Austrian teens exposed as xenophobic by study
Young Austrians’ views are strongly influenced by hostility to strangers and concerns caused by the economic crisis, according to researchers.
The Institute for Youth Culture Research spoke with 400 residents of Vienna aged between 16 and 19 to find that 43.6 per cent of them agreed with the claim that “there are way too many Turks in Austria.”
Around 96,000 of the 248,000 members of the domestic Turkish community are born in Austria. Turks have been in the focus of anti-immigration political movements like the right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) over the years. FPÖ boss Heinz-Christian Strache has claimed he is not against successful integration but warns of the increasing dominance of Islam at the same time.
Research shows that unemployment among Turks is around twice as high as among Austrians. Statistics also reveal that Turkish women have 2.41 children on average, significantly more than Austrian women (1.27). Austria has one of the lowest birth rates in Europe.
Turks are not the biggest ethnic minority in Austria. Former residents of the countries which once formed Yugoslavia take the lion’s share. OGM found in November 2010 that 51 per cent of Austrians were of the opinion that Turks should show more engagement to create a better coexistence. Only seven per cent said Austrians had to show more effort while 39 per cent of interviewed Austrians told the agency that both nationalities must intensify their attempts to avoid the creation of so-called parallel societies.
The latest youth study – which was presented yesterday (Weds) – also shows that, with 11.2 per cent, more than one in 10 young Austrians are of the opinion that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler “also did many good things for the people.”
A majority of 65.5 per cent of interviewed teens said they were of the opinion that a safe job was of greater importance than an ambitious career. Bernhard Heinzlmaier, who heads the Austrian Institute for Youth Culture Research, said this result did not mean young Austrians were afraid of taking on new challenges. He linked the research’s revelations with an increasing uncertainty about the future development of the Austrian economy and the stability of the European Union (EU).
Almost four in 10 (38.2 per cent) of Austrian teenagers said they considered themselves part of the fitness movement while 25.2 per cent explained they identified themselves the most with football. More than one in five (21.3 per cent) said they did not see themselves as part of a certain social group while only eight per cent expressed affiliation with eco-friendly attitudes and alternative lifestyles.
The teenagers were also asked to name the major reason for why many Austrians were going through tough times. Around 37 per cent claimed laziness and a lack of determination was the key aspect of their failure to make ends meet. Only 21 per cent said inequalities of today’s society caused hardship. Four per cent described impoverished residents of Austria as “unlucky”.