FSD3197 Barometer for Swedish-speaking Finns 2005

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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, social inequality, 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, leisure time activities, values, identity, 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 respondents were also asked which language was or would be their children's language at school, whether they preferred not to use Swedish with authorities because they were afraid of receiving hostile service, and if they felt that their errands had not been taken proper care of in the past due to an official's lack of Swedish language skills.

After this, the respondents were asked if they felt a sense of belonging in various lands and regions, such as Finland, Swedish-speaking Finland, Sweden, the Nordic, and the European Union. The survey also examined the strength of the respondents' cultural identity as a Finland-Swede in different groups of people and situations, and whether or not the respondents felt a sense of belonging in various groups.

Opinions were probed on equality in Finland and factors that cause unequal possibilities in life, such as education, language, gender, socioeconomic background, and nationality. The survey also charted if the respondents had noticed negativity towards the elderly and youth in newspapers, commercials, television, politics and working life, for instance. The respondents were asked to evaluate a set of statements concerning control over the respondents' own lives and whether they thought they would be able to change unsatisfactory aspects of their lives if they wanted to.

The section regarding current issues asked questions about the use of the internet and a variety of television channels. At the time of the survey, analog television broadcasts were being shut down in Finland and replaced by digital broadcasting, and respondents were asked if they would have wanted to be able to watch Swedish television channels' digital broadcasting. Finally, the respondents' opinions on joint municipal authorities and the conservation of wolves were surveyed.

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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