6. Green Care Activity System in the Context of Rural Development

The objective of the PhD study is to explore the evolution and state of “Green Care”, in Finland by applying Yrjö Engeström’s activity system model (1987). The activity theory gives instruments to understand the factors related to cultural history, which result in the present situation of the system. Consequently, the model may clarify the disturbances in the current form of the activity system, in this case Green Care - aspects that are poorly aligned or inadequate in certain way.

Furthermore, it is assumed that exploring Green Care as an activity system embedded in different socio-cultural and political contexts will give insights of evolution of Green Care in other countries, and even more broadly, evolution of a new rural activity. In other words, by studying Green Care as a rural activity system, it might be possible to understand the conditions of evolution of new activities (social innovations) in rural areas.

Research questions of the PhD study are:

  1. How the Green Care concept have been modified in Finland trough different stages of an expansive learning cycle, as forms of intensive debates and discussions represented by different actors?
  2. What kinds of Green Care service types have been structured, and how is it possible to analyze them by using the Activity Theory System model? What could be learned from the analysis?
  3. Which kind of effects and impacts the Green Care actions have had, and may have, on the rural areas, and how can we assess them?
  4. How the Green Care Activity System is bound to the national service systems of some European countries, Finland among them?

Participant: Elina Vehmasto