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FSD3196 Barometer for Swedish-speaking Finns 2004

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Authors

  • Herberts, Kjell (Åbo Akademi University. Social Science Research Institute)

Keywords

Swedish-speaking Finns, cultural identity, identity, language, leisure time activities, mass media, minority groups, minority language users, national identity, politics, press, radio, social systems, television, values

Abstract

This study charted the identity of Swedish-speaking Finns and their opinions on various aspects of everyday life, such as the use of mass media, politics and society, leisure time activities, values, identity and the sense of belonging. The study was funded by The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland (Svenska kulturfonden).

The first questions revolved around language, the respondents' and their families' language skills (mainly Finnish and Swedish), and the use of languages in everyday interactions. It was examined whether the respondents had used Swedish, Finnish or both in different types of situations within the previous year, such as doctor's appointments, vehicle inspections, and visits to the city council, libraries and tax offices. The next questions concerned media, the press, radio, and television. The respondents' preferred newspapers, radio stations and television channels were surveyed, as well as their internet use.

The respondents were also presented with a variety of activities and asked if they had participated in them within the previous 12 months (e.g. playing a sport, going to the movies, working overtime, and praying to God). The next questions covered the respondents' ties to Sweden, e.g. whether they had family in Sweden, if they followed Swedish media, and if they spent time there on business trips. Some questions also concerned the respondents' political orientation and party preferences. The respondents were asked if they had participated in or discussed politics in different ways within the previous year, if they had voted in the European Parliament elections in 2004, and if they were going to vote in the upcoming 2004 municipal elections. The respondents' views were surveyed on democracy within the EU, Finland, the respondent's region of residence, and the respondent's municipality of residence.

Some questions covered The Swedish Assembly of Finland (Svenska Finlands folkting) and how their services should be developed. The respondents' trust in different organisations was charted, such as the government, the church, courts, social services, the universities, the police, and daycare services. Finally, the respondents were presented with a set of statements regarding current issues that they were asked to evaluate. The statements concerned, among other subjects, joint municipal authority, alcohol taxation, immigration, and Finland's EU membership.

Background variables included, for instance, region of residence, age group, gender, education level, economic activity and occupational status, marital status, and household composition.

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