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Research Principles

Our goal is to be the leading expert organisation for youth and youth-related information in Finland.

The research activities are based on multidisciplinary and ethical approaches and a combination of basic academic research and applied research that is relevant in terms of youth policy. This setup broadens the conventional understanding of the scopes of expertise and the roles of researchers. Research activities are carried out both nationally and internationally.

Diverse and strong expertise

Research activities in the Finnish Youth Research Society aim to use a wide range of research methods, including a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, and to look beyond traditional research questions and contexts. We study society and communities, young people’s current views and living conditions, youth work, services used by and for young people, and decision-making affecting young people.

Diversity is essential to our research, which means cross-disciplinary collaboration, the use of a wide range of research methods and an innovative curiosity about new phenomena. Youth and adolescence are approached from the perspectives of individuals, groups and cultures, age, generational and institutional relations, and public images.

The Finnish Youth Research Society has an established position as a producer of relevant and reliable research on youth policy and young people in Finland.

Applied, multi-method and timely

Our research activities are based on strong basic academic research, which we build on to conduct and promote applied research and research for societal needs that originate in society. Basic research helps to make better applied research and, in turn, applied research generates knowledge and knowledge needs for basic academic research.

We are able to rapidly respond to current knowledge needs of young people and youth. Peer-reviewed research and an understanding of the key phenomena highlighted in the youth field and related to the world of youth provide a basis for contributing to the societal debate.

Regular, continuous and innovative data collection

One of the cornerstones of research is the production of socially relevant, regular and sustained research data on young people in Finland. Recurrent surveys, the Youth Barometer and the Children and Youth Leisure Survey, are at the core of our research activities. The 30-year time span of the Youth Barometer, for example, asks the same repeated questions year after year and thus allows monitoring changes and detecting real trends over time.

A systematic approach and diverse, ethically sustainable ways of producing data are needed to provide long-term information and to respond to rapid information needs of the society in a high-quality way.

Research to empower young people

We use research to strengthen young people’s agency and participation and to highlight their views and experiences in society. We aim to open up youth culture and other youth-related phenomena in the societal debate, for different generations, from a youth perspective. Rather than focusing on problems, our research focuses, in particular, on the contribution of young people to society and the world, and on their own experiences and views. We are on the side of young people, but that does not mean that we always agree with them.

In our research we consciously focus on the equality of young people. Young people are not a homogeneous group, but we need to know about different forms of youth, different types of young people and young people’s views in a broad sense.

As a non-governmental organisation, the Finnish Youth Research Society attaches great importance to consulting and involving young people in research. We carry out in-depth research, for example through interviews with young people and ethnography, which also involves young people as co-researchers.

Impact from diverse networks

The impact of our activities is enhanced by our active and extensive social networks. Multidisciplinary cooperation with national and international universities, research institutes, networks and scientific societies, as well as with NGOs and youth policy actors, is a key part of our work.

The effectiveness of our activities is enhanced by our close cooperation with other actors in the youth field. The Finnish Youth Research Society has strong expertise in youth work research, based on a cumulative, systematic and critical approach to the results and impact of youth work and on research on young people as users of and participants in youth work services.