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Studying well-being and its environmental impacts : a case study of minimum income receivers in Finland

  • Current well-being research often overlooks human dependency on natural resources and undervalues the way environmental impacts affect human activities. This article argues that the capability approach provides an applicable framework for inquiring into ecologically sustainable well-being. Therefore, this pilot study aims to develop a research method for integrating the measurement of natural resource use with capability-based well-being research. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 18 Finnish minimum income receivers and their natural resource use (material footprints) was measured in five central functionings by using the Material Input Per Unit of Service (MIPS) method. The connections between capabilities, functionings andCurrent well-being research often overlooks human dependency on natural resources and undervalues the way environmental impacts affect human activities. This article argues that the capability approach provides an applicable framework for inquiring into ecologically sustainable well-being. Therefore, this pilot study aims to develop a research method for integrating the measurement of natural resource use with capability-based well-being research. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 18 Finnish minimum income receivers and their natural resource use (material footprints) was measured in five central functionings by using the Material Input Per Unit of Service (MIPS) method. The connections between capabilities, functionings and material footprints are interpreted from a person-centered perspective in order to explain the individual variety in material footprints. The results show that the material footprints of minimum income receivers are smaller than with an average Finn but they still exceed what is estimated to be an ecologically sustainable level of natural resource use.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Document Type:Peer-Reviewed Article
Author:Tuuli Hirvilammi, Senja Laakso, Michael Lettenmeier, Satu Lähteenoja
Year of Publication:2013
Language:English
Source Title (English):Journal of human development and capabilities
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/19452829.2012.747490
Volume:14
Issue:1
First Page:134
Last Page:154
Division:Nachhaltiges Produzieren und Konsumieren
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Sozialwissenschaften