The article is about the under-25s in Belgium.. do you think there's an echo of it in your country too?
I dont know about under-25s, specifically, in the Netherlands, but when it comes to trends in general social/cultural/political values, many have remarked on a similar thrust in Dutch politics in recent years.
A more conservative, less permissive take on cultural issues is on the upswing in the Netherlands. So is a renewed preference for more collectivist economic politics, ranging from the newly communitarian focus of the Christian-Democrats to the leftwing populism of the Socialists. Reluctance vis-a-vis continued immigration flows and scepticism towards the EU tie into the picture as well. The underlying trend is a turn away from the liberal [European use of the word] fetishisation of the individual and the market, of globalisation and liberalisation, that we saw in the 1990s.
Among Belgian youths, apparently, the combination is one between an increase in moral conservatism as expressed in disapproval of things like drunkenness, undisciplined children, and smoking parents; and an upswing for the notion of collective responsibility, in which those who do not pull their weight on environmentalism and healthy living are censured.
"Young people are the new puritans"
10 July 2007
BRUSSELS - After the over-65s, young people under the age of 25 have the strictest social standards of all Belgians, according to a survey among 1,822 people by Mediapoll and Fieldforce in May 2007.
Young people under the age of 25 are much more disapproving of drunkenness, racist comments, inconsideration for nature, undisciplined children, and not wearing a seatbelt than people in their 30s and 40s are. "The post-war generation was permissive, but you cannot say that of the young people under 25 at the moment: they are the new puritans," says Herman Konings of research bureau Pocket Marketing/nXt, which analysed the results.
In six of the 13 situations mentioned, under-25s were even stricter than over-65s: racist comments (77 percent of the young people consider these unacceptable, compared to 55 percent of over-65s), inconsideration for nature (52 versus 48 percent), parents who do not keep control of their children (71 versus 68 percent), pregnant women smoking or drinking (68 versus 46 percent), parents who do not urge overweight children to lead a healthier life (64 versus 52 percent) and sloppy writing (26.6 versus 25.5 percent).
When it comes to nature, health, racism and childrearing, under-25s have stricter standards than the rest of the population. "Nature and health are clearly new areas in which young people have much stricter standards," says Herman Konings.
Belgian society is also becoming more socially correct but less permissive, compared to survey results from 1999. A third of the young people under 25 is more socially engaged than in 1999. And 90 percent of the Belgians today think that discipline should replace the more permissive model of childrearing. In 1999 only 68 percent was a supporter of this.