65° - 01.09.1967, Blaðsíða 22

65° - 01.09.1967, Blaðsíða 22
THE HABITS OF ICELANDERS A Survey by PETUR GUDJONSSON Since the family is the nucleus of society, and since the primary relationships formed in the family group are most important in shaping the individual, it follows that in order to make any study of a society’s structure, one must begin with the family. The researcher, who spent the summer of 1967 in Iceland working on a sociological survey, found that lack of time, money, and experience necessitated focusing his research on but a few aspects of family life in Iceland — namely, at- titudes toward premarital sexual relations, unwed motherhood, and illegitimacy. These aspects were chosen because Iceland’s view of them is unique compared to the views of other western countries. To make such a study anywhere is difficult, since family life and marital relations are usually considered to be sacred or secret. Anthropologists would conduct a study of family by taking up residence in a small community, becoming an accepted part of it, and relying primarily on ob- servations. This method becomes extremely dif- ficult, however, when the sample increases, and almost impossible when it reaches the size of Reykjavik. The social researcher has to use socio- logical techniques, i.e. conduct his study chiefly by interviewing a small portion of his chosen population. He can either use a standard ques- tionnaire, which is easier to analyze but often pro- duces a rigid interviewing atmosphere, or he can conduct interviews informally. The latter method produces a casual atmosphere, but tremendous work is needed to analyze the results. Even if he sends his questionnaires by mail, thus avoiding Petur GuSjonsson graduated from Menntaskol- inn (equivalent of high school and junior college) in Reykjavik 1966 and has completed his sec- ond year at Harvard University, U.S.A. where he is studying a B.A. program in Social Studies. direct interviews, he must carefully select his sample and make certain it is as representative as possible. At first glance, Iceland appears to be a Mecca for the social researcher. It has a small and rela- tively homogeneous population, good statistical records and is virgin territory for social research, since no extensive family-study has been made in Reykjavik and vicinity where the majority of Icelanders live. This lack of family studies in Iceland is due to two factors: first, the lack of qualified person- nel, and second, and perhaps more significant, the difficulty involved in conducting such a study since social research and especially social surveys have not yet become an established norm in the Icelandic society. This researcher also suspects that Icelanders’ skepticism toward everything new and especially their reluctance to believe that anything new can be successful has been a limit- ing factor, particularly in the case of existing qualified personnel who are reluctant to risk their reputations. The researcher set out to do this survey for two reasons: the first, prompted by youth’s im- patience and eagerness, was to learn as much as possible in as little time as possible about the heart of Icelandic society — the family. The second was the idealistic belief that Icelanders must start to do extensive social research, since technology and increased communications are changing this little insular society, —- not only its constituents, but also values attributed to them. One may fairly state that the time is now ripe for family studies, although it would have been pre- ferable had social research become an accepted and established element in the society. It would even have been better if someone better qualified had undertaken this study, but any beginning is better than no beginning. The original intent of this study was to attempt 65° 20



Beinir tenglar

Ef þú vilt tengja á þennan titil, vinsamlegast notaðu þessa tengla:

Tengja á þennan titil: 65°

Tengja á þetta tölublað:

Tengja á þessa síðu:

Tengja á þessa grein:

Vinsamlegast ekki tengja beint á myndir eða PDF skjöl á Tímarit.is þar sem slíkar slóðir geta breyst án fyrirvara. Notið slóðirnar hér fyrir ofan til að tengja á vefinn.