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FSD3200 Barometer for Swedish-speaking Finns 2008

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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. 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 and e-mail use.

The survey also investigated the respondents' trust in different organisations such as the government, the church, social services, the universities, the police, and daycare services. The respondents' interest in local government and municipal politics was examined, and they were presented with statements concerning the upcoming 2008 municipal elections and asked whether they were involved in an election campaign either as a candidate or in some other way. It was also queried which party they usually voted for, if they would vote for the same party in this election, and whether they read blogs written by local councillors and municipal election candidates. The respondents were asked how local councillors should conduct municipal politics and if they felt that citizens are able to participate in decision-making. Some questions covered municipal mergers generally and in the respondents' own municipality.

The next questions were formulated by the "Förvaltningslösningar språkliga konsekvenser" project (SpråKon). Questions covered the respondents' satisfaction in some aspects of their municipality of residence, including the availability of geriatric and healthcare services, schools and education, employment opportunities, public transport, culture and sports services, citizen participation possibilities, equal rights of men and women, safety, and opportunities for entrepreneurship. Finally, the respondents were asked whether they felt that people living in the municipality and neighbourhood -- Finnish-speaking, Swedish-speaking or in general -- share the same values, and which decision-making bodies have done the most to advance employment and entrepreneurship in the municipality.

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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