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Youth, Citizenship and Democracy: Findings from a youth survey in two Nordic regions
Åbo Akademi University, Finland.
Åbo Akademi University, Finland.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences. (STORIES)
Åbo Akademi University, Finland.
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2015 (English)In: Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination: ESA 12th Conference, Abstract Book, European Sociological Association (ESA) , 2015, 1283-1284 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

There are significant differences between young people regarding political interest and engagement because of different social and economic conditions. Further, an active citizenship may be impeded by a societal development where life conditions deteriorate more for some groups than for others. At the same time, the reluctance among economically marginalized groups to participate in the procedures of democracy remains when the meaning of an active democratic citizenship is perceived as limited. Research shows that there is a need for further research in the field, in particular more qualitative studies to complement the various national and international longitudinal quantitative studies such as IEA: Cived and ICCS.

Every third year in the Nordic countries, a comprehensive longitudinal youth survey is conducted which follows up national youth policy. The target groups for the study are young people aged 13-16. The survey focuses on young people’s views on questions concerning democracy and participation, citizenship, health, enjoyment of school, leisure activities, work, and future plans.

This study focuses on young people’s democratic and civic competence in two Nordic regions: Gävleborg (Sweden) and Ostrobothnia (Finland). Based on the longitudinal youth surveys studying young people’s skills, capacities, and opportunities for active democratic citizenship, in order to further assure the quality of education and youth policy work in the surveyed regions, the research study’s overall objectives are to:

a) Compare youth survey results from two regions in Sweden and Finland as well as make comparisons over time, focusing on the importance of social sustainability, particularly gender, age, and diversity aspects; and b) Deepen understanding of young people’s opportunities, circumstances, and knowledge of active democratic citizenship. The samples are 2,207 students (14-15 years old) from Sweden and 1,718 students (15-16 years old) from Finland.

One example from the initial analysis is: if the students want to have a say in what they learn in school. They answered 70% (SWE) and 46% (FIN) want it, but only 37% (SWE) and 7% (FIN) answered that they get it. The result is interesting in terms of PISA results, but also for how the pupils enjoy school.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
European Sociological Association (ESA) , 2015. 1283-1284 p.
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-20275ISBN: 978-80-7330-272-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-20275DiVA: diva2:853741
12th Conference of the European Sociological Association 2015, ‘Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination’, 25-28 August, 2015, Prague, Czech Republic
Ungdomar och medskapande demokratiskt medborgarskap
Available from: 2015-09-14 Created: 2015-09-14 Last updated: 2015-09-18Bibliographically approved

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Grannäs, Jan
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