Thursday, April 26, 2007

New America Media surveys youth by cell phone

The results of a New America Media cell phone survey of 600 California residents ages 16-22 have been released, and are downloadable.

Here is the executive summary of the survey:
"One in eight of the nation's young people lives in California. Three-fifths are youth of color, and nearly half are immigrants or the children of immigrants. Taken together, this poll paints a portrait of a generation coming of age in a society of unprecedented racial and ethnic diversity – the first global society this country has seen.

"California's young people, as reflected in this poll, are strong believers in the American Dream, harbor deep concerns about family stability, cite marriage and parenthood as life goals, and are as apt to define their identity by music and fashion taste as by the color of their skin. Despite obstacles, they expect to create successful lives for themselves and imagine a more inclusive and tolerant society for one another. This collective optimism represents a unique source of social capital for California, and a mirror of what the U.S. is becoming as a global society."

The summary is really interesting and separates many questions by race and gender. For example, young men perceive themselves as healthier than young women do, and African American youth perceive themselves as healthier than White Anglo, Latino or Asian youth do.* Surprising to me was that youth did not identify gender as an important way they identify. Either that, or the researchers did not give gender as an option. I think it's the latter. Ooops, big oversight.

*These categories were defined by the researchers and self selected into by survey respondents.

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