Noorte organisatsiooniline kuuluvus siirdeaja Eestis: motiivid ja eesmärgid individualiseerumisteooria kontekstis



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Tartu Ülikool



My master thesis is titled “Organizational Membership of Young People in Transitional Estonia: Purposes and Motives in the Context of Individualization Theory”. The central focus of my study is the influence of individualization and globalization processes on the collective action of young people. It is based on the theoretical paradigm of individualization and risk society which claims that in late modern societies self- determined individuals are in the centre of the society. Several empirical researches and analyses conducted by sociologists indicate to the changes in social sphere and value systems of young people. It is also believed that participation in different collective activities is decreasing among young people in whole Europe. As societal and ethical decisions are individualized, young people must – even though they may not be so inclined – take an individual stand and take responsibility for society’s value decisions, problems and risks. I have set two goals for the master thesis: theoretical and practical. The theoretical goal of this study is to provide a theoretical context for analyzing the perspectives of organizational membership, collective action, the societal coherence of young people and the development of the third sector in Estonia. My aim is to raise the problem and the hypothesis of the research by the individualization and risk theory. The practical purpose of my thesis is to give some tips for the leaders of different organizations about how to reach the members of their organization and motivate young people to take action. While discussing the theoretical and practical issues of my research I wish to find out why young people are becoming less interested in community work. My study is based on 5 focus-group interviews and 4 in-depth interviews. As the thesis is written in a comparative perspective, the data has been gathered from five different types of organizations. All the five organizations are youth organizations that are, according to my presumptions, dependent on global and societal processes. In the first chapter I give a theoretical and an empirical overview of the analyzed field, focusing on the main thesis and empirical data of individualization. My own empirical material comes from different organizations - opinions of the leaders and active members. In the concluding part I answer the questions set in the research. In the discussion section I link my research results with the theoretical and empirical parts presented at the beginning of the thesis. My results indicate to the fact that individualization has in some ways affected the mindset and values of young generation in Estonia, regarding collective action and organizational membership. The main motives for joining any organization are very closely related to people’s personal pragmatic reasons. On the other hand my results show that individualization does not lead organizational and collective work into collapse. Although the values and motives of the younger generation differ from the previous generation, collective action is not disappearing from the society. However, it changes according to the values and priorities of a modern society generation.


H Social Sciences (General)