Browsing by Subject "paikkakokemus"

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  • Saari, Miia (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Multiple studies have shown that an increasing percentage of children grow up in urban environments. This is not surprising as over half of the World's population is estimated to live in cities. The study of urban childhoods has shown that children no longer spend as much time outdoors, but instead meet friends and socialize indoors. The increase in an indoor lifestyle has been attributed to e.g. video games being available on home consoles and a decrease in the possibilities of children to move in their neigborhood independently due to increased traffic and fear of strangers. The goal of my own study has been to examine the sense of place of children living in environments that break the norms in an European context, in this case children living in the small village of Madale in Tanzania. An in-depth survey of the human-environment relationship with four children living a very traditional African lifestyle attempts to bring new perspective to the topic from a place that has not yet been subject to urbanization. I approached my topic through the examination of places of significance in the children's environment and the territories of the children's independent movement in their surroundings. Places of significance were generally places, which the children enjoyed and described as their favorite places. The study used observation and interviews as main methods together with photographs taken by the children and the GPS data gathered during their free time. The theoretical frame of reference of the study was built around humanistic geography and environmental psychology. My study concluded that the children's favorite places are commonly located at home and its surroundings. Favorite places located in the neighborhood were usually places that provided social and active affordances, for example for playing games with friends or free playing. By contrast favorite places at home provided space to relax and to be alone. The yards and streets surrounding the home were regarded as especially important places to meet friends, as the children felt themselves more free in these areas than at home. On the other hand the children also felt fear in the streets; especially at night when they restricted their time spent on the streets due to the fear of thieves and wild animals. The largest differences in the opportunities of the children to use their surroundings concerned the special territories of movement and their location in and out of the village.