant parents, it comes with emotional meanings. The maternity pack as an emotional object acts collectively on the level of individual emotions. In this broader sociological analysis, a huge number of different values and meanings are transferred to the maternity pack. Our research project explores both individual and shared, in some conflicting experiences of maternity packaging through history research and theatrical art. The study takes into account the experiences of mainstream populations and minorities as well as towns and countryside. At a more theoretical level, the project examines what can be said through the history of the maternity pack about the connections between material, memory, emotions and experience.
(PI: Tanja Vahtikari, University of Tampere)
Period1 Jan 202031 Dec 2021
Work forUniversity of Tampere, Finland
Degree of RecognitionInternational