Structured fabrics of everyday life: Subject-scientific perspective on maintaining and changing life conditions in learning contexts of adulthood

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

University of Oulu, Martti Ahtisaari -hall (L2)

Topic of the dissertation

Structured fabrics of everyday life: Subject-scientific perspective on maintaining and changing life conditions in learning contexts of adulthood

Doctoral candidate

Master of Arts (Education) Maria Peltola

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Education, Values, Ideologies and Social Contexts of Education

Subject of study

Educational psychology


Associate professor Maja Røn Larsen, Roskilde University, Denmark


Docent Teemu Suorsa, University of Oulu

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In remote studies, the fabrics of everyday living can be dense and fragile

Modern technology creates possibilities to reconcile different parts of life, such as study, work, and family life. In technology-mediated everyday life, we can be bodily present in one place and, through technology, connected to one or more other activities or conversations. Through remote connections, transitions from one place to another are fast. The connection to one thing does not have to be completely cut off when you can start being partly present in somewhere else. The fabrics of everyday living can be fragile if the activity is prone to interruptions and connections are loose. Overlapping of life scenes, conflicting demands, and expectations increase density. It is not only a range of current requirements to be handled, but also internalised meaning structures, cultural practices, and values.

The doctoral research examines the relationship between space and structure in two learning contexts of adulthood: multidisciplinary collaboration of school professionals and technology-mediated remote studies. The research material consists of the descriptions of the participants own everyday life. According to the findings of the research, space for agency is shaped firstly by concrete places, conditions, and life scenes and secondly by practices, functions and transitions linked to them. The third dimension is the experience of the space, which takes place within certain environments and practices. People also constantly modify their experience by changing the surrounding conditions.

Development and learning new require sufficient space for free movement. Freedom and flexibility can sometimes set too much responsibility and pressure on the individual. The shaping of a more optimal space therefore also requires structures: groups to belong to, schedules, routines, and tangible material conditions. Different structures create continuity and security for learning new. Structures can also maintain and frame optimal spaces for free movement.

In the middle of everyday life, people seek to both maintain and change the conditions of their own life. This will inevitably affect learning new as well. The human ability to change and learn and adapt flexibly has long been of interest both in education and work. However, the perspective of maintaining life conditions haven’t got much attention. In order to learn new and go through changes, it is necessary to simultaneously maintain many other things, such as routines or important relationships. Recognizing how conditions are maintained can help support the individual and community in changes.
Last updated: 23.1.2024