Paper Title

Panel Discussion - Local Finns in Illinois

Location

Fisher 126

Event Website

http://www.finnforumx.com/

Start Date

12-4-2014 3:30 PM

End Date

12-4-2014 4:45 PM

Description

Finnish North American labor contributions and involvement in strikes such as the 1913-14 Michigan Copper Strike are being restored to the historical record and even commemorated; yet some Finnish American communities’ labor history still goes untold. We contend that in the case of DeKalb, Illinois, the Finnish American labor and strike history has been, in part, overshadowed in contemporary remembrance by the city’s promotion of traditional history and commemoration focused on the barbed wire barons. Local Finnish American labor involvement and participation in strikes appears to have been marginalized in favor of a subsequent historical narrative surrounding the capitalist entrepreneurship of elites. However, counter memories of labor struggles may be lost for a variety of reasons. External and internal forces make it difficult for marginalized groups to offer alternatives to the construction of collective memories that exclude them. These forces include, but are not limited to gradual assimilation into dominant culture, internal conflict within social movements, and fear of, or experience with, governmental repression. In our archival research, surveys and interviews with 2nd and 3rd generation Finnish American residents reveal the many forces of “forgetting” that can influence the counter memory of Finnish American labor history in certain communities.

Presenter Bio

Diane M. Rodgers is an Associate Professor in the Sociology department at Northern Illinois University specializing in theory and social movements. Some of her publications appear in: History of the Human Sciences, Minerva and Sociological Quarterly. For the past few years, with Jill Sanderson, Jessica Petersen and Lucy Sosa, graduate students at Northern Illinois University, Professor Rodgers has been exploring the history of Illinois Finns through the use of archival research, interviews and surveys. The project members are also involved in building preservation and landmark status efforts for the Finnish Temperance Hall and Finnish Workers Hall in DeKalb, IL.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 12th, 3:30 PM Apr 12th, 4:45 PM

Panel Discussion - Local Finns in Illinois

Fisher 126

Finnish North American labor contributions and involvement in strikes such as the 1913-14 Michigan Copper Strike are being restored to the historical record and even commemorated; yet some Finnish American communities’ labor history still goes untold. We contend that in the case of DeKalb, Illinois, the Finnish American labor and strike history has been, in part, overshadowed in contemporary remembrance by the city’s promotion of traditional history and commemoration focused on the barbed wire barons. Local Finnish American labor involvement and participation in strikes appears to have been marginalized in favor of a subsequent historical narrative surrounding the capitalist entrepreneurship of elites. However, counter memories of labor struggles may be lost for a variety of reasons. External and internal forces make it difficult for marginalized groups to offer alternatives to the construction of collective memories that exclude them. These forces include, but are not limited to gradual assimilation into dominant culture, internal conflict within social movements, and fear of, or experience with, governmental repression. In our archival research, surveys and interviews with 2nd and 3rd generation Finnish American residents reveal the many forces of “forgetting” that can influence the counter memory of Finnish American labor history in certain communities.

http://digitalcommons.mtu.edu/copperstrikesymposium/Schedule/Saturday/17