Residents’ Agency Makes a Difference in Volunteering in an Urban Neighbourhood
Lund, Virpi; Juujärvi, Soile (2018)
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
In this case study, we aimed to investigate residents’ agency through their participation in the development of their residential area in the city of Espoo, Finland. With the aid of seven themes, we identified by thematic analysis five types of residents in terms of agency: free floaters, home troops and helpers, representative information brokers, informed reviewers, and change agents. Relational agency, rooted from the cultural-historical activity theory, necessitated recognizing the available resources, understanding the motives of others, and collaborating in joint activities. The results of 30 interviews showed that residents are willing to participate, and they need space and structure to exploit their relational agency in order to build common interests in their neighbourhood. The findings are discussed with reference to the potential of residents’ agency while participating in neighbourhood governance and volunteering. Our study contributes to the understanding of residents’ relational agency in community development and in volunteering.