Community belongingness and subjective well-being among unemployed people in a Finnish community
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CitationToikko, Timo. Pehkonen, Aini. (2018). Community belongingness and subjective well-being among unemployed people in a Finnish community. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 38 (9/10) , 754-765. 10.1108/IJSSP-01-2018-0010.
Purpose – Community belongingness (CB) has been found to be positively associated with subjective well-being (SWB). Scholars have verified this connection with different social groups. In the present study, the authors are interested in the group of unemployed people and compare their situation to employed people. Specifically, the purpose of this paper is to examine whether a sense of community belonging prevents negative impacts of unemployment on SWB.
Design/methodology/approach – The study is based on a survey conducted in 2016. The data consists of 830 respondents from which 723 had the labor market status (LMS) of employed people and 107 had the LMS of unemployed people.
Findings – The results of this study show that there are both positive and negative factors which support or weaken CB. Interpersonal trust supports the sense of community belonging of individuals, but loneliness weakens their CB. However, unemployed people have a lower rate of CB and SWB comparing to employed people. Furthermore, CB is positively associated with SWB, but this connection is conditional in order that a high rate of CB buffers the negative impacts of unemployment.
Originality/value – The study emphasizes the significance of CB as a basis of SWB. On the other hand, the negative impacts of unemployment can be mitigated by supporting integration of unemployed people into social communities. From a sociopolitical view, the results underline the fact that governmental measurements promote the social inclusion of unemployed people.