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Voicing Relationality: The Nature Connectedness of Young Finnish Adults in the Promotion of Sustainability 

Julkaistu 29.7.2022


The contemporary planetary multi-crisis can arguably be attributed to the failure of humans’ relationship with nature. Reconnecting humans with nature is therefore a crucial lever for the sustainability transformation and to achieve the long-term well-being of both humans and nature. While nature connectedness (NC) has been studied quantitatively using various measures and scales, there is a need to complement this work with qualitative research that broadens and deepens the understanding of this phenomenon. This article is a qualitative inquiry into NC among 29 unemployed young adults (aged 20–29) in Finland. The data were collected in group interviews and it is noteworthy that the respondents lived in cities, since urbanites are often represented as disconnected from nature. The participants’ discourse on nature is analyzed with the help of a typology of NC constructed on the basis on three NC typologies found in recent research. NC’s linkage to a relational, multi-dimensional, and need-based conceptualization of well-being is also discussed, as is whether NC should be conceived of as a separate need category. All six dimensions of the typology of NC used in the analysis (material, cognitive, experiential, sensual/emotional, philosophical/spiritual, and compassion, care and commitment) could be detected in the respondents’ accounts. The article closes with a discussion of the implications of such manifestations of NC for promoting sustainability.

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Tuula Helne

Lisätietoja julkaisusta

  • Vertaisarvioitu: kyllä.
  • Avoin saatavuus: kyllä.
  • Koko viite: Helne, T. (2022). Voicing relationality: the nature connectedness of young Finnish adults in the promotion of sustainability. Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy, 18(1), 531-543.

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