FSD3194 Barometer for Swedish-speaking Finns, Autumn 2002

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  • Herberts, Kjell (Åbo Akademi University. Social Science Research Institute)


Swedish-speaking Finns, cultural identity, identity, language, mass media, minority groups, minority language users, national identity, politics, press, radio (joukkoviestimet), social systems, television, values

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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, values, and identity. 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 respondents were also asked which language was or would be their children's language at school.

The respondents were asked to evaluate a set of attitudinal statements about Swedish-speaking Finns, and the state of Swedish in Finland. The following questions covered views on mass media, the press, radio, and television. The respondents' preferred newspapers, radio stations and television channels were examined, as well as the time the respondents spent with these types of media per day and the reasons they listened to certain types of radio stations. The respondents' internet use was also examined.

The respondents' activities in different types of associations was charted, as well as their trust in different organisations such as the government, the church, social services, the universities, the police, and daycare services. The next questions concerned the respondents' political orientation and party preferences, which party the respondents would vote for if the parliamentary elections were held at the time of the survey, and which themes they found important in the upcoming 2003 parliamentary elections, e.g. the environment, geriatric care, education, and immigration.

The final theme concerned the respondents' values and ways of life. They were asked whether they had religious beliefs of different types, and to rate their trust in different groups of people and ethnicities. In addition, the respondents were asked what areas they thought Finland should develop in the following ten years. Finally, the respondents were presented with a set of attitudinal statements about current issues that they were asked to evaluate. The statements concerned, among other subjects, unemployment, taxation, joint municipal authorities, and universal basic income.

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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