Annamari Vänskä © Foto: Juliana Harkki
Annamari Vänskä © Foto: Juliana Harkki

"It feels great that one's work which one has done for several years is noticed and appreciated", said Annamari Vänskä.

Fashionable Childhood - Children in Fashion Advertising (Muodikas lapsuus - Lapset muotikuvissa) received a lot of attention by Finnish media after its release in September 2012.

"It means that I have managed to write an accessible book about a topical theme. Even though the book has already received a lot of attention from the media, it feels wonderful that the academic world has also seen its value".

The jury awarding the honorable prize stated the following in their evaluation:  

"Fashionable Childhood analyses strikingly the rich and multitude of ways in which advertising representing children are used for affecting the consumer-viewers. The book guides the reader to understand and interpret fashion advertising by shedding light on the social meanings of fashion, fashion in the social context and the relationship between innocence, gendering and sexualisation of children through fashion.

Vänskä's book is a strong research report. Her familiarity with the research topic is shown through the accuracy of empirical analysis and through the effortless theoretical frameworks framing the book and going through it like a red thread. Specifically praiseworthy is the way in which the theoretical discourse is always present but never in a mind-numbing way.

The research tells about the author's expertise in discourses in the field of cultural studies. Fashionable Childhood is a book which can be used as a reference source when one wants to familiarize with the central discourses of cultural studies, history and the research of childhood, visual studies, fashion studies and heteronormativity".

The prize strengthens the author's ambitions: "In this book I analysed children's representations in fashion advertising. The next project will deal with children who work as models", said Vänskä.

Svante Emanuelli/Anu Koivunen


Scientific Book of the Year

Scientific Book of the Year is a prize awarded by The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies and Finnish Association of Scholarly Publishing. The prize is given to an especially meritorious Finnish scientific book published the previous year. In 2012, the members of the jury were Adjunct Professor of history of law Mia Korpiola from the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Professor of Food Culture Johanna Mäkelä from the University of Helsinki, and Emeritus Professor of National Institute for Health and Welfare Matti Sarvas. Scientific Book of the Year has been awarded since 1989.

In 2012, the jury read about 100 scientific books and wanted to award a strong, analytical and well-written book. The jury especially appreciated books which provide new openings to research and societal discourse. The main prize was awarded to Professor of Finnish History Kirsi Vainio-Korhonen from the University of Turku.