Place, (In)Equality and Gender

A Mapping of Challenges and Best Practices in Relation to Gender, Education and Population Flows in Nordic Peripheral Areas

image of Place, (In)Equality and Gender

This mapping presents a selected overview of existing research on gender, education and population flows in the Nordic peripheral areas. These areas are faced with a series of challenges that cannot be analyzed nor solved without taking a gender perspective into account. The challenges relate to, for instance, altered living conditions caused by global changes, stagnated or negative economic development, decrease in the amount of workplaces (particularly in the traditionally male-dominated professions) as well as, not least, migration and depopulation which is partly due to the fact that the young people of the area (especially the women) move to bigger cities to educate themselves. The challenges in question are not only significant in relation to the viability and cohesion of the areas, but also for the men and women who live there and their mutual social relations.



Young Men and Masculinity/-ies in Peripheral Areas

As described in the beginning of this report, the literature shows that the men in the Nordic peripheral areas seem to be particularly affected by the restructuring of the labour market in the peripheral areas, and the changed living conditions, which are related to these changes. It has also previously been highlighted that the financial crisis of recent years has advanced this development more rapidly, which is why one does not talk about the recession, but about the mancession from an equality perspective. All of this should be considered in combination with the fact that today there is a strong focus on mobility and flexibility, which, according to the research literature, contributes to creating a special narration about the men ”staying behind” in the peripheral areas. In that debate, this group of men – and this seems to be the case across the Nordic countries – has been described as hostile towards transitions, uneducated and as losers, who are out of touch with the development/evolution of society. The fact that young men residing in the periphery may happen to have made conscious and deliberate decisions about their residence, education and profession, is to a lesser extent included as an element in the cross-Nordic debate.

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