Sosiaali- ja terveyspolitiikkaa kielen ja kielikäsitysten varassa
This article reviews the role of language and language awareness in relation to how people use or do not use social and health services, and in the context of how these services are developed. It examines studies and reports focusing on social risk situations: how people experience the services available when they face sickness or unemployment, for instance. The experiences of patients and clients have for decades been closely related to language, communication and the availability of information. However, the linguistic nature of problems may often remain unrecognised in studies and development measures focusing on public services. The ongoing development of public services is characterised by a narrow concept of language and insufficient language awareness. This may even have impacts that exacerbate inequality. Social and health services are provided to manage and prevent social problems, so it is important to correctly identify and resolve problems related to their use.