The aim of the project is to study social inclusion among older adults from a minority perspective. We focus mainly on older Swedish and Finnish speakers in a local and regional minority context in bilingual municipalities in Finland, but also compare the Finnish context with other linguistic minority contexts in Europe and Canada. We conduct a literature review of research within this area and analyze existing quantitative data (Gerontological Regional Database [GERDA], Barometern, the Language Barometer, European Value Survey [EVS]). We have also collected qualitative data through semi-structured interviews.
The results from this interdisciplinary project are expected to lead to a higher degree of societal, scientific, and political awareness regarding older linguistic minorities in Swedish-speaking Finland, and the specific challenges concerning aging well for the Swedish speakers but also for other linguistic minority groups. The project contributes to strengthening the Minority profile at Åbo Akademi University and to expanding interdisciplinary collaboration within the university as well as with other universities where a strong tradition regarding research on linguistic minorities or social gerontology exists.
Members of the steering group of the project are PL Kjell Herberts, professor Åsa von Schoultz, and researcher/political advisor Johan Häggman.