Nationalism and Xenophobia among Swiss Teenagers: Results of the First Swiss Youth Survey

Dr. Andrea U. Haenni Hoti
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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
Stream: Political Science, Politics
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: Challenging Democracy - Ethnic Nationalism and Xenophobia among Teenagers

Dr. Andrea U. Haenni Hoti

Scientific associate, College for Teacher Education in Lucerne and University of Freiburg (CH)

1998 Lic. phil. (MA) in Social Work, Education and Law at the University of Freiburg (CH). 1998-2002 Scientific assistant and lecturer at the Department of Education, University of Freiburg (CH) and scientific associate in the Swiss study of the cross-national IEA Civic Education research project (International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement). 2002-2003 Invited visitor at the Department for International and Transcultural Studies, Teachers College and Columbia University New York (USA). Since 2004: Scientific associate at the College for Teacher Education in Lucerne (CH). Planned for early 2005: Publication of the book: Nationalism and xenophobia among Swiss youth (PhD study, see proposed paper presentation). Member of AERA (American Educational Research Association), EARLI (European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction).

Ref: H05P0164