On December 3, 2021, BISR held a round table to discuss the outcomes of the social research "Generation Z: attitudes and values of modern Belarusian youth" (young people aged 14-17 had been studied). Among invited guests were experts-sociologists, representatives of the education system, youth public associations and government bodies.
BISR analysts informed the delegates about the most significant attitudinal and behavioural aspects characteristic of the generation identified in the course of the study.
Experts noted that the modern Belarusian youth is largely a constructive, mobile, success- and development-oriented part of society possessing high potential, ready to achieve their goals. Despite the pronounced individualism and the high importance of the material factor, young people are a positive part of society, the "unlost generation", for which both the development of the state and personal self-realization are important. In the views of young people, the "troika" of criteria for their life success looks in line with traditional values - respect for people, strong health and a good family.
Assessments, judgments and specific proposals expressed by the event participants will be taken into account by BISR in the further study of the youth issues.
Here are some facts about the Belarusian generation Z.
Social optimism and life strategies.
For young people, it is important to be different, not to blend in, to defend their interests. Thus, among the rights and freedoms, the most valuable are the possession and free disposal of property (92.7%), the ability to purchase goods from any manufacturer, as well as to express their views.
The main life goals of generation Z are achieving business success, building a career (60.3%), preserving and strengthening health (51.6%), creating a happy family (49.5%). The top 5 life priorities are complemented by the desire to be an expert in specialty and become rich.
According to young people, the guarantee of their prosperous future is starting their own business (51.8%), the attitude of "working hard" (48.8%), "constant studying, skills improvement" (47.7%).
In general, young people demonstrate a high degree of satisfaction with their lives. About 80 percent of young people assess their lives in one way or another positively. Two-thirds (64%) believe their life will improve in the near future.
Self-realization and communication.
Young Belarusians pay quite a lot of attention to both volunteer activities and the possibility of part-time work. In particular, over the past year, more than half of boys and girls (55.5%) helped to do some work voluntarily and free of charge. Educational institutions, interest clubs (sports, music, etc.), youth, charitable, religious organizations, medical institutions help young people to get involved in this activity. The majority of boys and girls (61.7%) have experience of earning money without the help of parents and relatives (working at an enterprise, in agriculture, in trade, etc.).
The most popular forms of communication with friends and acquaintances for young Belarusians are meetings in the park, on the street (76.9%) and communication on the web, messengers (72.7%). Less popular are meetings at home (43.3%), visits to entertainment clubs, discos, bars, coffee shops (20.1%), participation in cultural and educational events (cinema, exhibitions, theaters, etc.) (18.5%), sports and tourism events (14.7%).
Young people on the Internet.
Generation Z is the most active group in the Internet space. The vast majority of respondents aged 14 to 17 years (85.2%) most often attend social networks. Of noticeably less demand among young Belarusians are sites with reference information, blogs and mail servers.
The most popular social media used by Belarusian youth several times a day are TikTok (63.5%), Instagram (63.4%), VKontakte (60.1%) and YouTube (58.7%). Telegram and Viber messenger are quite popular means of communication – 53.4% and 29.1% use them daily, respectively. Facebook, Likee, and Odnoklassniki became the least popular networks among boys and girls – those networks are used by less than 5% of respondents.
The obtained outcomes demonstrate that modern Belarusian youth are socially active, focused on success, well-being and self-realization. Further study of the dynamics of the life priorities and values of youth will allow the state to form a youth policy that takes into account the needs and expectations of the younger generation, which will largely determine the image of the future of our country.
The information was prepared according to the data of the republican sociological study held on 6-20 December 2021 by the Social and Humanitarian Research Centre of the Belarus State Economic University on demand of the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Research among young people aged 14 to 17 years by means of a questionnaire. The sample size was 2034 respondents.