FSD3648 Tackling Biases and Bubbles in Participation: Citizen Survey 2018

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Keywords

citizenship, participation, political attitudes, political behaviour, social influence, social systems

Abstract

The survey charted the social and political opinions of different groups of people. The respondents were presented with statements regarding social participation and influence, trust in political decision-makers, political interest, and political opinions. The data were collected as part of the 'Tackling Biases and Bubbles in Participation' (BIBU) research project, which examines how economic restructuring changes citizens' and decision-makers' political capacities, interests and emotions. The research project is a collaboration between six universities and research institutes, led by Professor Anu Kantola from the University of Helsinki.

First, social participation was examined with questions on, for example, participation in political discussion, activity in civic organisations, boycotting, and donating money to charity. The respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with various statements regarding politicians and decision-makers. Trust in several actors, such as political parties, the Government, universities, and traditional media was charted. Questions also focused on, for example, whether the respondents had signed petitions, how often they used social media to follow social and political issues, and how they viewed civil disobedience.

The respondents' political opinions and participation were surveyed with questions on where they would place themselves on the left-right political scale, whether they thought they were liberal or conservative, whether they had voted in the 2017 municipal elections, and which party they would vote for if parliamentary elections were held now. Views on different groups of people, such as the poor or the rich, those receiving unemployment benefits, baby boomers, and asylum seekers were examined next. Questions also examined the respondents' views on children and raising children, the social security system, income disparity, and immigration.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's gender, year of birth, marital status, level of education, occupation, income, and household size.

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