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Kikimora Publications Series A5

Sari Hanhinen:

Social Problems in Transition. Perceptions of Influential Groups in Estonia, Russia and Finland

Kikimora Publications : Series A5. 2001
ISBN 951-45-9636-6
262 p.

5 EUR + VAT 10 %


Sari Hanhinen has studied at the University of Helsinki and at the School of Slavonic and East-European Studies, University of London. Now she is working as a lecturer at the Department of Social Policy, University of Helsinki. Her research interests include studies of social problems and drug issues, social change in transition societies and the Nordic welfare states.

This book examines how influential groups perceive social problems in Estonia, Russia and Finland. The context of the study is the ongoing "Eastern transition" in Estonia and Russia and the "Western transformation" in Finland. Each is changing the accustomed ways of defining and treating social problems. The data consists of focus-group interviews with journalists, administrators and business people. The interviews were conducted in Tallinn, St. Petersburg and Helsinki in 1995-1996.

The book suggests that, for all three countries, the determining factor in how social problems are perceived are the heavy social costs of transition and transformation. Furthermore, the results indicate that the welfare systems created during the post-war era are now being partly dismantled in all three countries. However, in the opinion of the influential groups, there is no overall disillusionment with big state solutions to social problems.