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  • Author: Marianna Fekete x
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Introduction:In the context of national and global events of the last few years (wave of refugees in 2015, terrorist attacks, climate change, strengthening of far-right and radical parties, fake news and manipulation, etc.), the ability of making an independent opinion, making resolutions based on facts and knowledge, being able to see through the flooding information dumping, and creating the routine of selection are becoming extremely important issues. How do we think about ourselves and others, about “the Other” and “the Stranger”? More importantly, how do young people think about these social and public issues, how do they see themselves, the country and the world where they live, the present and the future that they will be shaping?

Purpose:The primary goal of the study is to examine the global competences of Hungarian youngsters aged 15-29.

Methods:For mapping global competences the data of Hungarian Youth Empirical Research (2016) are used.

Results:The vast majority of Hungarian youngsters aged 15-29 are not interested in social, public life-related or political issues. As for the examination of the questions concerning attitudes, the choice of medium options on the scales was typical, which reflect either indifference, disinterest, insecurity or the lack of knowledge that would be necessary for expressing an opinion. Youngsters are the children of the “Technological Age”, online world is the most important scene for entertainment, communication, social life; however, they do not deal with public-life-related issues on their favourite social network sites. They also tend to keep distance from offline public-life, party- or political youth organisations. Among youngsters, the fear of strangers and migration is highly visible, a so-called “exclusionary attitude” describes them, global thinking is typical for only few of them.

Discussion:The study confirms the previous research statements: Political passivism is typical for people aged 15-29 as their public and social life activism is extremely low. Their distrust towards the representatives of the democratic institutional system is also associated with a low-level interpersonal trust. However, as for their value preferences, the dominance of traditional values (family, love, friendship) is clearly conspicuous, and the role of nation and social order is gaining more importance. With regard to all these factors, the communication and free time spending habits of the young, we can state that their public life-related disinterest does not primarily stem from their smart phone and entertainment-centred attitude but it is mainly due to their disillusionment, their social discomfort and the erosion of their future beliefs. Among youngsters, a new nationalist tendency has also appeared, which means that they value their own group more and strongly devalue other, strange groups.

Limitations:The Hungarian Youth Research, which analyses 8000 participants aged 15-29, can be regarded representative from the aspects of gender, age, education, settlement type and region. We can compare the research findings with all parts of the youth research series that started in 2000. Questions applied in the questionnaire are based on the previous waves (Youth 2000, Youth 2004, Youth 2008, Hungarian Youth 2012), so the database provides the possibility of outlining the trends.

Conclusions:Concerning the attitudes and values of youngsters aged 15-29, close-mindedness, moderate tolerance, low personal and institutional trust, keeping distance from public life, and a high degree of disinterest are typical. The young, as well as the whole society, typically claim for national isolation, and they are not really willing to collaborate with “the stranger”, “the other”.