By the Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung (FES) South Caucasus Regional Office
The Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung (FES) South Caucasus Regional Office decided to conduct a study among Georgian youth aged between 14-29 in order to explore their perceptions, consciousness, expectations and attitudes towards the changing environment. The results were quite interesting and are available here.
We decided to portray an average Georgian youngster based on this study and here’s what we have come up with:
An average Georgian youngster is an Orthodox Christian (85%) who has completed secondary education (47%), lives with their parents (70%) and financially dependent on them (62%). He/she gets along with their parents quite well (55%).
His/her family is far from well-off. They have enough money for food, clothes and footwear, but can’t afford, for example, to buy a new fridge or replace an old TV set (43%).
He/she is unemployed (34%) and desperately needs a job. He/she believes that in order to find a job one should have good acquaintances (75%). If he/she had to choose, he/she would prefer a job in the public sector rather than in the private one (42%). He/she has never tried to start his/her own venture or business (87%).
One way or another, a Georgian youngster has a certain amount of pocket money monthly. From this amount, he/she spends more on cigarettes (GEL 80 per month) than on entertainment (GEL 60) or on purchasing books or other printed materials (GEL 26.70).
Although he/she isn’t that busy, he/she still has no time for civic activities. He/she doesn’t attend any public meetings (94%), doesn’t express his/her personal civic position on online forums (94%), is never engaged in civic activities, such as, for example, participating in human rights campaigns, signing petitions or attending political rallies.
Georgian youngsters are indifferent to politics in general, but more or less observe domestic political developments. However, he/she has absolutely no interest in the developments in the rest of the world (46%).
This is not surprising, since he/she doesn’t trust any public institution or politician in Georgia.
The Church is the only institution in which he/she firmly trusts (81%). He/she believes in the existence of God (97%), that after death he/she will go either to hell or heaven (80%) and that God is a source of moral prescriptions and duties (85%).
He/she believes that abortions should be completely banned by law (42%).
He/she has a lower level of trust towards ethnic minorities, people with different political views or representatives of other religions. However, he/she expresses least trust towards LGBT individuals (46%).
Most Georgian youth prefer marriage (43%) to cohabitation, since, they believe, the advantage of marriage over an unmarried relationship is more responsibility among partners.
As far as sex is concerned, an average Georgian young man says he has had more than one sexual partner (57%), whereas only 1% of Georgian young ladies admit they have had sex with more than one partner.
An average Georgian youngster has never smoked marijuana (88%). He/she regularly or often prays (48%), attends church (33%) and celebrates religious holidays (83%).
He/she thinks that unemployment and poverty are the biggest problems in the country.
An average Georgian youngster supports the country’s integration into the EU (74%) and NATO (68%). However, he/she believes that the country joining the EU may result in increased aggression from Russia (52%). He/she also thinks that EU integration will result in youth outflow from Georgia (45%) and will pose a risk to Georgian identity and traditional values (30%).
An average Georgian youngster demonstrates explicit national identity, perceiving himself/herself as part of the Georgian nation (56%) rather than an autonomous individual (20%) or a world citizen (19%).
Most importantly, a Georgian youngster is happy. He/she is satisfied with his/her private life (60%) and occupation (61%). Also, he/she is optimistic, since he/she believes that the situation in the country will considerably improve in the next 10 years (95%).
- The study is based on the model of the Renowned Shell Youth Study which has been carried out in Germany as well as many other European countries since 1953. The methodology for the survey was created by the Analysis and Consulting Team (ACT) in compliance with Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung (FES) South Caucasus Office requirements. In total, 1 200 completed face-to-face interviews and 24 focus group discussions were conducted throughout the country.