Handicraft Making, Community, and Livability from the Women's Perspective

Friday, 20 July 2018: 08:40
Oral Presentation
Riikka MYLLYS, University of Helsinki, Finland
In this paper I will explore how handicraft making, spirituality and participation in charity are affecting to the experienced well-being of women making handicrafts. I will also discuss the role of the group in the matter and its affects to the social livability. Based on earlier research handicraft making have strong impacts on not only individual well-being but also the whole community. Also religion and spirituality, community, as well as charity and doing good for others are seen as factors of well-being. In this paper I will look at all of these together. The paper is qualitative and based on the yearlong observation period of four handicraft-making groups as well as the interviews of sixteen crafting women from these groups. Groups included both religious/non-religious and charity/non-charity groups. I found that women give a variety of meanings, including well-being related to the handicraft making. It was also given spiritual meanings, both religious and non-religious. Getting friends and being part of the community was an important part of handicraft making and doing for charity was meaningful for some of the women. In this paper I am asking what kind of aspects of well-being and livability are relating to the handicraft making. In what extent is handicraft making and experienced well-being related to the livability of the whole community? How both spirituality and charity are linking to the social livability when it comes to the handicraft making? And finally, what is the role of participating in the group and belonging to the community in the livability of the society and how the nature of the group influences it?