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FSD3198 Barometer for Swedish-speaking Finns 2006

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Authors

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

Keywords

Swedish-speaking Finns, cultural identity, identity, language, 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 politics and society, the use of mass media, values, 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' Finnish and Swedish language skills were surveyed. It was examined whether the respondents had used Swedish, Finnish or both in different types of contexts, e.g. at home, at school, with friends, and at work. After this, the respondents were asked about their identity as a Finland-Swede, and how proud, glad or ashamed they felt being someone from the Swedish-speaking minority. Views on native speakers of different languages in Finland were also probed.

The survey also charted the respondents' trust in different organisations such as the government, the church, social services, the universities, the police, and daycare services. The next questions concerned the respondents' political orientation. It was queried which party the respondents would vote for if the parliamentary elections were held at the time of the survey, how they thought different institutions' and groups' influence on society had changed, and which political topics they deemed important in the upcoming 2007 parliamentary elections. It was queried whether the respondents had voted in the 2003 parliamentary elections, and which parties had acted on their personal political concerns. They were also asked to evaluate a set of attitudinal statements about the Swedish-speaking minority in regard to politics.

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, and they were also asked to grade a variety of TV channels and radio stations and their programming.

After this, the respondents' values and beliefs were examined with questions regarding their trust in different groups of people and people in general, and if the respondents believed in e.g. God, life after dead, and telepathy. Questions were also asked regarding the Diocese of Borgå, Finland's only Swedish-speaking diocese.

Finally, the respondents' activity in different types of associations and the local parish was examined. They were asked to log their activity in associations and parishes for two weeks, and it was also queried whether their residential area offered these types of activities sufficiently.

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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