FRÅN LIVSLEDA TILL LIVSMOD : Unga människors erfarenheter av arbetslöshet och stödåtgärder

Sammanfattning: The overall aim of this dissertation is to increase our understanding of what it is like to live as an unemployed young person, by looking at young people’s narratives. An additional aim is to explore and describe how unemployed young people’s experiences of participating in a support project can be understood from a caring science perspective. The overall questions addressed in the dissertation are: What does living in unemployment mean to a young person? How can a resource center for unemployed young people provide care? The dissertation includes a compilation of four scientific articles and an introductory chapter; it has a descriptive design and a hermeneutical approach. The dissertation starts from four meta-concepts used in caring science: human being, health, caring, and the world. These meta-concepts are the mainstays of the dissertation, at the same time as they give the research themes their caring science framework. The informants were 15 unemployed Finnish young men, aged 18-27 years, and 12 unemployed Finnish young women, aged 18-26 years. All had been out of work for between two and six months. The data were gathered by means of semi-structured interviews. The interviews were examined using content analysis and hermeneutic interpretation. To increase understanding of the dissertation’s themes as related to caring science, empirical results from the four studies were connected to elements of caring science theory taken from Katie Eriksson’s caritative caring theory. In summary, the results pertaining to the young men’s and women’s experiences of unemployment can be likened to a kind of suffering or weariness of life. Activities at the resource center for unemployed young people were characterized by Eriksson’s caring science concepts of tend, play and learn. Tending was revealed in how the young people were made to feel appreciated and accepted as the persons they were and are. The concepts play and learn were revealed in how the unemployed young people were given opportunities to express their dreams for the future and to dare to see other perspectives. At the resource center, positive caring powers could be identified – powers that worked together to enable the transition from suffering and weariness of life to a feeling of zest and the courage to face life. It can be established, in summary, that unemployment affects young people’s health. Not only for the unemployed individual, but also for society at large, it should be of great value to characterize the everyday life and reality of the unemployed at an early stage, and to move those who are suffering into a caring context in order to, if all goes well, replace weariness of life with the courage to face life.

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