In the article the youth is seen as a resource for formation and development of the urban society. Young people’s inclusion in the urban governance, their development and social activity with participation in society is the key of the society development. The youth’s participation in society’s life depends both on the state and the living position of the youth. Development of the youth policy is equally useful for the state (a new view, innovations) and for the young people (personal growth, social communications). For this reason, the question of social activity and social participation of youth is urgent. Innovative approaches to the concepts "youth activity" and "participation" are analyzed, the social capital is considered as a development resource. In the context of Tyumen region, the social activity of youth, its direction and degree of youth’s inclusion in the city development are analyzed. The paper gives the results of questioning "The analysis of youth’s social activity in Tyumen". Having analyzed the main directions of work with young people and the problems of youth’s low social activity there have been also suggested different forms and methods of youth’s activation. Organizations and communities whose work is aimed to include young people in the city life are determined.
Keywords: Youthsocial activityparticipationsocial capital
The youth is a resource, "the future of the nation". It has a special value for formation and development of society. "The younger generation possesses special subjectivity, universal spirit of adventurism, … the youth is an initiator of any changes in society. The youth is neither progressive, nor conservative by its nature. It is potentiality ready for any undertaking" (Mannheim, 1994).
Youth’s position in the society, the degree of its participation in society’s life depends both on the state and on an active life position of the youth.
On the one hand, young people are planning and building their future; therefore, it is necessary to take into account experience and knowledge of older generation. On the other hand, in society there is a reconsideration of the fact that the youth is the main factor of the changes, who bears a social value.
Currently in Russia, the state youth policy is implemented, which represents a joint activity of state authorities, social institutions and public associations with the purpose of youth’s problems solving in all spheres of its activity. The state offers a system of measures, different programs for creating the conditions in which it is possible to implement social, intellectual, cultural and economic potential of the younger generation. On the one hand, contemporary government is interested in "youth’s sphere” developing and motivating young generation for cooperation in the society’s development. On the other, the youth carries out innovative activities and contributes to the development of society.
Speaking about the role of youth and the state in the development of the social environment, it is impossible to hold back the other aspect of the question. Now the role of youth in development of society is much lower, than it should and can be. A considerable part of young people is not included in participation of many spheres of life that hinders their integration into society.
Youth problems have been investigated by many Russian and foreign scholars. They consider youth as a special generation; define it as a social community with its own characteristics and problems. Much attention is paid to socialization of youth and its social activity, attracting young people to participate in life of society, as reflected in works of Lisovskiy (1998), Lukov (2012), Titma, Saar (1986), Park (2008), Gavrilyuk (2014), Vishnevskiy and Shapko (2006), Mannheim (1998). Scientists speak about the need for work with the youth, the definition of its interests and motivation, building social capital. The social capital as a resource for the development of society was investigated by Putnem (1995), Fukuyama (1996), Burdieu (2002). The social capital is a condition for economic well-being and efficiency of local government
Results and discussions
Currently the question arises about the increase of social activity and social participation of young people. What is meant under social activity and social involvement? Why are governments paying particular attention to the activity of youth?
Participation in the life of any community includes not only voting or standing for election. "Participation in society and active citizenship presuppose the existence of rights, means, space and opportunity, and where necessary the support for participation in the decision-making process and influence on this process, as well as participation in all forms of activities with the aim of building a better society" (Mora, Rometsch, 2003).
Participation assumes collaboration on projects, problem solving. To participate means to influence and take responsibility for decisions and actions which affect the interests of youth or are simply important for it. Young people should not be perceived only as the community that needs only protection and help or as subject to adults’ intervention who regulate the young people’s lives. The youth has to be involved in the solution of the problems which concern youth itself, and adults should give support to the youth, and not just specify what to do. This interaction is built in the form of continuous dialogue and systematic work. The youth must be involved in the solution of the problems concerning it, and adults have to support the youth in dealing with their problems, and not just command what to do and how to do. This cooperation is built in the form of consecutive dialogue, systematic co-work. "Youth participation is considered as a crucial condition for positive development of youth. There are more and more data that the young people playing active role in life of organizations and communities have less problems, have the best life skills and become successful citizens" (Rogatkin, 2016).
Thus, it is necessary to aspire that the youth became an active participant in the management of cities at all stages of the management process, it could make decisions, implement them and monitor their execution progress.
Roger Hart has offered "a ladder of participation of youth which can be used to measure the degree of youth’s participation in projects, organizations, and communities. According to R. Hart, there are various degrees of youth’s involvement or acceptance of responsibility, depending on the situations, resources, requirements, the available experience" (Hart, 1992). In total eight degrees of participation have been allocated – from manipulation of young people to the independent projects management. It should be noted that any participation is important and the degree of participation depends on the purposes to be achieved.
The main areas of youth participation are shown in fig.
Why is the activity and involvement of young people so important, what does the participation give? Activity and participation help to hear the young people’s problems and their solutions from the point of view of young people; it encourages the development of new skills and gives confidence. "The best way to deal with problems is to involve the youth in their resolution. All young people deserve to have access to learning opportunities, contributing and overcoming the challenges they face" (Revised European Charter, 2003). Participation encourages young people to take responsibility. "The population’s activity is analyzed through the definition of the content and direction of its relationship with the local community, namely through the participation in territorial organized communities, assessing the character of the interest in problem solving (interest, willingness to participate, participation in the role of the artist, the role of the initiator), the practice of public activity" (Kostko, 2016).
In addition social activity and participation develop the social capital of youth. Having analyzed various approaches to the social capital in given research, the authors accept the definition offered by Bespartochniy B.D., "the social capital is a person’s spiritual and social component, a peculiar resource which defines his subjective status in society shown and reproduced by means of social relations, built on mutual trust, reputation, the general norms and values. It gives the individual and group to which he belongs certain advantages relatively concerning access, possession, the order and the use of limited public resources and benefits" (Bespartochnyj, 2014). Communities with the high level of the social capital overcome social problems more effectively.
During the research, the main directions of work with youth of Tyumen have been revealed:
formation of installation on a healthy lifestyle;
formation of patriotism and respect for historical and cultural values;
the development of youth self-government and leadership skills of youth;
strengthening the institute of family, preservation of family values;
the development of the volunteer movement;
support of youth initiatives, development of scientific, technical and innovative creativity of youth;
temporary employment and the vocational guidance relying on requirements of labor market of the region;
improvement the quality and availability of services for youth (Chromen, Subbotina, 2015).
Similar trends find their reflection in grants and projects which suggest youth’s participation: Regional Department on sports and youth policy, the Regional center of additional children’s education and youth, the Charitable Fund of development of Tyumen, commercial organizations, etc.
Grants and projects are aimed to support and to organize the activity of socially important youth’s initiatives, to support talented youth, to develop its potential, to organize its rest, to improve the labor employment of children and youth, to the organizing of the activity, assisting the young people’s integration in a difficult life situation, arranging the events of antisocial manifestations which sometimes have a radical character, directed to implementation of the projects pointed to education of youth’s civic consciousness and patriotism, to development of different types of creativity, national traditions and business projects.
Also in Tyumen, there is a variety of communities and organizations for the revitalization and integration of young people into society.
Having analyzed work of the listed organizations and communities, it is possible to draw a conclusion that these organizations have mostly been originally created by the state, City Department on work with the youth. Here it is possible to track the accurate debugged system of work with young people which covers not only educational services, patriotic actions, sports and creative projects, but also formation of leadership, development of an initiative, inclusion in participation of the city life.
Despite it, the inclusiveness in management of the city remains low. So, representative participation of youth aged up to 35 years in authorities in the sixth convocation of Tyumen City Council has made only three deputies of 36, that is only 8% of total.
By results of questioning by definition of activity of youth (2014, 2016), it is possible to draw a conclusion that the youth is badly informed on various actions, competitions, grants. Students are the most active part of the youth; at the same time, the percent of activity of youth remains low (Yudashkina, 2015).
The results of a research concerning preferences of areas of participation are displayed in table.
Source: made by the author by questioning results
The analysis of questioning results in dynamics has accurately revealed a problem of social outsiders. In 2014 there were 45%, and in 2016 – 34% young people who did not take part in any projects. Two years later the participation percent has grown by 24% what shows the efficiency of work with youth, at the same time the percentage of outsiders is still high.
Socially active part of youth gives preference to creative projects – 29% and 39% of youth respectively participate in them – it is caused by an opportunity to be acquainted with new people, to realize the creative potential. Participation in the project allows to implement itself, to address audience, to be in the public eye.
Scientific and social projects demand more investments and affords but the results are not so noticeable though the percent of participation in this projects has also increased by 3 and 4 points respectively. Participation in scientific projects was 11% in 2016, and in 2014 value of an indicator was at the level of 8%.
The growth of participation in social projects is even more considerable – from 7% to 11%. It should be noted that among participants of social projects the share of young people who have taken part in the projects aimed at development of the city has considerably grown (in 2014 there were 29% against 44% in 2016 participants). Thus, nearly a half of participants of social projects have been involved in processes on improvement of the urban environment.
Much attention is paid to formation of leaders as the leader can organize, unite youth around himself. The leader is a person whom all other members of group trust the right of acceptance of the crucial decisions concerning interests of group members and defining the direction and the nature of this activity. The leader can be appointed officially and can be informal, but he actually directs collective due to his organizing abilities. Researches show that people estimate knowledge and abilities of a leader much higher, than the corresponding qualities of other members of group. The leader is, as a rule, self-assured, competent, accurately knows what to do for achievement of goals, also the leader has sharp mind, strong will, organizing abilities; he understands features of psychology of people. Therefore it is necessary to reveal leaders, to help them develop.
In Tyumen, various events for identification of leaders and formation of leadership skills are held:
"TOP 100 of the most outstanding young people of Tyumen" annually defines the rating of outstanding people of Tyumen aged from 18 up to 33 years which have made or do something important for development of the city (athletes, doctors, businessmen, heads of public organizations enter this rating);
"The youth leader award" has been handed to 50 organizers and authors of social projects;
"The best head of Tyumen region" – an annual competition in identification of the most productive head of the academic groups and so on.
Such competitions and actions help to reveal leaders, to define the directions in which they work. Grants and awards help to realize various projects.
despite positive dynamics, the problem of outsiders among young people is urgent, dynamics of the increase in social activity in comparison with 2014 is traced, but as of 2016, 34% of young people are still not involved in any types of social activities; therefore, it is necessary to develop work with youth, to include youth in life of society;
work with youth in Tyumen is carried out actively and effectively which proves the increased activity of youth and the growth of youth associations and communities. The most of the state and city programs are aimed at development of creative activity, patriotism. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the number of the programs directed to attraction the young people to participate in social life, decision-making, which concern the youth. The research has shown that if the project, competition or program are accurately thought out, well-developed and consider interests of youth, the youth actively participates in them;
it is necessary to develop the system of work with youth, to define the areas of work and to establish feedbacks. Consecutive and permanent job with youth is important.
Participation of youth in life of society leads to its development, teaches responsibility, forms competences, develops the social capital. The involvement of young people into the solution of socially important questions increases the general culture and the responsibility of society.
The authors would like to thank Olga Iatsevich, Natalia Kostko and Valentina Shabalovskaya for their discussion, their constructive and useful comments on the paper.
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19 February 2018
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Iudashkina, V., & Stafeeva, N. (2018). Features Of Studying The Youths Social Activity In Tyumen. In I. B. Ardashkin, N. V. Martyushev, S. V. Klyagin, E. V. Barkova, A. R. Massalimova, & V. N. Syrov (Eds.), Research Paradigms Transformation in Social Sciences, vol 35. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 502-510). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.02.58