Citizenship and Democracy
AimThe Council of Europe in 2005 promoted the Year of European Citizenship with the slogan "Learning to Live Democracy". In that context, the concept of democracy and legality, active participation, respect for diversity, the fight against discrimination and racism were emphasized. The Federuni has developed these themes and has carried out a sociological research in 2010 in collaboration with Rezzara Chair. In the multicultural society in which we live, the concept of citizenship has become tendentially contradictory and conflicting. The natives emphasize the defense of their culture, their attachment to traditions, local laws, ethno-territorial bonds; the foreigners emphasize the legal rights of equality, the impossibility for a foreigner, even if respectful and honest, to aspire to full equality for an insurmountable difference, compared to an authentic autochthonous. The research has proposed to investigate the problem by making a survey in the territory of Bari and Vicenza (South and North) in order to assess precisely what the population (young and old) taken into consideration really think about citizenship.
The Rezzara Institute of Vicenza and its chair of Anthropology and Pedagogy of Mola di Bari in collaboration with the Federuni and the high schools of Vicenza and Bari have implemented the aforementioned research “Citizenship and Democracy” in order to understand how in Italy is conceived citizenship and what value is attributed to it. Once established the beneficiaries of the project: the U3A Adults and the young people of high schools and fixed what we wanted to ascertain through the answers given by them, we worked with great scientific competence on the questionnaire to be administered so that the desired objective was achieved. The completed questionnaire was given to about 15.000 people. However, not all of them answered to it: many schools did not commit themselves and many adults did not respond, so only 8425 people resulted involved, including 5974 young people and 2451 adults. We then moved on to the recording of the responses and the realization of the graphs, which allowed us to have a clear picture of the awareness of citizenship in Italy. The results revealed a lack of attention to legal problems and a progressive loss of their sense of belonging to one’s own territory. It is a clear orientation towards a social citizenship to be build day by day. In short, in the adults, citizenship has been more national and linked to the country that must be protected from external aggressions. However, there is no strong grounding of this idea in them since they privilege the themes of assistance and social integration. It also emerged from the data that the State is asked for a greater guarantee, more precise rules, attention to assistance, greater listening of the citizens’ wishes, greater appreciation of diversity and above all greater possibility of integration with immigrants. These are the elements related to the growth of society and democracy. In conclusion most of the respondents stressed the value of citizenship by referring more to a citizenship relative to Italy than to a European citizenship, that however, is more present in young people than in adults. Besides the research has pointed out a good openness towards the others. An opening to the world that the European Union can undoubtedly realize. The results of this research, together with the questionnaire, the graphs and the detailed analysis of them have been collected and published in the work titled “Cittadinanza e Democrazia –ricerca sociologica 2010” -Edizioni Rezzara -Vicenza.
- Federazione Italiana tra le univesità della Terza Età, Italy – Project coordinator
- Cattedra Rezzara & The University of Vicenza, Italy
- Cattedra Rezzara & The University of Mola di Bari, Italy
Step by Step Explanation
Spreading of the project among partners
Discussion and ideation of the questionnaire
Data analysis and evaluation
Drafting of the final text