Patterns and Types of Youth Activism in Two Contrasting Locations in Estonia

Marti Taru


While some decades ago it was believed in European countries that the state should take the responsibility of assuring its citizens’ well-being (social citizenship), nowadays it is believed that individual autonomy and activism should have a more prominent role in well-being. This perspective raises questions about how large share of young people is socially and politically active and how is involvement in different activities correlated. Is activism predominantly cumulative with relatively few being relatively active or, instead, are relatively many involved in a relatively few activities?

The article explores youth activism patterns in two contrasting locations in Estonia. The analysis uses survey data collected in project MYPLACE, which contain a rich set of activism indicators. For establishing patterns of youth activism, cluster analysis is used. Analysis results show a considerable concentration of social and political activism in a relatively small fraction of young people while large part of young people is completely inactive or active only lightly. As a result, only a relatively small proportion of young people has the potential to make its interests and needs visible and politicised so that these could be taken into account. Such activism patterns are likely to lead to increasing inequalities instead on more just and equal society.


job insecurity, predictors, consequences, European Social Survey.

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