Social exclusion in service settings amongst Swedish-speaking older adults in Finland: Language incongruency or identity discrimination, or both?

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Emilia Häkkinen
Fredrica Nyqvist
Camilla Nordberg
Mikael Nygård
Siv Björklund
Jessica Hemberg


Previous studies suggest that older adults from minority linguistic groups are at a higher risk of experiencing social exclusion, with service exclusion being a highly evident form. This article explores how Swedish- speaking older adults in Finland experience the availability and adequacy of services in their first language and how their experiences are linked to social exclusion. Anchored in the intersection between two dimensions of social exclusion, service exclusion and identity exclusion, this study presents findings from 14 semi-structured interviews with uni- and bilingual Swedish-speaking older adults. The results indicate that inequitable access to services and facing language discordant services can shape experiences of exclusion. The inability to receive everyday services in Swedish further fosters feelings of inferiority and identity discrimination. This study findings contribute to the social gerontological
literature on social exclusion and demonstrate how identity intersections with service exclusion.


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