FSD1090 Power Structures of Finnish Society 1991
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- Ruostetsaari, Ilkka (University of Tampere. Department of Political Science)
- Kuusipalo, Jaana (University of Tampere. Department of Political Science)
decision making, democracy, democracy, elite, political power, social influence, social problems, women's rights
In this power structure survey, the Finnish power elite is under observation. The respondents were from the following sectors of the society: politics, administration, business life, organisations, mass media, science, and culture. The study focuses on institutional positions of leadership, roles in various sectors, and not on the persons in these positions as such. The study comprises 1,115 positions with 997 persons. The themes of the survey included, among others, career, internationalisation, interaction, power, family and leisure, childhood home, and the position of the sexes in Finland. In view of the respondents' career, they were asked their main job and eventual other jobs, their elected offices, membership in different organisations and unofficial groups, and factors affecting career development. In addition, the respondents were asked about their eventual absences from work life, and reasons for these absences. Internationalisation was studied by asking whether the respondents had studied or worked abroad and if they had personal contacts with citizens of other countries.
Interaction was measured by presenting the respondents with a list of possible contact partners and asking them about the frequency and nature of the contact. The listed contact partners included the president, political party organisations, ministries, municipality, army, church, the media, voluntary organisations, institutes of higher learning, and enterprises. In addition, the respondents were asked how often they appear in the mass media, to what extent they keep in touch with their acquaintances from school and younger years, and what forms of contact the respondents find most important in view of their own organisation. In relation to power, the respondents were asked to assess the influence of various bodies (the Parliament, representatives of cultural life, the press, and labour market organisations), and the intensity of antagonism between various groups in Finland. The respondents were presented with a number of statements relating to power and decision-making in society and asked whether they agreed with them. They were also asked to name the biggest social problems in Finland at the time of the survey.
Family and leisure-related questions pertained to work-life balance, who is responsible for household duties, and who takes care of the children. The respondents were asked whether their gender had affected their career and whether they had in their own position tried to promote the equality between men and women, and if they had, in what way. Furthermore, the respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with a number of statements relating to the position of women in Finland.
Background variables included the respondent's gender, year of birth (categorised), number of children (categorised), province of residence, own and spouse's basic and vocational education, which political party R would vote for if the parliamentary elections were held at that time, self-reported social class, annual gross income.
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