Tampere, Finland: Community, Work, and Family Conference

Post in: German

From May 19-21, about 200 scientists from all over the world – over 80 of whom were from Finland – and multiple disciplines came together to think and talk about the future of work and family in context at the fourth international Community, Work and Family Conference in Tampere, Finland. This conference series started in 2005 and was founded by the editors of the Journal „Community, Work and Family“ (CWF), published by Taylor & Francis. This year’s conference was beautifully organized by the Centre for Social Research at the University of Tampere, Finland. Special areas were:

  • Active citizenship
  • Care: ideas, practices and policies
  • Flexibility, security and restructuring the life course
  • Climate change, communities and sustainable work
  • Work, family and life integration
  • Globalization, insecurity and localities
  • Diversity of families
  • Ruptured structures and everyday realities
  • Ageing, gender and work
  • Restructuring organizations, management and well-being

The quality of the presentations was exceptional: I especially appreciated the opportunity to enhance my understanding of how welfare regimes in the Nordic countries and the UK are shaping the life chances and work-family landscape for their residents.
I presented a paper, „The Relevance of Place for Styles of Community Involvement,“ coauthored with Professor Penny Edgell. In it, we identify four discrete categories of community involvement and find that geographic community seems to correlate with the style of community involvement that individuals use. Social-structural location (such as family stage, work situation, and gender) also plays a role. We will be submitting the paper for review shortly.

Some excellent questions from the conference: What is the good society? What is the Big Society? What is quality of life, and how can it be measured and compared cross-nationally? How can people „take back their time“? Who are the „invisible stakeholders“ and how can their needs be accounted for? How do work and family conflict with each other in terms of behaviors within both domains? The conference was a fascinating experience, professionally and personally.

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