Youth researcher and eXXpress columnist Bernhard Heinzelmeyer, who conducted a comprehensive analysis of the situation of young people on behalf of Secretary of State for Youth Claudia Plakolm (OVP), sees today as a time of “self-preservation” – in contrast to the previous trend of “self-development”.
In the presentation of the “Report on the Situation of Young People”, Heinzelmeyer pointed out that there was a “tendency towards community”. This means, among other things, that young people increasingly want to live in rural areas. In his eyes, there is not only an intact community, but also greater security and “clean, healthy nature”. Speaking of health: According to the young researcher, this topic is especially popular among young people.
Young people have thought a lot about their bodies since Corona, which is why nutrition and exercise are especially important. According to Heinzelmaier, this “higher” level of health awareness will also have a long-term impact on the home health system.
According to Heinzelmayer, what is worth noting in addition to the health trend is the growing reluctance to have children. Today’s world is considered by many young people to be inhospitable. This is why the climate issue is also a top priority for young people – in contrast to baby boomers, for example, for whom climate change is hardly important.
Heinzlemeyer reported that overall the youth were fairly conservative. Family is very important to the youth. Young people have a deep bond with their parents. For many young people today, parents – first mother, then father and siblings – are the biggest role models. Furthermore, there is a keen awareness of Austria among the youth. Heinzelmeyer: “80 percent are proud to be Austrians.” The majority also want to work in Austria.
The young researcher also drew attention to the fact that many young people are subject to a “cycle of silence”. This means that they are often intimidated by mainstream opinion being widely and vocally expressed – and so keep their real opinion quiet.
Because of these “hegemonic opinions” in society – which keep changing from time to time – more than 70 percent of young people will not say what they think, but position themselves “strategically” and “practically” in society on certain issues. Will express. These included Heinzlemeier Migration and Asylum, LGBTQ and Islam.
However, according to Heinzelmeyer, young people are much more “liberal” than older generations as far as migration is concerned. For people over the age of 60, migration and immigration top the list of “issues of concern”. However, at the top of the list is the issue of inflation. The reluctance to consume is correspondingly large. Overall, the young researcher sees a “big contrast” between young people and older generations. While the former tend to “open up”, the latter tend to “close” to the world.
However, in both the groups, the perception of the state has changed since the corona measures. Today he is seen as “strong and whole”. In the past, social benefits were heavily associated with it.
What Heinzlemayer emphasized: With regard to gender, women are more vulnerable to problems than men. He was very quick to respond to problems and very involved.
In the context of health and corona measures, State Secretary for Youth Plakolm said that in this context the “very successful” project “Crisis Healthy” exists. Plakolm said, as part of the project that treats young people the psychological effects of the corona measures, 8,000 young people have already been treated by psychiatrists and psychologists.
As the Secretary of State for Youth said, she also attaches great importance to “open dialogue” among young people, because diversity of thought is extremely important for a democracy.