A1 Journal article (refereed)
The intricate diversity of human–nature relations : Evidence from Finland (2024)

Raatikainen, K. J., Tupala, A.-K., Niemelä, R., & Laulumaa, A.-M. (2024). The intricate diversity of human–nature relations : Evidence from Finland. Ambio, 53(2), 181-200. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-023-01933-1

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsRaatikainen, Kaisa J.; Tupala, Anna-Kaisa; Niemelä, Riikka; Laulumaa, Anna-Mari

Journal or seriesAmbio



Publication year2024

Publication date29/09/2023


Issue number2

Pages range181-200

PublisherSpringer; Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Publication countrySweden

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/89329


Supporting sustainability requires understanding human–nature relations, which we approached as social constructions that can be studied through nature-related discourses. We examined human–nature relations in Finland by combining approaches from environmental social sciences and arts-based research into a mixed-methods design. A public online survey (n = 726) and post-performance audience interviews (n = 71) portrayed nature positively. Respondents’ ideas of nature ranged from natural scientific to philosophical; from dualistic to holistic; and from ecocentric to anthropocentric. A factor analysis revealed discourses focusing on wellbeing, conservation, ecoanxiety, pro-environmentalism, outdoor activity, and enjoying nature. Interviews added spiritual and over-generational aspects and revealed the importance of embodied experiences in nature relations. We identified dimensions that structure the relations, including human–nature positionality, engagement and contact with nature, and conception and thought. The emotional and experiential aspects, and nature-related practices, deserve further research. We demonstrate how a diversity of human–nature relations co-exists and co-evolves.

Keywordsrelation to naturenaturesustainable developmentsustainability sciencediscourse researchinterdisciplinary research

Free keywordsart&science; mixed-methods; nature connectedness; relationalism; sustainability; transdisciplinary research

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

Preliminary JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-03-07 at 01:26