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274 Positive evidences for building safe and cohesive communities
  1. Ingrida Grigaityte
  1. Åbo Akademi University, Finland

Abstract

Background Närpes is a small Swedish-speaking town in Finland that became well-known for its multiculturalism, successful integration of immigrants and very low levels of violence. This paper explores evidences of different components existing within Närpes municipality that contribute to successful integration, life satisfaction of people and nonviolence. The aim of this paper is to exhibit violence prevention efforts within Närpes example and to discuss this small community’s accomplishments, actions and applicability in similar settings elsewhere.

Methods The research method consists of ethnographic participant observations, purposive sampling and analysis of archives. Ongoing participant observations have been conducted since 2013. For the sampling, six key informants were chosen that participated in the semi structured interviewing. Archival research includes collection of records, newspapers and various governmental and academic publications that are related to Närpes local culture, migration and crime statistics.

Results The Närpes example comprehends five main components: imbedded tradition of emigration and immigration, socio-economic equality and stability, pragmatic openness and tolerance to different cultures and religions, personality, values and multi-social identities of Närpes inhabitants and a tight cooperation between the municipality organisations, CSOs, employers and people themselves that create a positive circle of successful actions.

Conclusions Närpes has been able to create an environment where people can successfully integrate and manage their social lives nonviolently. By looking at this example, economic security, social interdependence and cohesion within the inhabitants of small towns not only contribute to a successful integration but also to the low levels of violence and crime. For this example to work elsewhere, equal working and education opportunities as well as social and cultural activeness of people should be considered.

  • safe community
  • Närpes
  • multiculturalism
  • nonviolence

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