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Geographies of Home-based Service Interactions at the Margins of Welfare in Finland and Sweden

Research project
Active research
Project size
707 355
Project period
2018 - 2020
Project owner
Department of Sociology and Work Science

Short description

During recent decades the Western world has witnessed a tum of professional care and control from institutions to communities, and more recently to home-spaces what we term as 'home turn'. In Finland and in Sweden, where this study is located in, there is a strong trend towards this newest form of community service provision. The study concentrates on 'home turn 'at the margins of welfare, namely
on the services targeted at adult with complex needs, suffering from poor mental health, substance abuse problems and, occasionally, homelessness. Our special interest is to focus on the tum from a spatial and interactional points of view; how homes and nearby communities as places of service interactions matter.

The similarities in the deinstitutionalisation processes, but also the slight difference in the speed of home tum, create a good basis to analyse and compare home-based service interactions

in Finland and Sweden. We set 4 intertwined objectives for the research project: 1) to examine how constructions of place matter in home-based services targeted at people with complex needs at the margins of welfare, 2) to scrutinise how workers and clients orient to place verbally and non verbally in service interactions, 3) to analyse how tensions between public vs private, support vs surveillance and inclusion vs exclusion are present in service interactions in home-spaces, and 4) to compare similarities and differences of home-based service interactions in different service settings, and both in Finland and Sweden.

The study combines concepts from two research-approaches; ethnomethodology and human geography (especially post-asulym geographies and geographies of care in home-spaces). Connecting human geography to ethnomethodology provides tools to make the material more visible, to show how place is very much part of social relations. The data will be gathered in mental health floating support services, in supported housing services a d in home-based intoxication services. The data will contain detailed field notes based on mobile ('shadowing') ethnography and recordings on interactions between workers and clients during the course of home visits. The study produces knowledge that has a clear societal relevance: what kind of impacts the policy shift leading to physical changes of service places (from institutions and offices to homes) has on micro level service interactions and eventually on the everyday lives of service users.

 

Researchers

Principal investigator, professor Kirsi Juhila, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University

Cecilia Hansen Löfstrand, Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg

Doris Lydahl, appointed by Tampere University to a post doc researcher post