What are young people‘s attitudes towards ethnic diversity in Czechia?

Dominika Chrastilova

Sociology

4th

Year of study:

Discussions about migration and integration have become an important part of public debates; they have been also misused in political campaigns in environments wherein migration is not a large phenomenon, such as in post-communist countries with significantly lower diversity in ethnic groups like Czechia. In Czechia, attitudes towards diversity have been studied based on a large sample, however young people and first-time-voters around 18 years old are often represented by a smaller percentage compared to other age categories. My aim is to explore the attitudes towards diversity of the younger generation in greater depth. Since they will soon have a chance to take part in elections and exercise their citizenship, their perceptions and the ways in which these formed are significant for the future of the country. The participants‘ formative years have taken place more than 10 years after the fall of communism, during the internet’s boom and subsequently during the time when articles about migration fill daily news, while migration is listed as one of the biggest issues the EU faces according to voters. Young adults have been found to show more tolerant attitudes towards diversity than older participants in various studies. I have asked young people finishing their high-school studies in Czechia, what are their attitudes towards diversity, how often they actually interact with people of different ethnicity, what is their source of information about ethnic minorities and migration, and how happy they are on general in their lives as positive thinking is associated with more tolerant attitudes.

I am a fourth year Sociology student at the University of Glasgow. I grew up in the Czech Republic in the hopeful years after the shift to democracy, yet with continuous effects of the communism era. This made me interested in the questions arising from studying the changes in society, comparing the origins of inequalities and how these emerge and are passed on to next generations and how various aspects of social organisation act in different environments, historical and geographical contexts. Apart from sociology, I enjoy reading, playing violin, piano and tennis.

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