9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN30 Youth and Generation

2009-09-05 15:30:00 2009-09-05 17:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 15:30 - 17:00 Youth Values and Attitudes Building II, Auditório B2.04

Attitudes and values of the Finnish youth

In our presentation we will discuss attitudes and values of the Finnish youth. As a basic data we use the Finnish Youth barometer. The Youth barometer is an annual publication surveying the values and attitudes of Finnish young people 15-29 years of age. The Youth Barometer series has been published since 1994 by the Advisory Council for Youth Affairs. Surveys provide follow-up data on the changes in youth attitudes since 1994, a sufficiently long time span for identifying trends. Barometer has been used to "test" some ideas that have occurred in political discussion, like the change of the suffrage age in different elections and on-line voting. Not only the answers, but also the questions reflect the time the surveys were conducted.

It is natural that changes and trends are of interest, but this should not obscure the fact that, in general, the values of young people are quite stable. The living conditions as such have changed, it is another issue, interesting as such, how much that is reflected in attitudes. Clear trends are few, even trends that one could suppose to be visible in data. We will also present some things which are significant just because they have not changed, at least not in any dramatic way. Comparisons we will make to other age groups and to other countries. Comparisons provide an opportunity to draw conclusions on national characteristics and generation specific ways of taking a stand on different issues.

We will concentrate on themes work, education, unemployment, consumption and livelihood. Partly because these are the themes that have been on the questionnaire from year to year. We will also discuss some specific themes of interest, for example how work and employment seem to be a value as such for the young, while at the same time unemployment is not considered to be that bad either. We will discuss trends and differences observed in comparisons, and will interpret the figures. We will mostly present figures keeping the young people of Finland as one group, looking for changes over time, between different countries and age groups.