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Browsing by Author "Kankaanpää, Liisa"

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  • Kankaanpää, Liisa (2023)
    This master’s thesis focuses on the relationship immigrants have with urban nature and the possible link between spending time in nature and integration. The research questions focus on the experiences immigrants have with urban nature, the meaning and value they give to it as well as its possible effects on their integration. Five individual, semi-structured interviews were conducted in order to answer these questions. The transcribed interview material was analysed using a thematic analysis method. The results of this analysis showed six themes, divided into two domains: reasons for spending time in nature and factors affecting nature behaviour. Interviews demonstrated nature’s positive effects on overall well-being and thus also integration, even though interviewees were not themselves very aware of this connection. However, all described that their ways of spending time in nature had changed between their home country and Finland. Many also demonstrated a “nature-lover” identity: nature had been important to them already from early childhood. Nature’s role in immigrant integration has been proved in various studies, yet its applications remain limited, and the existing knowledge is fragmented. Few studies concentrate on the ways individuals can take advantage of nature-related activities in their own integration. This thesis shows that spending time in nature and doing different nature-related activities can prove useful in integration but seems to relate more to the person’s individual identity rather than their ethnicity or immigration status.