Between mobility and belonging: the meanings of locality among youth in Lapland in the transition to adulthood

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The article analyses mobility and belonging to a place among young people living in rural areas in Finnish Lapland. Our focus is on the meanings of locality when young people make decisions concerning education, work and their living environment. The data consist of 24 interviews of persons in the transition stage to adulthood and in need of support in finding educational or training opportunities. The article highlights the diversity of young people’s aspirations as regards leaving, staying in or returning to their home region. We challenge the cultural discourse urging young people to move to growth centres from sparsely populated areas. Locality was found to play an important role in their lives and transitions. The key factors identified in the decisions of young people were embeddedness in one’s home region and local, social relations and the prospects of meaningful life choices in either the rural or urban context.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2018
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed