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Between Technological Nostalgia and Engineering Imperialism: Digital History Readings of China in the Finnish Technoindustrial Public Sphere 1880–1912

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Mats Fridlund
Matti La Mela
Publicerad i Tekniikan waiheita - Teknik i tiden
Volym 37
Nummer/häfte 1
Sidor 7-40
ISSN 0780-5772
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Institutionen för litteratur, idéhistoria och religion
Sidor 7-40
Språk en
Länkar https://doi.org/10.33355/tw.83224
Ämnesord China, Finland, technological imperialism, digital history, public sphere, geopolitics, history of engineering
Ämneskategorier Idé- o lärdomshistoria, Historia, Teknikhistoria

Sammanfattning

How does foreign technology affect the country's industrialization? This issue is approached through "technological geopolitics" by examining the views and interpretations of Finnish technology players regarding the East Asian superpower, China's technology and industrialization. The article examines how Imperial China was portrayed in the central forum of Finland's "technical-industrial publicity" in 1880-1912, in Finnish technical magazines. This article brings a new perspective to the field of research in the history of Finnish technology by mapping the relationship between Finland and China through technology and industrialization. It also offers a new approach to research into digital history through qualitative and quantitative search and reading (" readsearch”) To Finnish technical journals. The study reveals how Chinese technology and industry appeared in the press in two main ways. First, the texts described China's early history and traditional technology, which served as a "nostalgic" counterpart to the latest Western industrial advances. Second, when dealing with newer technologies of the era, the focus of newspaper texts was on the strengths of the West, and attention was paid to exploiting China's economic and commercial potential or the country's natural resources. The article deepens this aspect of superpower politics by examining the careers of two Finnish engineers in the service of Western colonial endeavors, thus illuminating previously neglected Finnish imperialist attitudes.

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