A1 Journal article (refereed)
Jukolan veljekset maallikkopsykiatrin vastaanotolla : ADHD-nimike ja muut tarttuvat diagnoosit Seitsemän veljeksen nykyluennassa (2022)
ADHD and other contagious diagnoses in contemporary interpretations of Seven Brothers : a cultural analysis

Tanskanen, J. (2022). Jukolan veljekset maallikkopsykiatrin vastaanotolla : ADHD-nimike ja muut tarttuvat diagnoosit Seitsemän veljeksen nykyluennassa. Kulttuurintutkimus, 39(1), 3-17. https://journal.fi/kulttuurintutkimus/article/view/109496

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsTanskanen, Jani

Journal or seriesKulttuurintutkimus



Publication year2022

Publication date08/04/2022


Issue number1

Pages range3-17

PublisherKulttuurintutkimuksen seura

Publication countryFinland

Publication languageFinnish

Persistent website addresshttps://journal.fi/kulttuurintutkimus/article/view/109496

Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/80584


In this article I analyze how psychiatric diagnoses are used in the book Seitsemän miestä (The Seven Men, 2005), a nonfictional work by journalist Ilkka Malmberg. The book is published by Helsingin Sanomat, the largest subscription news-paper in Finland, and it handles the very first significant novel written in Finnish, The Seven Brothers (Seitsemän veljestä, 1870) by Aleksis Kivi. The fact that the main characters of the novel are discussed and considered with diagnostic words and phrases can be seen as a part of the diagnosization of contemporary culture. The diagnosization is a concept referring to the process in which psychiatric diagnoses have an increasing role in contemporary culture, to the extent of us interpreting life and even fictional lives through specific diagnostic categories. Considering this framework, Seitsemän miestä narrows our understanding of normality. I analyze the way ADHD-diagnosis is attached to the whole group of seven brothers, the main characters of Kivi’s novel. To conclude, ADHD is seen as a definite and non-historic entity, although psychiatric diagnoses are a more complex phenomenon. Furthermore, the diagnoses are seen as explanations of the characters’ problems. That ignores the social factors constituting troubles.

Keywordsfiction and poetryfictional charactersnonfiction (literature)mental healthnormalitymental disordersADHDdiagnosispsychiatrypsychopathologymedicalisation

Free keywordsSeitsemän veljestä (romaani, 1870); Seitsemän miestä (tietokirja, 2005)

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-15-06 at 22:26