Chapter 4 Summary of audit of education-based citizenship initiatives




НазваниеChapter 4 Summary of audit of education-based citizenship initiatives
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civil and political society. Or it may merely imply a rejection of the terminology of nationalism and discrimination. These are issues which were further explored in the qualitative phase (see Chapter 6).

There was also a great deal of support for the idea that citizenship is an ongoing process, the maintenance or achievement of which is something towards which we constantly work. The lowest levels of support were for the statements that defined citizenship as being about discrimination and exclusivity, and for the idea that citizenship is only about rights, and not about duties.

Testing for correlations between answers to this question and personal characteristics of respondents, or between the answers to these questions and others within the survey, revealed no significant patterns from which to draw conclusions about correlating factors. However, there were differences between the responses of the general sample and the Indigenous sample.

More Indigenous respondents (34.3%) either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement that “there are no duties, citizenship is only about rights” than in the general sample (6.9%). Additionally, the number of Indigenous respondents who remained neutral about the statement (38.8%), was more than double that among respondents overall (15%).

The conception of citizenship as a birth right is much more prominent among Indigenous respondents. More than twice as many respondents in the Indigenous sample (43.9%) either strongly agreed or agreed with this idea than the general sample (21.9%). More Indigenous respondents said they had never thought about citizenship before (35.4%) compared to the general sample (9.1%). The ratio of neutral responses to this statement is also greater among Indigenous responses (35.4%) than in the general sample (16.5%).

These disparities in Indigenous and non-Indigenous views are interesting, but without further investigation it is unclear what they represent. It could be that the two groups simply use the word “citizenship” differently, or it could be that this is an indication of a very different point of view.

Politics, participation and citizenship

One key aspect of citizenship is the political status of citizenship within democracy. The survey explored this theme in a number of ways by looking at the way respondents perceived power – both in terms of their own power and the power that others have over them. It also explored their experiences, expectations and perceptions of political participation, and also looked at sources of political education and information.

Issues that are important to young people

In the first question of the survey respondents were asked what issues they thought were important to young people. One of the reasons for asking questions about issues of importance was that much recent research conducted overseas found that many young people feel disenfranchised or undervalued by the political system. Other researchers have found this to be because governments and political aspirants ignore the issues in which young people are most interested, and concentrate instead on issues in which young people have little or no interest. This leads young people to feel that their views are unrepresented by the political system and that, as they are apparently not considered important to the decision-making processes of democratic government, they are not really members of the polity. Another reason for asking this question at the beginning of the survey was to encourage respondents to think politically.

The question was phrased as “what issues are important to young people”, rather than “what issues are important to you”, in order to reduce the likelihood that respondents would focus on issues of particular current and personal importance to themselves, and concentrate on what they perceived to be issues of importance to young people

in general. Nonetheless, the results seem to indicate that the prevalent issues of perceived importance are perhaps best described as issues which have a clear and direct personal impact on the lives of young people. This interpretation was confirmed in the interviews that were carried out in the piloting of the survey.

The top five issues were education, relationships, employment, money and youth suicide. Testing the data for correlations between characteristics and responses, or for patterns between certain responses, did not reveal many significant patterns. For instance, there was little difference in responses according to gender or location.

However, in some cases age does seem to be a correlating factor. This was particularly noticeable in that increased age appeared to correlate with increased concern about issues expressed in a less personal and more abstract form. For instance, there was a correlation between increased age and concern for “international politics”, “local community issues” and “rural and regional issues”. There were differences between the responses from different States and Territories. However, further analysis reveals that these differences can be attributed to the different age demographics of respondents in those States, rather than other factors relating to the States and Territories themselves.

Table 3: Importance of issues to young people




Very important

Important

Neutral

Not
very important


Not
important at all


Education

61.8

28.3

7.2

2.5

0.1

Relationship

58.7

32.2

6.3

1.9

0.7

Employment

58.3

31.2

9.2

0.78

0.1

Money

55.5

35.5

7.4

1.2

0.1

Youth suicide

54.0

31.2

9.6

3.4

1.6

Family relations

43.7

38.0

14.0

3.9

0.1

Human rights

42.9

35.2

16.1

4.5

1.2

Affordable housing

40.5

38.2

13.00

6.0

2.2

Racism

39.6

33.9

19.3

5.3

1.6

Health

38.2

42.6

13.9

4.2

0.9

Transport

37.4

39.0

18.4

3.4

1.6

Drugs

35.3

42.3

11.4

5.4

5.4

Environment

34.5

46.8

13.1

5.3

0.1

Crime and personal safety

34.0

45.8

14.8

4.2

1.0

Govt income support provisions

31.1

33.3

21.5

8.7

5.3

Aboriginal reconciliation

22.4

37.1

26.5

9.8

6.0

Local community

19.5

38.0

31.2

8.7

2.5

Regional and rural issues

19.5

33.3

30.1

13.1

3.5

International politics

17.5

35.1

28.1

14.3

4.8

The economy

14.9

30.7

34.0

16.3

4.0

As in the case of the general sample, the issue nominated as most important by the Indigenous sample was education (very important 72.1%). However, there are some distinct differences in the ranking between the general sample and Indigenous respondents. While the second highest ranking for the general group was relationships (very important 58.7%), the Indigenous respondents ranked family relations second (very important 67.6%), possibly reflecting strong kinship ties among Indigenous communities.

Aboriginal reconciliation was ranked third (very important 64.2%), whereas the overall population ranked the issue 16th (out of 20 issues in total). Racism was also ranked higher among the Indigenous sample (very important 59.7%) compared to the general sample (39.6%).

Table 4: Importance of issues to young people (Indigenous sample)




Very important

Important

Neutral

Not
very important

Not
important at all

Education

72.1

25.0

2.9

0

0

Family relations

67.6

26.5

5.9

0

0

Aboriginal reconciliation

64.2

34.3

1.5

0

0

Crime and personal safety

62.7

23.9

10.4

3.0

0

Youth suicide

61.2

22.4

13.4

1.5

1.5

Health

60.3

38.2

1.5

0

0

Racism

59.7

22.4

9.0

3.0

6.0

Human rights

55.9

36.8

5.9

1.5

0

Money

52.9

35.3

11.8

0

0

Drugs

50.0

19.1

13.2

2.9

14.7

Employment

47.1

42.6

10.3

0

0

Environment

47.0

45.5

6.1

1.5

0

Local community

41.8

35.8

17.9

3.0

1.5

Relationship

39.7

41.2

14.7

4.4

0

Affordable housing

34.8

45.5

18.2

1.5

0

Transport

34.8

39.4

13.6

10.6

1.5

Govt income support provisions

27.3

40.9

18.2

10.6

3.0

Regional and rural issues

22.4

50.7

23.9

3.0

0

The economy

21.2

33.3

33.3

9.1

3.0

International politics

10.8

50.8

27.7

7.7

3.1
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