University of Oulu

Vehkalahti, K., Armila, P., & Sivenius, A. (2021). Emerging Adulthood in the Time of Pandemic: The COVID-19 Crisis in the Lives of Rural Young Adults in Finland. YOUNG.

Emerging adulthood in the time of pandemic : the COVID-19 crisis in the lives of rural young adults in Finland

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Author: Vehkalahti, Kaisa1; Armila, Päivi2; Sivenius, Ari2
Organizations: 1History, Culture and Communication Studies, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2University of Eastern Finland, Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Kuopio
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: SAGE Publications, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-08-20


This article discusses changes introduced into the everyday life and lifecourse dispositions of young adults in two sparsely populated regions in Finland during the COVID-19 lockdown period of spring 2020. By the age of 20, many of them had already spent some years living independently during their school years. Due to the pandemic, many had to move back to their rural home regions. This article shows that the sudden advent of the pandemic as a global risk and the restriction measures that followed affected these young, emerging adults in many ways, even though there were no infections in their immediate environments. Special attention is paid to their relationships with their remote home regions, which suddenly gained new, positive meanings in comparison to the global and national COVID-19 hotspots. The analysis is based on interviews conducted with 30 young adults in May 2020 and pre-existing longitudinal data from the same participants.

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Series: Young
ISSN: 1103-3088
ISSN-E: 1741-3222
ISSN-L: 1103-3088
Volume: In press
DOI: 10.1177/11033088211026502
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 5141 Sociology
Funding: The research received funding from the Finnish Academy projects ‘Rural Generations on the Move. Cultural History of Rural Youth, 1950–2020’ (Vehkalahti, no. 323105) and ‘Capturing Digital Social Inequality: Young digi-natives’ asymmetrical agencies within socio-technical imperatives and imaginaries’ (Armila, no. 330573).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 323105
Detailed Information: 323105 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021 SAGE Publications and YOUNG Editorial group. The final authenticated version is available online at