A1 Journal article (refereed)
Ecosocial work and services for unemployed people : the challenge to integrate environmental and social sustainability (2023)

Stamm, I. (2023). Ecosocial work and services for unemployed people : the challenge to integrate environmental and social sustainability. Nordic Social Work Research, 13(1), 134-147. https://doi.org/10.1080/2156857X.2021.1975154

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsStamm, Ingo

Journal or seriesNordic Social Work Research



Publication year2023

Publication date08/09/2021


Issue number1

Pages range134-147


Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially 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.

Keywordsunemployed peoplesocial servicesemployment servicessustainable development

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

Preliminary JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 17:16