Accepted Paper:

Changing municipal boundaries and locality represented by local associations  


Niina Koskihaara (University of Turku)

Paper short abstract:

During the last decade, altogether 68 consolidations of municipalities have been implemented in Finland. According to the administrative aim more consolidations will be carried out in the future. The municipality reform has brought out the question of the significances of the locality.

Paper long abstract:

In my presentation, the focus will be on two movements which have long and significant history in Finland. These associations are local heritage associations and village associations. The activities of the associations are based on the locality, e.g. local heritage associations collect and preserve local heritage and village associations are focused on maintaining villageĀ“s vitality and pleasant character in Finnish countryside. The associations do not only preserve but also create locality by their operations.

The ongoing consolidations of municipalities have raised the questions what will happen to the identity of local inhabitants and how the locality is understood and represented after the consolidation. In this situation the role of local associations has been seen as an important actor to preserve both local culture and identity.

In this presentation, I will discuss what kind of effects the consolidations of municipalities have had on the operations of the local associations. Is the locality represented by the associations changed, and in what ways? Has the municipality reform brought new forms of the (co-)operation to the local level? I will also talk about how the local actors have experienced the consolidations of municipalities, and how their experiences and opinions are reflected in the activities of local associations.

This presentation is based on my fieldwork interviews with the local association actors. The ongoing doctoral research is financed by Finnish Cultural Foundation and it is also part of the project about the consolidation of municipalities financed by Kone Foundation.

Panel P33
Locality and cultural processes