Northern Rural Youth in Flux (NorFlux) focuses on one of the most profound historical changes that Finland has encountered during the last century: the drastic transition from a predominantly agrarian society into an urban society. The project regenerates methodologies of history, youth studies, cultural studies, education and rural studies in order to identify important cultural and social shifts in the construction of Northern rural youth from late 19th century up until the present.
The continued economic crisis has hit rural areas hard and accentuated both regional and generational differences all over Europe and other Western countries. Economic uncertainty, school closures and centralisation of both public and commercial services are challenging rural communities. Current challenges are complicated not only from the perspective of young people and their families, but also from the perspective of regional planning, economy and decision-making. Northern rural young people are an especially vulnerable group ‘in flux’: subject to continuous change and uncertainty.
The NorFlux -project focuses on the trajectories of rural young people in the past and in the present, as well as on future oriented social innovations aimed at young population in Northern and Arctic areas. The project aims at:
1) identification of important cultural and social shifts in the construction of Northern and Arctic rural youth from late 19th century up until the present;
2) contextualisation of current changes and challenges in a longer historical and global perspective;
3) analysis of the meanings of locality and history for rural young people;
4) future oriented social innovations aimed at young population in Northern and Arctic areas;
5) incorporation of historical research into rural studies and childhood and youth studies.
NorFlux is located in the cross-disciplinary research group Northern Research Group for History of Childhood and Education (LAPANEN) . The Project collaborates with research communities Transformation and Social Innovation for Sustainable Arctic Communities (TransArct) and Multispecies Childhoods in the North – How changing human–animal communities affect children’s lives (AniMate).