Well-Being and Participation: Views on Policy Measures in Sparsely Populated Rural Municipalities in Finland

Open access

Abstract

This article examines how do municipalities aim to promote well-being in sparsely populated rural villages, and how are villagers involved in the measures of well-being undertaken in their municipality. The main analysis is based on the interviews of municipal representatives in the case study of North Karelia, Finland. The analysis of well-being and participation, and their relation to the social inclusion of rural inhabitants is executed under the themes of mobility, services, democratic involvement and civic action. The policy measures seek to improve liveability of the environment and the villagers’ quality of life. Participation, as a means and an end of well-being and inclusion, involves the dimensions of structural inclusion, as well as genuine participation and citizen engagement.

[1] Abbott, P. & Sapsford, R. (2005). Living on the margins. Policy Studies 26(1), 29-46. DOI: 10.1080/01442870500041660.

[2] Alastalo, M. & Åkerman, M. (2017). Asiantuntijahaastattelun analyysi: Faktojen jäljillä. In Ruusuvuori, J., Nikander, P. & Hyvärinen, M., eds., Haastattelun analyysi (pp. 372-392). Tampere: Vastapaino.

[3] Allardt, E. (1993). Having, loving, being: An alternative to the Swedish model of welfare research. In Nussbaum, M. & Amartya, S., ed., The quality of life (pp. 88-94). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

[4] Atkinson, S., Fuller, S. & Painter, J. (2012). Wellbeing and Place. Farnham, Burlington: Ashgate.

[5] Bock, B. B. (2016). Rural marginalisation and the role of social innovation: a turn towards nexogenous development and rural reconnection. Sociologia Ruralis 56(4), 552-573. DOI: 10.1111/soru.12119.

[6] Copus, A. K., Courtney, P., Dax, T., Meredith, D., Noguera. J., Shucksmith, M. & Talbot, H. (2011). EDORA: European development opportunities for rural areas, Applied Research 2013/1/2 [final report]. Luxembourg: EPSON & UHI Millennium Institute.

[7] Bowling, A. & Windsor, J. (2001). Towards the good life: a population survey of dimensions of quality of life. Journal of Happiness Studies 2(1), 55-82. DOI: 10.1023/A:1011564713657.

[8] Erikson, R. (1993). Descriptions of inequality: The Swedish approach to welfare research. In Nussbaum, M. & Amartya, S., eds., The quality of life (pp. 67-83). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

[9] Evers, A. (2009). Civicness and civility: their meanings for social services. Voluntas 20: 239-259. DOI: 10.1007/s11266-009-9088-x.

[10] Evers, A. & Guillemard, A.-M. (2012). Reconfiguring welfare and reshaping citizenship. In Evers, A. & Guillemard, A.-M., eds., Social policy and citizenship: The changing landscape (pp. 359-388). New York: Oxford University Press.

[11] Farrington, J. & Farrington, C. (2005). Rural accessibility, social inclusion and social justice: towards conceptualization. Journal of Transport Geography 13, 1-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2004.10.002.

[12] Halonen, M., Kotilainen, J., Tykkyläinen, M. & Vatanen, E. (2015). Industry life cycles of a resource town in Finland: the case of Lieksa. European Countryside 7(1), 16-41. DOI: 10.1515/euco-2015-0002.

[13] Hayward, C., Simpson, L. & Wood, L. (2004). Still left out in the cold: problematising participatory research and development. Sociologia Ruralis 44(1), 95-108. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2004.00264.x.

[14] Helminen, V., Nurmio, K., Rehunen, A., Ristimäki, M., Oinonen, K., Tiitu, M., Kotavaara, O., Antikainen, H. & Rusanen, J. (2014). Kaupunki-maaseutu-alueluokitus: Paikkatietoihin perustuvan alueluokituksen muodostamisperiaatteet. Helsinki: The Finnsh Environmental Institute.

[15] Hirvilammi, T. (2015). Kestävän hyvinvoinnin jäljillä: Ekologisten kysymysten integroiminen hyvinvointitutkimukseen [Doctoral thesis]. Helsinki: University of Helsinki.

[16] Juhila, K., Raitakari, S. & Löfstrand, C. H. (2017). Responsibilities and current welfare discourses. In Juhila, K., Raitakari, S. & Hall, C., eds., Responsibilisation at the margins of welfare services (pp. 35-56). London, New York: Routledge.

[17] Kainulainen, S. & Rintala, T. (2003). Maaseutukuntien mosaiikki - menestyjiä ja häviäjiä. Maaseudun Uusi Aika 2, 26-35.

[18] Kilpeläinen, A. & Seppänen, M. (2014). Information technology and everyday life in ageing rural villages. Journal of Rural Studies 33, 1-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2013.10.005.

[19] Krippendorff, K. (2004). Content analysis: an introduction to its methodology. 2nd ed. Thousands Oaks, London, New Delhi: SAGE Publications.

[20] Küntzel, S. (2012). The local dimension of active inclusion policy. Journal of European Social Policy 22(1), 3-16. DOI: 10.1177/0958928711425270.

[21] Marsden, T. (1998). New rural territories: regulating the differentiated rural spaces. Journal of Rural Studies 14(1), 107-117. DOI: 10.1016/S0743-0167(97)00041-7.

[22] Matthies, A.-L., Kattilakoski, M. & Rantamäki, N. (2011). Citizens participation and community orientation - indicators of social sustainability of rural welfare services. Nordic Social Work Research 1(2), 125-139. DOI: 10.1080/2156857X.2011.613575.

[23] Matthies, A.-L. (2014). How participation, marginalization and welfare are connected. In Matthies, A.-L. & Uggerhøj, L., eds., Participation, marginalization and welfare services: Concepts, politics and practices across European countries (pp. 3-18). Farnham, Burlington: Ashgate.

[24] Mewes, J. & Mau, S. (2013). Globalization, socio-economic status and welfare chauvinism: European perspectives on attitudes toward the exclusion of immigrants. International Journal of Comparative Sociology 54(3), 228-245. DOI: 0.1177/0020715213494395.

[25] Morse, J. M. & Niehaus, L. (2009). Mixed method design: principles and procedures. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge.

[26] Osti, G. (2010). Mobility demands and participation in remote rural areas. Sociologia Ruralis 50(3), 296-310. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2010.00517.x.

[27] Rantamäki, N. & Kattilakoski, M. (2016). Local welfare systems in rural Finland as a representation of sustainable development. In Matthies, A-L. & Närhi, K., eds., The ecosocial transition of societies: The contribution of social work and social policy (pp. 174-189). London: Routledge.

[28] Reimer, B. (2004). Social exclusion in a comparative context. Sociologia Ruralis 44(1), 76-94. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2004.00263.x.

[29] Room, G. (1995). Beyond the threshold: The measurement and analysis of social exclusion. Bristol: The Policy Press.

[30] Room, G. (1999). Social exclusion, solidarity and the challenge of globalization. International Journal of Social Welfare 8(3), 166-174. DOI: 10.1111/1468-2397.00080.

[31] Rubin, H. & Rubin, I. (2012). The qualitative interviewing: The art of hearing data. London: SAGE Publications.

[32] Saari, J. (2011). Hyvinvoinnin kentät. In Saari, J., ed., Hyvinvointi: Suomalaisen yhteiskunnan perusta. Helsinki: Gaudeamus Helsinki University Press.

[33] Sen, A. (1993). Capability and well-being. In Nussbaum, M. & Amartya, S., eds., The quality of life (pp. 30-53). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

[34] Shorthall, S. (2004). Exclusion zones: inadequate resources and civic rights in rural areas. Sociologia Ruralis 44(1), 40-42. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2004.00260.x.

[35] Shortall, S. (2008). Are rural development programmes socially inclusive? Social inclusion, civic engagement, participation, and social capital: exploring the differences. Journal of Rural Studies 24, 450-457. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2008.01.001.

[36] Shucksmith, M. (2004). Young people and social exclusion in rural areas. Rural Studies 44(1), 43-59. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2004.00261.x.

[37] Shucksmith, M., Cameron, S., Merridew, T. & Pichler, F. (2009). Urban-rural differences in quality of life across the European Union. Regional Studies 43(10), 1275-1289. DOI: 10.1080/00343400802378750.

[38] Siisiäinen, M. (2014). Four Faces of Participation. In Matthies, A.-L. & Uggerhøj, L., eds., Participation, marginalization and welfare services: Concepts, politics and practices across European countries (pp. 29-46). Farnham, Burlington: Ashgate.

[39] Tuuva-Hongisto, S., Pöysä, V. & Armila, P. (2016). Syrjäkylien nuoret- unohdetut kuntalaiset? Helsinki: Kunnallisalan kehittämissäätiön, Tutkimusjulkaisu-sarjan julkaisu 99.

[40] Vaarama, M., Moisio, P. & Karvonen, S. (2010). Hyvinvointipolitiikka 2010-luvulla. Vaarama, M., Moisio, P. & Karvonen, S. eds., Suomalaisten hyvinvointi 2010 (pp. 278-286). Helsinki: National Institute for Health and Welfare.

[41] Veenhoven, R. (2000a). The Four Qualities of Life. Journal of Happiness Studies 1(1), 1-39. DOI: 10.1023/A:1010072010360.

[42] Veenhoven, R. (2000b). Well‐being in the welfare state: level not higher, distribution not more equitable. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice 2(1), 91-125. DOI: 10.1080/13876980008412637.

[43] Veenhoven, R. (2002). Why social policy needs subjective indicators. Social Indicators Research 58, 33-45. DOI: 10.1007/0-306-47513-8_3.

[44] Walsh, K., O’Shea, E., Scharf, T. & Shucksmith, M. (2014). Exploring the impact of informal practices on social exclusion and age-friendliness for older people in rural communities. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology 24(1), 37-49. DOI: 10.1002/casp.2176.

[45] Willis, J. W., Muktha, J. & Nilakanta, R. (2007). Foundations of qualitative research: interpretive and critical approaches. Thousands Oaks, London, New Delhi: SAGE Publications.

[46] Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research: design and methods, 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

[47] Basic Education Act 628/1998.

[48] Health Care Act 1326/2010.

[49] Local Government Act 410/2015.

[50] Ministry of Finance (2015) Kuntien itsehallinnolliset tehtävät ja niiden laajuus. Valtiovarainministeriön julkaisuja 40/2015.

[51] Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (2017). Promoting participation Accessed 8.8.2017.

[52] Rural Policy Programme 2014-2020. Mahdollisuuksien maaseutu. Työ- ja elinkeinoministeriön julkaisuja, Alueiden kehittäminen 9/2014.

[53] Siun sote (2016). Treaty of federation of North Karelia municipalities.

[54] Social Welfare Act 1301/2014.

[55] SYKE, Finnish Environment Institute (2014). Urban-rural classification. Published 18.3.2014.

[56] Statistics Finland (2017). Key figures on population by region in 1990 to 2016. Demographic dependency ratio 2016. Updated 22.9.2017.

[57] The Strategic Programme of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s Government (2015). Finland, a land of solutions. Government Publications 12/2015.

[58] THL, Sotkanet (2017a). Unemployed people, as % of labour force, Regions, 2016. accessed 10.8.2017.

[59] THL, Sotkanet (2017b). THL’s morbidity index, age standardised, Regions, 2014. accessed 10.6.2017.

European Countryside

The Journal of Mendel University in Brno

Journal Information


CiteScore 2017: 0.78

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.265
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.607

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 160 160 36
PDF Downloads 113 113 19