Inderscience Publishers

Young people in knowledge society: possibilities to fulfil ecological goals

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Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has changed the consumption patterns of young people in particular. Young people are also regarded as being in the vanguard of green and ethical consumption styles. This study aims to find out whether there is a connection between Finnish young people's attitudes toward ICT and their consumption styles, particularly in terms of green and ethical consumerism. The study is based on both quantitative (n = 637) and qualitative (n = 51) data. The results of this study also show that a minority of young people are interested in environmental effects of their consumption. The enthusiasm over ICT seems to be connected to 'trendy' lifestyles, 'cool' consumption, 'hard' values and male gender. Negative attitudes towards ICT are most often ideologically based and are related to green and critical consumerism and female gender. Boys, more than girls, also see technological development as the solution to environmental problems.

Keywords: young people, knowledge society, ICT, technology enthusiasm, environment, green consumerism, ethical consumerism, gender differences, information technology, communications, sustainable information society, sustainability, sustainable development, Finland, environmental impact

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