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FSD3199 Barometer for Swedish-speaking Finns 2007

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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 politics and society, the use of mass media, leisure time activities, 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, at bureaus and banks, and at work. They were also asked which language was or would be their children's language at school. 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 were asked if they had a digital TV receiver in their household, and their 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/theatre, working overtime, helping neighbours, and praying to God).

One set of questions pertained to politics and society, and the respondents' interest and activity in political matters was examined. They were asked about their party preferences and if they had participated in or discussed politics in different ways within the previous year. Views were also surveyed on democracy within the EU, Finland, the respondent's region of residence and the municipality of residence. Finally, the respondents' views on ways to influence municipal politics and the effects of municipal mergers were examined, and the respondents were asked what type of topics they were interested in discussing with friends and other people.

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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