FSD2953 Culture and Leisure in Finland 2007

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  • Purhonen, Semi (University of Helsinki. Department of Social Policy)
  • Rahkonen, Keijo (University of Helsinki. Department of Social Policy)


arts, cinema attendance, cultural activities, cultural behaviour, cultural interaction, cultural life, cultural participation, cultural values, culture, entertainment, hobbies, leisure time, leisure time activities, mass culture, music, physical activities, reading (activity), social behaviour, social networks, sport, television viewing, theatre attendance, visual arts


The study extensively charted the culture and leisure time activities of Finnish people.

The respondents were asked how often they watched different television channels, how often they watched television and what kind of programmes they watched. Relating to cinema, questions investigated the preferred genres and interest in the movies of certain directors. With regard to reading, the respondents were asked how often they read various newspapers and magazines, what types of literature they read, which books they would be interested in reading, and how many books they had read in their leisure time in the previous 12 months. Questions about music surveyed opinions on different music genres, whether the respondents had heard certain songs and whether they liked them, and which radio channels they listened to. Concerning visual arts, questions presented surveyed which art movements the respondents liked the most and which the least, and whether they knew and liked the works of certain artists.

The respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with statements relating to culture (e.g. "I would have to know more about art and classical music to fully enjoy them"). With regard to culture and language-related hobbies, questions focused on foreign language skills, lessons or studies taken in different arts, and parents' interest in different hobbies (reading, sports, gardening) in the respondents' childhood. Internet use was charted with questions about the frequency, location and purpose of use. Leisure time and holidays were queried about by asking how often the respondents went to different events and places (e.g. cinema, rock concerts, art galleries), whether they had attended popular Finnish festivals and events in the previous 12 months, and what kinds of holidays they had been on and which of them they had liked.

Relating to sports, the respondents were asked whether they exercised or did sports, how often they exercised, what kind of sports they did, and which sports they preferred to watch. Concerning health and appearance, the respondents were asked whether they had modified or attempted to modify their appearance (for instance, by getting a tattoo, undergone plastic surgery, followed a diet), how often they went to the gym or jogging, did yoga, and went to a barber or salon, whether they had used different counselling and wellness services, how they would describe their way of dressing, and how they viewed their health. With regard to food and dining, questions charted the frequency of dining in a restaurant, kinds of establishments preferred (e.g. pubs, cafes, Italian restaurants), how much the respondents liked certain dishes (e.g. pizza, Wiener Schnitzel, sushi), and what they normally drank during dinner. Relating to home decoration and appliances, the respondents were asked which appliances/electronic devices they had in their household, the number of CDs, movies, books etc. in the household, adjectives describing their ideal home, where the furniture in their home was mainly acquired from and what style their furniture mainly was.

Friends and social networks were charted with questions about contacts with people close to the respondent, and personal acquaintances with certain occupations (e.g. secretary, doctor, factory worker). Social class and activity in politics and organisations were investigated by asking in which activities and organisations they had participated in the past 12 months, the importance of religion and spirituality, voting habits, and self-perceived social class.

Finally, two sets of statements were presented. The first set studied views on some value statements (e.g. "Everyone is responsible for their own happiness", "It is best not to trust anyone"). The second set included a number of statements related to the Finnish society at the time of the survey, including such topics as trade unions, same-sex relationships, censorship, immigration, and legal punishments.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's gender, year of birth, marital status, education level, educational field(s), economic activity, type of employment contract, work hours per week, and monthly net income as well as number of children, type of neighbourhood of residence, size of the apartment/house, housing tenure, education level of parents and spouse/partner, and spells of unemployment. The survey was conducted as part of a research project in the University of Helsinki called Cultural Capital and Social Differentation in Contemporary Finland (Kulttuuripääoma ja sosiaalinen differentaatio 2000-luvun Suomessa). The survey closely follows the extensive British research project Cultural Capital and Social Exclusion.

Study description in machine readable DDI-C 2.5 format

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