FSD2592 Finnish Youth Survey 2010

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  • Advisory Council for Youth Affairs (Nuora)
  • Finnish Youth Research Society. Finnish Youth Research Network


conscription, defence, defence and state security policy, foreign policy, immigration, national identity, national security, personality traits, rasicm, social values, youth


The main themes of the Finnish Youth Survey 2010 were safety and security, national defence, the conscription system, foreign policy, social values, immigration and racism, and national identity.

First, the respondents were asked how much insecurity they felt regarding their own situation and future (regarding health, income, loneliness, social exclusion, job prospects, being subjected to violence etc.) or regarding society and world in general (social values, increasing immigration and disparity in Finland, climate change, social exclusion of young people, terrorism, world economy and globalisation, pollution, weapons of mass destruction, world population growth, Russia, conflicts between religions, racism, population aging etc). Values and personality traits were studied by presenting the respondents with pairs of contrasting values/traits and asking them to place themselves on those axes, for example, left-right, liberal-conservative, tolerant-intolerant, pessimist-optimist, heterosexual-homosexual etc.

One theme pertained to the national defence system based on general conscription. Views were probed on what would be the best defence system for Finland (general, selective or voluntary conscription, professional army, no army), how to select if selective conscription were implemented, whether compulsory military service should apply to men or women or both. Female respondents were asked whether they had considered or performed voluntary military service. Some questions explored whether the respondents had performed military service or alternative civilian service, how long the military service had been, or if they had done neither, whether they had intention to perform military or civilian service. Factors influencing the respondents' choice of either military or civilian service were studied. The factors mentioned included patriotism, sense of duty, views of people close to the respondent, career prospects, physical requirements, duration of the service, financial factors, ethical or religious reasons etc.

Those who had performed military service were asked to what extent they agreed with a number of statements relating to the nature of the service and its effect on them. One question investigated whether they had been bullied during the service. Opinions of all respondents were charted on the impact of women's voluntary military service on the image and community spirit of the army, equality between men and women, the fighting ability and values of the army. The respondents also indicated to what extent they agreed with several statements relating to conscription, civilian service, conscientious objection, the usefulness of performing the military service, and who should be denied access to military service.

The survey also carried a set of attitudinal statements relating to Finland's defence and foreign policy. The statements covered, for instance, potential membership in Nato, the Karelia issue, defence forces, neutrality, peacekeeping, war, the role of the UN and the EU, and so on. Other statements charted respondent attitudes towards immigration, immigrants and rasicm, and whether they cared about the skin colour or religion of their friends. Perceptions of national identity were charted by asking what aspects the respondents thought were included in the Finnish national character (selfishness, tolerance, envy, fairness, violence, diligence, indifference, distrust etc).

Interest in politics, intention to vote in the next parliamentary elections, and voting choice if the parliamentary elections were held at the time of the survey were studied. Those affiliated to the Evangelican Lutheran Church were asked whether they were aware that there would be parish elections in 2010, whether they knew that 16 year-olds had the right to vote for the first time, and whether they intended to vote in the election.

In addition, the respondents whose mother tongue was other than Finnish or Swedish were asked to what extent they felt themselves to be Finnish, foreigners, residents of their municipality, Europeans, world citizens, multicultural, immigrants or someone with immigrant background.

Background variables included the respondent's household composition, basic and vocational education, occupational status and economic activity, work contract, religious affiliation, mother tongue, language skills, country of birth, year of birth, major region of residence, and country of birth and mother tongue of the parents.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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