Small Island Societies, Livelihoods, Challenges and Opportunities during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Sweden

Paulina I. Rytkönen, Tommy Larsson Segerlind, Marcus Box, Youssouf Merouani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Covid-19 increased the social and economic vulnerability of island societies. Swedish islands are key tourism destinations but are also home to many island residents. Previous studies have high-lighted the impact of Covid-19 on core areas, but our knowledge of its impact on island communities is lac-king. We use phenomenology to analyse how communities in small Swedish islands perceive the impact of Covid-19. We use institutional theory and the concepts of social capital and accessibility in the analysis. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and focus groups with islanders and representati-ves of local organizations on sampled islands. Pandemic regulations affected island communities differently. Authorities and shipping companies strove to discourage people from visiting islands. This affected tourism negatively in some islands, whereas tourism increased in others. Informal institutions established a basis for good community relations; enabled the mobilization of social capital, especially given action by local agents who were endorsed by the community. Cooperation was a key to reducing negative impact. Accessibility increased on islands with well-developed and expanded IT-infrastructure that enabled holiday homeowners to work from their holiday islands. This helped create a sustained positive economic trend for grocery stores and the construction industry.

Translated title of the contributionSmall Island Societies, Livelihoods, Challenges and Opportunities during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Sweden
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-158
Number of pages28
JournalAger
Volume36
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Economics and Business

Free keywords

  • accessibility
  • Covid-19
  • institutions
  • Island societies
  • social capital

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