A1 Journal article (refereed)
Ecosocial work and services for unemployed people : the challenge to integrate environmental and social sustainability (2021)

Stamm, I. (2021). Ecosocial work and services for unemployed people : the challenge to integrate environmental and social sustainability. Nordic Social Work Research, Early online. https://doi.org/10.1080/2156857X.2021.1975154

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Stamm, Ingo

Journal or series: Nordic Social Work Research

ISSN: 2156-857X

eISSN: 2156-8588

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 08/09/2021

Volume: Early online

Publisher: Routledge

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/2156857X.2021.1975154

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/78628


Sustainability in the context of labour market and unemployment policies is usually understood as mere cost-efficiency. The environmental and social dimensions of sustainability are missing. This article discusses the meaning of sustainability in this field of policy and practice in a medium-size city in Finland. It focuses on services for unemployed people and the role of social work. The paper aims to contribute to the knowledge base on sustainable welfare in a Nordic context and on ecosocial work in Finland. It is structured by two main questions. 1) How is ‘sustainability’ perceived and interpreted in the context of services for unemployed people? 2) What potential for eco-social policies can be identified in the field? The data was collected through expert interviews with various actors in the field. The data analysis followed the constructivist grounded theory approach, as well as sequential analysis according to objective hermeneutics. The results reveal a number of valuable ideas and concepts for future eco-social policies. However, an integrated eco-social approach was largely missing from the field. The analysis further reveals a fragmented picture of numerous meanings, interpretations, and concepts of sustainability. This leads to the conclusion that social work needs to clarify its own role regarding sustainability, drawing on the concept of its third mandate. This will enable social workers to become sustainability experts at the local level – for and with their clients.

Keywords: unemployed people; social services; employment services; sustainable development

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Ministry reporting: No, publication in press

JUFO rating: 1

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 15:27