Uusiautti and Määttä edited a new book on caring research


Associate professor Satu Uusiautti and Professor Kaarina Määttä have edited a book that describes the foundations and idea of caring research. The book is titled The Basics of Caring Research. The book is published by a respected international publisher Sense Publishers in the publisher's special series Bold Visions in Educational Research.

The Basics of Caring Research. Satu Uusiautti & Kaarina Määttä (eds.)

As the academic world is facing ever-increasing demands and challenges, it is necessary to stop and ask how to approach well-being scientifically and in science. Is there such a thing as caring research? The new book presents one answer to this question.

The Basics of Caring Research is based on a conference called Voimaa välittävästä tutkimuksesta (Gaining Strength from Caring Research) that was held at the University of Lapland in October 2014. In this conference, Uusiautti and Määttä developed and defined the concept of caring research.

"First of all, caring research means research that aims to promote well-being. Caring research is focused on good quality of life in which people's mutual caring lays the foundation of well-being in individuals and communities. Caring research leans on and trusts in human strengths and on a socially active, good life based on these strengths", Kaarina Määttä describes.

However, caring research is not just about the promotion of the research target's well-being. People conducting caring research share and are inspired by the need of positive influence through research and cherish their mutual caring, too.

"Caring research also means a research community that shows well-being, in other words, is happy about the joy and opportunity to do research together. Therefore, caring research is manifested in researchers', supervisors', students', and other experts' cooperation, open interaction, and respectful dialogue", continues Satu Uusiautti.

The Basics of Caring Research consists of four main parts. Part 1 defines the framework of caring research. Part 2 describes the targets of caring research from various viewpoints. What are those positive human resources that lay the foundation for the idea of caring research? Research examples in this part are joy in teaching; success, engagement, and hope at work; love in later life; and the special topical theme of key factors of flourishing among indigenous people.

Part 3 describes the caring research community. Chapters in this part start from caring supervision of theses in universities, to positive study processes and practices of scientific publishing as the arena of power and caring in academic discourse. The part is concluded by a chapter introducing the concept of mediating Sámi research which provides new ideas of conducting caring indigenous research.

Part 4 summarizes the contents of caring research and outlines its possibilities. In addition, the future challenges of caring research are discussed.

As a whole, the book serves as guide to those interested in research on well-being. It also illustrates how a multidimensional phenomenon caring research is. In addition to caring about ways to study well-being, it covers caring about the well-being of the research community.

The Basics of Caring Research can be used as a textbook, for example, in studies of psychology and science of education. It also provides new ideas of supporting research work. Therefore, researchers and supervisors can use it when supervising various academic theses. The idea of caring as introduced in this book draws a new picture of research work and its quality in Finland and abroad.

The book has gone through a rigorous review process. The series editors performed an external review while the editors and authors of the book performed an internal peer-review process. The series editors are Kenneth Tobin (City University of New York, USA) and Carolyne Ali-Khan (University of North Florida, USA). The co-founding editor of the series was well-known professor Joe Kincheloe (McGill University, Canada).

The book forms an entity that provides viewpoints to the current scientific discourse and means to strengthen research and teaching by focusing on well-being.

The editors and contributors of the book are known experts of the science of education in Finland. Most of them work or have graduated from the University of Lapland.

The book is available at book stores and can be ordered from online book stores and directly from the publisher.

Further information:

Associate professor Satu Uusiautti
satu.uusiautti (at) ulapland.fi

Professor Kaarina Määttä
kaarina.maatta (at) ulapland.fi
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