FSD1241 Finland 1999: Consumer Habits and Lifestyle
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- Erola, Jani (University of Turku. Department of Sociology)
- Räsänen, Pekka (University of Turku. Department of Sociology)
- Wilska, Terhi-Anna (Turku School of Economics and Business Administration. Department of Marketing)
community identification, consumer goods, consumers, consumption, credit card use, debts, decision making, economic recession, expenditure, generations (age), household budgets, leisure time, life styles, personal finance management, risk, savings, shopping
The survey asked respondents to compare their expenditure and consumer behaviour (concerning e.g. food, housing, leisure activities, alcohol, travel) to those of the average consumer. The respondents were asked which things and household items they considered necessary and what they would do if they had more money. The survey carried a set of attitudinal statements about consumption and lifestyle (e.g. "I like to drink wine when eating" or "Quality is more important to me than price").
Some questions covered on what grounds respondents made decisions on economical, family or work matters. The extent to which the deep recession of the early 1990s had affected the household was examined. One theme pertained to community identification: whether the respondents felt they were part of their family, workplace, community, Finnish society, and how much their way of spending or borrowing money, etc. was similar to that of other people.
The respondents were asked to define different generations and to assess whether there was any conflict between them. They rated the importance of various things (e.g. self-respect, world peace, prosperity, independence) to themselves and the safety of their own life, community, society and the world. Views were probed on how much insecurity e.g. pollution, cuts to certain public services and increasing the national debt would cause. Some questions covered personal feelings of insecurity concerning e.g. livelihood, finances, relationships. The respondents evaluated risks in the present-day society and rated the risk involved in different actions (e.g. contracting a loan, travelling, speeding, flying, using drugs, casual sex).
The survey contained questions about the income, expenditure, savings and debts of the respondents and the household. Credit card use, defaults on payments/debts and the resulting bad credit were charted. The respondents were asked what their methods of coping were when short of money, that is, whether they would borrow, reduce expenditure, gamble, etc.
Background variables included respondents' sex, tenure, marital status, household size, number of children, basic and vocational education, economic activity, occupation of the respondent, the spouse and parents, experiences of unemployment, financial circumstances, social class, voting in elections and party preference.
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