Ria-Maria Adams at the Arctic Centre, in Arktikum building in Rovaniemi.
Ria-Maria Adams, living in Austria, worked as a visiting researcher at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland throughout her doctoral research. Photo: Santeri Happonen.

Dissertation on young people’s wellbeing in Northern Finland

4.3.2024 10:14

Ria-Maria Adams focuses on her ethnographic study on young people’s perspectives on wellbeing in northern Finland, arguing for a shift from rigid definitions of wellbeing towards a more fluid understanding of the concept.

In her dissertation, Ria-Maria Adams looks at different reasons why young people leave, stay or move to Northern Finland, addressing issues of wellbeing from the young people’s own perspectives. 

In her multi-sited research, Adams interviewed young people aged 16 - 29 living in northern Finland. Educational and career opportunities, as well as access to nature and nature-based activities, were key factors in wellbeing and influenced the decision-making process of young people in the region.

Relations with the community, family and friends also had a significant impact on wellbeing, as did the access to mobility, housing, infrastructure and the availability of services. 

Finding a place to study and a job are key issues in young people's lives. Young people in the North seem to be willing to compromise on career-related issues.

– Regardless of the field of work, open job vacancies were seen as opportunities and people were willing to look for a job in the surrounding municipalities or work remotely, says Adams.

Adams’ dissertation consists of five peer-reviewed, published articles and a synthesis that brings together different views of young people, ranging from rural youth in pre-industrial communities to young lifestyle migrants in Finnish Lapland. The dissertation provides distinct answers to what young people consider the central building blocks of a good life, highlighting aspects of age and agency. 

The thesis was supervised by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Peter Schweitzer and Prof. Dr. Florian Stammler. Adams has been a visiting researcher at the Arctic Centre throughout her entire research. Her public defense was held at University of Vienna on 27th of February at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

4.3. Ria Maria Adams PhD Defence_Cristóbal Adam 550x367.png
The public defense of Ria-Maria Adams was held at University of Vienna on 27th of February. Photo: Cristóbal Adam.

More information:

Ria-Maria Adams
+358 40 484 4035