Link Campus University in survey of Italian youth. Confidence in politics is declining and interest in social issues and flexible working is growing

Kids on a scooter – Photo by dae jeung kim from Pixabay

The “Proteo Generation” observatory at Link Campus University presented today the 10th Research report on young Italians, which interviewed over 5,000 students between the ages of 16 and 19 from across the country. One of the main issues that emerged was undoubtedly the widespread disappointment of young people with the current political class, who in many cases were judged incompetent, dishonest and exhibitionist. 21.4% of respondents declare themselves “not at all” interested in politics and 42.2 to be “a little”. In general, it is the same then 72.4% explain that they do not feel listened to at all by politics.

On the other hand, what interests young people more and more, according to the survey, is the prospect of a future that includes flexible and autonomous work: 59.5% actually believe that jobs should be “created” rather than “sought”, therefore, 34.5% of respondents look closely at the world of the self-employed and 33.6% at digital platforms, rather than at the job opportunities in the public sector, which attract only 10.1%. For the same reasons, 41.6% are in favor of a working model that is “continuously renewed”, while only 19.6% are striving for a “one-time job for life”. It seems to make a difference in that sense the willingness to independently manage the relationship between time and incomewithout subjecting to excessive contractual restrictions.

On the social issues side, more attention is being paid to many of the most current topics in the public debate. Among those that are considered relevant, we find Discrimination against women, on which the interviewees note problems related to abuse and physical violence (30.1%), stereotypes regarding physical or intellectual inferiority (20.9%), inequalities in family or professional roles (18%), inequality of the economic treatment (12.7%) and verbal sexual violence (16.5%). Other social problems of great concern are those related to Bullying, Cyberbullying, Baby Gang e Body shamingwhich are very often done over the internet, where many other traps lurk, which the interviewees are afraid to explain, such as e.g. excessive tracking of personal data, identity theft and breach of their social media accounts.

Another thorny chapter is that of the functioning of education, inevitably in the last two years due to the pandemic emergency and the consistent application of the remote school. 30.8% of respondents hold DDA responsible for deteriorating schooling, while 32.1% highlight how it created psycho-social discomfort for students. Hence the demand, formulated by more than 1 in 4 respondents, for the PNRR funds earmarked for the school to invest mainly in psychological support activities for students.

What emerges from the research data, therefore, is a growing interest and a great openness of young people towards even rather complex or divisive topics. For example problems like Environmental sustainability, inclusivity, assisted reproduction, stepchild adoption, abortion, assisted suicide and legalization of soft drugsall topics on which the majority (in some cases overwhelming) of the interviewees are favorable.

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