FSD1239 Power Structures of Finnish Society 2001Detailed description (collection | citation | publications)
Ruostetsaari, Ilkka (University of Tampere. Department of Political Science and International Relations)
Keywords: career development, conflict, decision making, democracy, elected officials, elite, globalization, mass media, organizations, political leaders, political power, power structures, social class, social influence, social networks
In this power structure survey, the Finnish power elite is under observation. The respondents were from the following sectors of society: politics, administration, business life, organisations, mass media, science and culture. The study focuses on institutional leadership positions and roles in the various sectors, not on the persons as such. There were 1,285 elite positions in 2001. The themes of the survey included, among others, career, internationalisation, interaction, power and childhood home.
In view of the respondents' careers, they were asked their main occupation, eventual other occupations, positions of trust, membership in different organisations and unofficial groups, and factors affecting career development (e.g. childhood home, gender and hobbies). Interaction was measured by presenting the respondents with a list of possible contact partners and asking them about the frequency and the nature of the contact. The listed contact partners included, among others, the president of Finland, political party organisations, ministries, municipalities, army, church, different organisations, institutions of higher learning, and enterprises. In addition, the respondents were asked how often they appear in the media and to what extent they keep in touch with their acquaintances from younger years on account of their occupation. Internationalisation was studied by asking whether the respondents had studied or worked abroad and if they had personal contacts with citizens of other countries.
In relation to power, the respondents were asked what forms of communication they consider most important in view of their own organisations. The respondents were also asked to assess the influence of various bodies (the parliament, representatives of cultural life, the press, labour market organisations, the EU, etc.). Further questions covered the greatest problems in Finnish society and the degree of antagonism between various groups in Finland. The impact of the recession on the decision making was charted as well. The respondents were presented with a number of statements relating to society and asked whether they agree. Finally, in relation to childhood home, the survey inquired about the respondent's mother tongue, his/her parents' education, occupational group, elected offices and party preference.
Background variables included, among others, the respondent's area of operation, gender, year of birth, marital status, place of residence, education, self-perceived social class, annual gross income and which political party the respondent would vote for if the parliamentary elections were held at that time.