8.1 General context
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In March 2019, the Ministry of Culture commissioned research about children and youth culture which resulted in the report Ung kultur: et kunnskapsgrunnlag (Hylland, Haugsevje, Schnell and Miland, Telemarksforskning: 2019). The report provides an overview of existing knowledge about children and young people's cultural and media use/participation in Norway by reviewing studies, surveys and statistics. It does point out the difficulty in determining trends over time given the variation between how studies and surveys are structured, the questions aksed, and which age groups and categories of cultural and media use are included. This means that it is difficult to compare data over time and comparatively between countries.
The report does point to some trends:
- In general, cultural consumption and participation among children and young people is high and has remained stable over time. This applies to traditional cultural activities such as the use of libraries and museums.
- The research shows that far less time is spent on paperbased media, and there is a drastic decline in the use of linear TV. Social media, streaming and computer games are key activities for children and young people.
- New technology opens up for the development of new cultural activities, which largely overlap with more traditional activities rather than replacing them.
Ungdata, a cross national collection scheme designed to conduct youth surveys at the municipal level, and which is financed through the national budget, has a section on free time/leisure activities. The 2016 report ‘Socioeconomic differences in living conditions among Norwegian youths` using data from Ungdata demonstrated that there is a positive relationship between participation in organized activities (such as culture/music schools) and high socio-economic background. When it comes to access and use of youth clubs there is an opposite relationship between socio-economic background and participation.
White Paper No. 18 (2020-2021) on children and youth culture [«Oppleve, skape, dele — Kunst og kultur for, med og av barn og unge»] defines children and youth culture as artistic cultural expressions that have children and young people as a target group, both as recipients, participants, and actors.
White Paper No. 8 (2018–2019) The Power of Culture – Cultural Policy for the Future [«Kulturens kraft. Kulturpolitikk for framtida»] defines children and young people’s access to and participation in the artistic and cultural sector as “access to art and culture that they [children and young people] find relevant, and which offers them basic cultural references, learning and joy.” Access to culture is further described as involving the opportunity of children and young people to create their own voluntary activities and organise their own youth culture.