Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Cultural participation of young people in Slovenia in Europe: An analysis of trends, determinants, consequences and a proposal of solutions

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.03.00  Social sciences  Sociology   

Code Science Field
S210  Social sciences  Sociology 

Code Science Field
5.04  Social Sciences  Sociology 
Culture; young people; Slovenia; cultural participation, consumption and activities; comparative analyses; values; life courses and transitions
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (9)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  37831  Tina Cupar  Sociology  Researcher  2018 - 2020  47 
2.  12125  PhD Sergej Flere  Sociology  Retired researcher  2018 - 2020  502 
3.  11361  PhD Darko Friš  Historiography  Researcher  2018 - 2020  645 
4.  24210  PhD Marija Javornik  Educational studies  Researcher  2018 - 2020  377 
5.  30933  PhD Andrej Kirbiš  Sociology  Head  2018 - 2020  228 
6.  31631  Danijela Lahe  Sociology  Researcher  2018 - 2020  132 
7.  24745  PhD Marina Tavčar Krajnc  Sociology  Researcher  2018 - 2020  321 
8.  33802  PhD Sara Tement  Psychology  Researcher  2018 - 2020  272 
9.  15124  PhD Boris Vezjak  Philosophy  Researcher  2018 - 2020  740 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  2565  University of Maribor Faculty of Arts  Maribor  5089638050  33,188 
The purpose of the project is to examine and hopefully reverse the declining trends of cultural participation of young people in Slovenia, with extensive value changes and changes in life courses and transitions in Europe taking place in recent decades, and to bring youth closer to the field of culture. In our project “cultural participation” consist of cultural consumption of (i.e. participation at) cultural events and visiting cultural places and as a cultural activity, i.e. active participation in organized and individual cultural activities. Based on the results of our project, we will present concrete policy proposals for effective measures for raising cultural participation of young people in Slovenia, which has been in decline in recent years, and similar trends have been observed in Europe, among young people and adults. Cultural participation, the "embodied" dimension of cultural capital, is one of the foundations of the development of individuals and societies. Those youth and adults, for example, that are more actively engaged in cultural activities, are also more socially and politically engaged. For example, they are more likely to participate in elections, contact politicians and sign petitions. At the same time, they are also more socially oriented, as they express higher levels of trust in other people, perceive others as more likely and willing to help and as being fair. In addition, past research of Slovene and foreign youth indicated that more frequent cultural participation was positively related to better school results and achievements. Cultural participation was previously also associated with more favourable health outcomes, including better self-rated health, lower likelihood of being overweight, higher satisfaction with life, higher self-esteem, lower anxiety and lower likelihood of depression. Given the importance of cultural participation of young people for their development and for the societies the live in, the trends that we have detected in the last three representative surveys of Slovene youth are worrisome. Cultural participation and engagement of young people in Slovenia has been decreasing in recent years, and similar trends have also been observed in Europe among young people and adults. An investigation of cultural participation of Europeans in 2007–2013, for example, indicated a decline in eight out of nine cultural activities, while the Slovene youth survey 2010 saw a similar trend of decline in engagement between 2000 and 2010. At the same time, young people most often spend their leisure time in passive activities, and are increasingly involved with information and communications technology (ICT), especially the Internet. Similar to studies in other countries, we found that more frequent use of the Internet and of the social network sites is among Slovenian youth associated with worse psychosocial development, including their greater sense of alienation, anomie, fatalism and deviance. On the other hand, the Internet can also be an important source of information and access to cultural contents, especially among young people, as 41.2 % of EU youth use the Internet weekly for the purpose of obtaining cultural content, while in Slovenia this percentage is somewhat lower (31.8% of youth up to 34 years of age). The decline in the cultural participation and changes in its forms among young people and adults can be placed in the wider context of social changes in Europe, which also contribute to changes in the lives of young people. In today's “risk society” life-cycles and individual biographies are becoming more and more fluid and uncertain, and the period of adulthood and its key milestones are moving to a later period, to “emerging adulthood”. Since the 1970s, socio-structural transformations have taken place in the form of an extension of the period of schooling, their late entry into the labour market and their later financial independence, as well as later formation of family of
Significance for science
The present research is the first that aims to fill the above described literature gaps in youth cultural participation, and at the same time it will provide theoretically and empirically based suggestions of measures on raising youth cultural participation among. In existing literature on youth participation in public life, a comparative research of youth civic participation in Europe by Barret and Zani (2015) is in some regards similar in design; however, our research presents an important addition in several points. For example, it will focus on youth cultural participation, it will include a wide range of research methods not previously used in aforementioned research (e.g. multilevel analysis) and it will also include all European countries with existing data (in Barret and Zani’s research, for example, Czech Republic is the only post-socialist European country included). Other youth characteristics in relation to cultural participation that were previously analysed either in isolation or weren’t included in research at all will be examined in our research. Thus so far it was not possible to fully study the impact of individual characteristic and determinant of youth cultural participation by simultaneously including other relevant characteristics and determinants (controlling for relevant variables in statistical models). Some further examples of novelties in the project are the following: the project’s emphasis on three age groups of young people, on diversity of measures of socioeconomic status and youth deprivation, on studying close and distant socio-environmental contexts and their interaction in their impact on cultural participation (for example, does the impact of socioeconomic status on participation differ by socio-contextual characteristics, does the impact differ by dimension or form of cultural participation, by type of deprivation, values etc.). Further important novelty is the use of mixed methods, which will with the data of semi-structured interviews, for example, enable to study key points of cultural participation derived from quantitative analysis. These are important methodological and substantive research innovations in European context. To summarize: by using a combination of research methods and different levels of analysis we will study, in the longitudinal perspective, the contributions of micro- (gender, socioeconomic status and other indicators of marginalisation), mezzo- (characteristics of regions) and macro-factors (levels of countries’ socioeconomic development, dominant cultural and value context) of different dimensions of youth cultural participation, and compare the explanatory power of different theoretical model of cultural participation in different social contexts.
Significance for the country
The goal of greater involvement of youth in active public life is mentioned in several national and international documents. In order to contribute to these goals, the project will have an important impact on the development of Slovenian and European society, including economic sphere. Culture and art contribute to revitalization of smaller, local communities, as well as to economic growth of the countries (Costello 1998; SCDCAC 2001; Stanziola 1999; Walesh 2001; gl. Guetzkow, 2002) and to improvement of employment opportunities, increased quality of living, consequently also to reduction of crime, and also to improvement of the cultural services and product markets (Stern and Seifert, 2000; Reeves, 2001; CSM, 2005). The “creative industries” have an important spill-over effect, where positive economic effects of the activity reach also those actors who are not directly included into these activities (ESSnet Culture Final Report, 2012). Additionally, the benefits for socio-economic well-being also result from the positive effects of cultural participation on health and development of young people, and on positive effect on the society, since cultural participation contributes to the improvement of young people’s health and health-related behaviour (Kirbiš, 2011a; Hansen et al., 2015; Cuypers, 2012). This also means lower morbidity of the population, less costs for medical treatment, lower absenteeism and higher productivity of people (ESSnet Culture Final Report, 2012; Saraceno, 2010). The results of suggested project will be useful for all industries that are directly or indirectly related to the field of cultural consumption and other cultural activities, and will stimulate economic contacts between Republic of Slovenia and other European countries. The results will also be important to preserve current and establish new contacts with the countries of the regions in the field of culture and preservation of the cultural heritage. The suggested project will also have important benefits for Slovene relations with other members of EU and countries from the Balkans; by using comparative approaches in the field of youth and their cultural participation, especially in the relation to their values and life courses, it will improve the understanding of these complex issue across state borders and the understanding of the consequences of social changes for the life of young people in European countries. The results of suggested project will contribute to awareness of similarities and differences in cultural participation, life courses and values of young people, as well as to understanding of intertwining or their interactions, which present a wider context of economic and political relations between European countries. The project will improve the awareness of the importance of culture and cultural participation: It will contribute to a more active life-styles, stabilize growth of the costs related to negative effects of low levels of cultural participation – by positive economic effect and reduction of crime, and help maintain or improve quality of cultural services and users’ satisfaction. The suggested project is important also in some other socio-economic aspects, e.g. from the aspect of economic crisis, since it is expected the crisis has a negative effect on cultural participation, and from the aspect of sustainable work in the field of cultural participation, since programs and measures stimulating cultural participation operate mainly if they have guaranteed longer time frame for implementation and if they enable sustainable transfer of knowledge into practice. Through research projects, Slovenia gains new knowledge that helps improve the quality of work, while at the same time the implementation of high quality and advanced research projects raises Slovenia’s reputation as a country that invests into effective solving of one of the major problems in the field of culture in late modern societies.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2018, 2019, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2018, 2019, final report
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