Old Women and Men as Political Actors in Finnish Lapland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


The purpose of this article is to study how gender and age relate to positions of power in municipal politics and examine the possibilities for and restrictions on old people’s political agency in the intersections of socio-economic status and gender. Politics is understood in a broad sense as including participation in municipal decision making, active involvement in organisations and engaging in voluntary work. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected, comprising statistics on the age and gender of board members, chairpersons and managers in 21 municipalities in Finnish Lapland, as well as a case interview of a politically active retired couple. The results indicate that older people in the region actively take part in municipal politics and that older men in particular play an important role in decision making. The analysis of the interview identified the following conditions for active participation: education, participation in working life, economic situation and health. Ageism, resulting from the cult of youth and the politics of austerity, was interpreted as an obstacle to participation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Challenges to Ageing in the Rural North
Subtitle of host publication A Critical Interdisciplinary Perspective
EditorsPäivi Naskali, Joan R. Harbison, Shahnaj Begum
Pages 207-223
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-20603-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-20602-4
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

SeriesInternational Perspectives on Aging

Field of science

  • Gender studies
  • Social policy


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