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FSD2629 Young People and Politics 2009

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Authors

  • Elo, Kimmo (University of Turku. Department of Political Science and Contemporary History)
  • Rapeli, Lauri (University of Turku. Department of Political Science and Contemporary History)
  • Koskimaa, Vesa (University of Turku. Department of Political Science and Contemporary History)

Keywords

adolescents, citizen participation, civic education, democracy, family influence, mass media, parents, political awareness, political behaviour, political participation, politics, public political influence, social influence, voting

Abstract

The study charted the political activity of Finnish young people and the political atmosphere in their environment.

The respondents were first asked about their childhood home, such as whether newspapers had been read, how many books there had been in the household, what the education of the parents was like and whether the parents had usually voted, and how often politics had been discussed.

The next set of questions focused on the role of politics in the respondents' lives at the time of the survey. The number of history and civic education courses taken at school was surveyed as well as intentions to take more courses on the said subjects. Opinions on the importance of receiving more information on certain topics in teaching (e.g. World history, the EU and the judicial system) were investigated. The frequency of discussions with different people relating to politics and events in the society was charted.

The opinions on and interest in politics was examined. The respondents were asked to what extent different people and institutions influenced their notions of politics, how interested in politics they and their friends and family were, which institutions should hold the decision-making power in certain issues, and which ways would be best suited for trying to influence decision-making in different issues.

At the end of the survey, the respondents were requested to write an essay of roughly two pages titled 'My notion of politics: What comes to my mind when I hear the word "politics"'. The essays are archived as a separate dataset 'FSD2883 Young People and Politics 2009: Essay Responses'.

Background variables included the respondent's gender and year of birth as well as the municipality where the respondent was studying and the type of educational institution (general or vocational upper secondary school).

The survey was conducted as part of a wider study called 'Suomalaisten politiikkatietämys' [Finns' Knowledge of Politics].

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