G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)
Maaseudun paikallisyhteisöjen sosiaalisesti kestävä kehitys : suuntaviivoja kestävälle hyvinvointipolitiikalle (2022)
Socially sustainable development of rural communities : guidelines for a sustainable welfarepolicy

Rantamäki, N. (2022). Maaseudun paikallisyhteisöjen sosiaalisesti kestävä kehitys : suuntaviivoja kestävälle hyvinvointipolitiikalle [Doctoral dissertation]. Jyväskylän yliopisto. JYU Dissertations, 548. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-9180-7

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Rantamäki, Niina

eISBN: 978-951-39-9180-7

Journal or series: JYU Dissertations

eISSN: 2489-9003

Publication year: 2022

Number in series: 548

Number of pages in the book: 1 verkkoaineisto (105 sivua, 38 sivua useina numerointijaksoina, 54 numeroimatonta sivua)

Publisher: Jyväskylän yliopisto

Place of Publication: Jyväskylä

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: Finnish

Persistent website address: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-9180-7

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel


This research examines local welfare solutions that have emerged and developed in rural communities within the framework of social sustainability. Its objective is to analyse 1) what kind of social sustainability do the welfare solutions of rural communities embody, and 2) what kind of perspectives do they open for a socially sustainable welfare policy. In this study, social sustainability is understood as a feature of communities and communal activities and as a space where different dimensions of sustainable development are combined with human action. The values and goals that determine social sustainability are manifested in the functioning of economic, political, and cultural systems in society. The scientific-philosophical foundation of this research is classical pragmatism, which emphasises the practical nature of knowledge and the practical role of truth and meanings as its value basis. This research consists of four previously published articles and a summary connecting them. The implementation of the research follows the multimethodological case study strategy. The methodological approaches used are survey study, participatory observation, interviews, and field visits. The data consists of a survey conducted with third-sector organizations providing services, notes from the discussions and collaborative meetings, individual and group interviews, documentary and statistical data, and observation diaries. For data analysis, both quantitative analysis methods and data- and theory-driven content analysis have been utilised. The research reinforces the notion of social sustainability both as an end goal and as the process towards this objective. Based on the results of the research, a socially sustainable welfare policy takes shape as a practice for which social economy, the politics of resourcefulness, and co-governance provide an excellent foundation. The direction and tools for the implementation of a socially sustainable welfare policy are provided by three overarching principles. These are the experiential nature of daily life, holistic horizontality, and multi-dimensional participation. From the perspective of social work, the results highlight the need to draw attention to the forgotten tradition of community work.

Keywords: social work; regional social work; countryside; local communities; sustainable development; social sustainability; social policy; welfare policy; doctoral dissertations

Free keywords: social sustainability; sustainability transition; rural social work; welfare policy; pragmatism; multimethodological case study

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

Last updated on 2022-08-12 at 00:06