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Edward Kenneth A.

Dragas

2015-46053

BA-Political Science

Results and Discussions


The main findings from the survey are integrated and reported in the following sections.
Figures from the survey conducted during the 3rd week of April from the freshman students of
Political Science in UP Manila are tabulated and reviewed in order to give some indication of
any shift in overall views and orientations amongst the survey members.

Figure 1: Occurrence of discussion of political topics to family and friends


60%

30%

10%

0%

Political engagement

The results indicate that, far from apolitical and apathetic, young people, especially those
studying at the University of the Philippines Manila do have an interest in social and political
issues. Figure 1 shows that a majority of this age cohort do discuss politics with their friends and
family at least several times a week if not more often (60%). 63% or about 19 of the respondents

said that they spend at least 1-2 hours on viewing, listening and reading the news or other
political material every day. Majority also of the respondents said that their primary source of
political knowledge came through the use of information and communication technologies
(ICTs) like the internet (77%). This finally proves one of the basic assumptions of the life of the
current millenials , that life online among the youth takes up a significant portion of their day.
Almost all of them start the day by checking email, logging onto FB, updating blogs, and
following Twitter feeds. It is part of daily life and has become the primary medium through
which they are kept informed, their opinions are shared, their advocacies are promoted, and their
activities are organized. Today, it is easy to make connections and spread information for many
types of activities.
The research also found out that almost all of them said that upon entering UP, they have
become more involved in the different political/social issues facing our country (90%). When
asked about what types of political activities they engage in, over 26 respondents said that they
have done 1 or more political activities listed on the survey (with the most number of them said
they have attended a political rally or joining a political/social group). Figure 2 shows the
respondents opinion as to how the current government is doing its job. 19 of the respondents said
that it needs improvement (90.4%). This statistic just shows the current cynicism to the current
governments legitimacy and style of government. Millenials seem to distrust the Philippine
government and are hungry for change. However, majority of the respondents stated that its not
important for their family or friends to have the same political opinion as them and that politics
is not a complicated topic to talk to other people.

Figure 2: Current government's performance on political/social issues


63%

30%

7%
0%

Political Agendas
As a further indicator of the youths level of political engagement, the researcher asked
the respondents (through the questionnaires), what issues were of certain political interest to
them. The results suggest that contrary to the notion that young people today have no interest in
political matters, they are relatively serious observers of political affairs. Figure 3 showed the
number of respondents who ranked the level of attention the government should do to address an
specific issue.The respondents picked crimes/violence and poverty as their main area of concern,
followed by disaster preparedness, disease outbreaks, terrorism, pollution in the environment,
territorial

Figure 3: Importance of the current issues facing the Philippines

Very Important

Fairly Important

Not at all important

Don't know

Not very important

Disputes, unemployment, drugs, and brain drain in the academe. These results indicate how
these respondents react in dissecting the current social issues in our country.

On the last part of the survey, we asked the respondents to state their level of the
agreement through the following political statements. It is in this part that the respondents
reactions vary heavily and the majority of them have mixed opinions with each other. Figure 4
shows that out of the 9 statements, only 30% percent of the respondents strongly agree to the
general theme of the statements, which is that political participation is important for the
advancement of the youth. 43% agreed while the rest of them (27%) are neutral. One probable
explanation to this result is that they have not yet fully achieved the full potential of political
participation and its effect in their lives. Another explanation is that there is a general, deepseated cynicism and a shortage of a sense of self-efficacy in the government, which has likely
contributed to the respondents assurance that their political participation are not being put to
waste by an ineffective government. All the most that they do is express opinions through social
networks. Young people are keenly aware of the history of activism in the Philippines, but there
is little desire to become involved in traditional methods of political action, such as joining
rallies or organizing social movements. Since daily life is so thickly permeated with
opportunities for self-expression online, this form of engagement is the most popular, the
cheapest, and the easiest.

Average number of respondent's response from 9 statements

1%

Strongly Agree

Agree

27%

Neutral

30%

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

43%

Together, these findings indicate that the young people, in general, are interested in
politics and they appear to have their own political agenda. This agenda focuses on a particular
youth perspective (for instance, nearly all of the responses to the survey question categorized

under the heading education as the main issue of concern). It also gives emphasis to broadly
post-materialist issues. Poverty, Terrorism, environmental issues and poverty were ranked 2 nd, 3rd
and 5th respectively out of the 10 categories used to summarize the data from this question.
Conclusion
The main purpose of this research was to contribute towards an emerging body of
knowledge that seeks to use qualitative techniques to explore youth political behaviour and
attitudes, to build up an understanding of why young people appear to be more politically aware
in the advent of ICTs, and to address such issues from their own perspectives.
The findings from this study suggest that youth political engagement are prevalent among
the Political Science freshman students of UP Manila because of the new information and
communication technologies such as the internet which supported past studies about it (Gil de
Zuniga et al., 2009; Gustafsson, 2010; Puig-i-Abril and Rojas, 2007; Rojas Puig-i-Abril, 2009
and David, 2013). This new generation of politically engaged young Filipinos has a different
toolkit available to it, and the youth believes that having ICTs has helped their efforts immensely
in a number of ways. Through the expression of views and the dissemination of information
whether online or offline, young activists find that they are able to generate interest in political
matters among their peers. Through comments on FB status messages, individuals hear opposing
views, engage in debates with their cohorts, network with other similarly minded individuals
more freely, and gather popular support for their issues more easily.
The expression of opinions through blogs, tweets, and FB statuses is highly valued as a
political activity, and it is an activity that many interviewees believe to be politically
consequential. The ease of use and the accessibility of ICTs have given the youth a way to send
messages to political elites, an opportunity that appears to have encouraged political interest.
Being heard has encouraged the youth to pay attention, so to speak. Interpersonal networks and
communities surrounding specific issues have been created through online forums, and when the
youth join these networks, it fosters a sense of belonging to a politically active community.
Despite the new insights shed by this study, the analysis has several limitations. First, this
is a cross-sectional study, meaning it involves the analysis of data collected from a population, or
a representative subset, at one specific short point in time. This means that this research has a

very limited time scope which leads to smaller samples. Such samples are only limited to the
freshman students of the University of the Philippines Manila. Also, by employing survey data,
the researcher is constrained to self-reports of political participation and activity, which may
yield inaccurate measures due to social desirability bias, which means that the respondents may
have the tendency to answer questions in a manner that will be viewed favorably by others.