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Browsing by Author "Weckroth, Mikko"

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  • Weckroth, Mikko (Helsingin yliopistoHelsingfors universitetUniversity of Helsinki, 2011)
    The aim of this masters thesis was to examine subjective wellbeing and personal happiness. Empirical study of happiness is part of broader wellbeing research and is based on an idea that the best experts of personal wellbeing are the individuals themselves. In addition to perceptions of personal happiness, the aim was also to acquire knowledge about personal values and components personal happiness is based on. In this study, moving into certain community and the characteristics of neigbourhood contributing happiness, were defined to represent these values. The object was, through comparative case-study, to obtain knowledge about subjective wellbeing of the individuals in two different residential areas inside metropolitan area of Helsinki. In comparative case study the intention usually is that the examined units represent spesific 'cases' from something broader and therefore the results can be somehow generalized. Consequently the chosen cases in this study were selected due to their image of 'urban village' and thus the juxtapositioning was constructed between secluded post-suburban village and more heterogeneous urban village better attached to existing urban structure. The research questions were formed as follows: Are there any differences between the areas regarding the components personal happiness is based on? Are there any differences between the areas regarding the level of residents subjective wellbeing? Based on the residents assessments, what are the most important characteristics of neighbourhood contributing personal happiness? The data used in order to gain answers to these questions was obtained from internet-based survey questionnaire. Based on the data residents of post-suburban village Sundsberg seem to share highly family oriented set of values and actualizing these values is ensured with high income, wealth and secure work situation. Instead in Kumpula the components of happiness seem place more towards learning and personal development, interesting leisure and hobbies and specially having an influence regarding communal decisions. Concerning subjective wellbeing of residents there can be seen some differences as well. Personal life is experienced a bit more happier in Sundsberg than in Kumpula. People are more satisfied with their personal health and job satisfaction in Sundsberg and additionally feelings of loneliness, inadequancy and frustration are bit more common in Kumpula. Regarding the characteristics of neighbourhood contributing happiness data suggests that key characteristics of area are peacefulness and safely, good location and connections and proximity of parks and recreational areas. These characteristics were considered highly significant in both areas but they were experienced to actualize better in Kumpula. In addition to these components the residents in Kumpula were overall more satisfied with various characteristics contributing happiness in their residential area. Besides these attributes mentioned above residents in Kumpula emphasize also some 'softer' elements connecting into social, functional and communal side of area. From Sundsberg point of view residential area best contributing happiness is child friendly and safe community based on likeminded people who share the same socio-economical situation. The results of this study can be linked back into the society and metropolitan area, which they were chosen from as a cases to be studied. The results can thereby be seen as an example of differentation of conditions of personal happiness between certain population segments. It is possible to detect an spatial dimension to this process as well and thereby the results suggests that regional segmentation affects between high-ranking residential areas as well. Thereby the results of this research contributes to the debate on innovative, diverse and dynamic urban area and as well cohesion of metropolitan area and the society in whole.