Nationalism and Xenophobia among Swiss Teenagers: Results of the First Swiss Youth Survey
The survey illustrates how widespread nationalistic and xenophobic attitudes are among Swiss youth and discusses the root causes of this phenomenon (n = 3,104; average age: 15 years). The links between a negative attitude towards migrants and growing up in a traditional rural setting as well as a specific concept of citizenship that upholds loyalty to one's own nation are demonstrated. The tendency of Swiss teenagers towards xenophobia increases with a growing authoritarian conviction and a declining willingness to become socially involved as an adult. The less political knowledge and confidence in public and political institutions the respondents had, the stronger their xenophobic inclinations. Male gender is also a risk factor. The discussion addresses whether youth with an increasing degree of xenophobia is characterized by a deficient concept of democracy and political abstinence. Suggestions for antiracism and political education and an equal opportunities policy tie up to that.
Keywords: Nationalism, National identity, Youth, Racism, Xenophobia, Citizenship, Civic education
Dr. Andrea U. Haenni Hoti
Scientific associate, College for Teacher Education in Lucerne and University of Freiburg (CH)