Tapio Bergholm
Humanist of the day

Tapio Bergholm

Equality is a passion that Tapio Bergholm has had no difficulty in effectively combining with his work as a historical researcher. In contrast the problem for him is that to clearly and coherently describe chaotic, contradictory events is often an unreasonable assault on reality. Today, Dr Bergholm is a senior researcher working with equality issues at the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions.

Tapio Bergholm

Tapio Hannu Antero Bergholm
Born June 14, 1958 Helsinki

Master of Arts 1985, PhD 1997 (Finnish and Scandinavian history), University of Helsinki
PhD (Sociology) 2015, University of Eastern Finland

Historical researcher 2000–08, Senior researcher 2009, Central Organisatoin of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK)
Visiting Fellow 1990–91, Industrial Relations Research Unit, University of Warwick, England
Historical researcher and training secretary, 1984–2000 Finnish Transport Workers’ Union (AKT)
Docent in Finnish history 1999–, University of Eastern Finland
Docent in Finnish and Scandinavian history 1998–, University of Helsinki
Summer work, project work and part time work: camp leader, roadie electrician, film producer, columnist and lecturer

Member of the editorial board 2010-11, Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies
Member of the editorial board 2008–, International Journal of Maritime History
Member of the Working Committee for Ethics 2013–, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
Chairman 2012–, Finnish Maritime History Association
Chairman 2007–12, Finnish Association of Work Life Research
Vice-chairman of the board, 2005–, International Commission for Maritime History

Research themes
Labour market history, history of the transport industry, and particularly the history of ports, and the history of the gender system.


Prize for best labour research 2008 ( for the work Sopimusyhteiskunnan synty II - ‘The Birth of Finnish Welfare II’) , awarded by Labour Heritage

Photo: University of Eastern Finland
Written by Tapio Bergholm (Tomas Sjöblom, ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

As a researcher, I have often encountered unfounded myths. For instance, when I studied the activities of the communist-led trade union and the leadership of the Communist Party of Finland in my doctoral dissertation, it turned out that claims that the communists posed a danger to society and had revolutionary intentions in the aftermath of the Second World War were unsubstantiated.

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Researching, teaching and participating in various organisations are all fascinating pursuits in their own right. Organisations can teach responsibility, both financial and in terms of one’s actions. In volunteer work, delegation and the division of labour are important.

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In the summer of 2007 I had my first experience of slow travelling by rowing with Kirsi Ihalainen from Savonlinna to Lappeenranta through all the Suvorov canals on lake Saimaa. The trip was a positive experience in many ways, and we married in 2008.

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