Elvi Chang's doctoral studies are in social work with a focus on ecosocial work and youth. Ecosocial work is a term used for the various scientific discussions, terms, concepts, and methods within social work that integrate environmental issues (relating to both the built and natural environments) with social perspectives (the relationship between the individual and society), and how these environments and perspectives influence each other.
Ecosocial work concerns sustainable development by involving systems thinking around a person in their environment, as well as how to sustainably develop local, social and political action strategies for sustainable development and sustainable living environments. Ecosocial work is not a common concept in Sweden but is used internationally in social work. Using Gävle as a starting point this research project aims to compile new knowledge in the area of sustainable development, with a particular focus on youth and their health, well-being and working life capacity.
In addition, Chang is part of the research group called Urban Commons, which is a research group within the Strategic research area of Sustainable Urban Development at the University of Gävle.
Chang is engaged in her doctoral project that aims to explore and analyze discourses for ecosocial work to promote health, well-being, and working life of youth within the framework of sustainable development, as defined by the UN goals for sustainable development. The project consists of three studies and four articles, with a focus on sustainable development with youth in social work from an eco-social work perspective, through the use of a variety of qualitative data collection techniques such as qualitative semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and photovoice.
The project's results are expected to contribute to new knowledge about methods for ecosocial work method with youth within the framework of sustainable development, how ecosocial work is conducted in Gävle, and which methods and models for doing ecosocial work currently exist in society.
The project runs from September 2019 and is expected to be finished by 2024. The project is financed by the University of Gävle.
Chang, E., Sjöberg, S., Turunen, P. & Rambaree, K. (2022). Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development: Exploring Ecosocial Work Discourses. Sustainability, 14 (6). 10.3390/su14063426