Research on Finnish Society


Perceived social disorder in suburban housing estates in the Helsinki region: a contextual analysis

Teemu Kemppainen & Perttu Saarsalmi
University of Helsinki, National Institute for Health and Welfare


Deindustrialisation has severely hit Finnish suburban housing estates of the 1960s and 1970s, and socio-economic differences between neighbourhoods have increased. The social disorganisation theory suggests that neighbourhood disadvantage is a risk factor for problems related to social order. This article compares perceptions of social disorder in suburban housing estates compared to other kinds of neighbourhood. Perceived social disorder appears to be most common in the suburban housing estates built in the 1960s and 1970s, somewhat less common in other high-rise neighbourhoods, and clearly least common in low-rise areas. Neighbourhood disadvantage predicts perceived social disorder, which partly explains these differences.

Keywords: Social disorder, housing estate, deindustrialisation, social disorganisation

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