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Sense of belonging among people outside of working life in Finland

Elina Turunen (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland) (University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland)
Heikki Hiilamo (University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland) (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 28 October 2022

46

Abstract

Purpose

For social inclusion, it is necessary to have a sense of belonging to society, whether having a job or not. Experience of belonging means feeling a part of something beyond oneself. It can be a place, a moment, a situation or a group of people.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors study how unemployed people experience their place in a society; more specifically, the authors analyse which emotions and affects encourage (and discourage) the sense of belongingness among the unemployed. Emotions and affects were examined in 10 focus group interviews collected in Finland between 2016 and 2017. The data was analysed using qualitative content analysis.

Findings

The results demonstrate that sense of belonging is enhanced by affects such as being needed, being accepted and experiencing equal treatment. To achieve these affects, promotion of social contacts, participation and contribution to the common good are important.

Originality/value

Previous studies have mostly ignored the role of emotions and affects in the experience of unemployment. The findings emphasize the importance of emotions and affects in promoting and eroding the sense of belonging among unemployed people.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Anna-Maria Isola and Mariitta Vaara from The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) gathered the interviews within the Project for the Promotion of Social Inclusion – Sokra. This coordination project supported the projects of the European Social Fund (priority axis 5). This work was supported by the Kone Foundation (Elina Turunen). The University of Helsinki provided language editing for the paper.

Citation

Turunen, E. and Hiilamo, H. (2022), "Sense of belonging among people outside of working life in Finland", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-06-2022-0144

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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