Hermeneutic-Phenomenological Interpretation of Coronavirus Experiences, Their Meanings, and the Prospects of Young Finns in Education and the Labor Market in Lapland
Societies 2022, 12(4), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc12040112 (registering DOI) - 06 Aug 2022
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In this paper I reflect on the methodological concepts of youth research, utilizing a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach to the interpretation of interview data from young adults who have been on short-term work or distant education at Finnish ski resorts in Lapland during the coronacirus
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In this paper I reflect on the methodological concepts of youth research, utilizing a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach to the interpretation of interview data from young adults who have been on short-term work or distant education at Finnish ski resorts in Lapland during the coronacirus pandemic. The study received background from a previous study “From higher education to working life: Work values of young Finns in changing labor markets". I try to distance myself from this research by interpreting young people’s coronavirus experiences and future perspectives hermeneutic-phenomenologically. In the spring of 2021, I interviewed a total of ten (5 women and 5 men) young people aged 19 to 27 I met at the ski resorts. Interviews on young people’s coronavirus experiences and their implications for the transitions from education to employment and future orientations were semi-structured, partly discussions of topics related to education, work and transition to adulthood combined with young people’s COVID-19 experiences and their implications. In the interviews, young people combined their previous life experiences and perceptions of the world with the coronavirus experiences. The coronavirus experiences of young people were situational. The study analyzes the individual experiences of young people with the COVID-19 pandemic, describing them with own youth spoken language, and interpreting the essential contents of the meanings hermeneutic-phenomenologically. The COVID-19 interpretations of young people had positive and negative meanings to their transitions in education and the labor market. The basic themes that cut across the entire material were: 1) The small impact of the pandemic on the young person's own life. 2) The uncertainty of life and uncertain future and 3) the experienced loneliness, which can provide for youth to confront their true selves. The implications of these results are discussed in the article, which also critically considers the applicability of the hermeneutic-phenomenological research, and discusses about ethical points of the study of young people in exceptional contexts.