Conservative Values Vs Liberal Values: Survey and Sociological Study of the Opinions of High School Students at IFC-Ibirama on Contemporary Topics That Divide Brazilian Public Opinion.

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 18:50
Oral Presentation
Fernando TAQUES, Instituto Federal Catarinense, Brazil
Priscila BRANDAO MARTINS DA NOBREGA, Nucleo de Estudos do Brasil Meridional, Brazil
This research investigates and analyses the positions of IFC-Ibirama high school students (a school in the small town of Ibirama in Santa Catarina state in southern Brazil) regarding specific topics that have divided recent Brazilian public opinion. These include amongst others: gay marriage, the legalisation of abortion, the reduction in the age of criminal responsibility, the death penalty and the legalisation of marijuana.

According to a study released in 2013 by Datafolha, there has been a significant shift in Brazilian public attitudes towards more conservative values. In the same year Brazil saw huge protests erupt across the country marking the beginning of a political-institutional crisis that eventually culminated with the impeachment of President Dilma Rouseff, and the establishment of a government clearly aligned with the most conservative sectors of society in 2016.

With this in mind, our research intended to verify to what extent the young people at our school conformed to this tendency and whether their views reflected a society and politics that was moving to the right. Via a questionnaire applied to a random sample of students, we tried to map their opinions on the themes mentioned above, including possible factors that contributed to their formation: religion, level of parental education, parental profession, familial income, gender, place of residence, etc.

The results obtained show an interesting variation: with the majority of subjects positioning themselves on the more conservative side of the spectrum in relation to crime, whilst at the same time leaning towards more liberal values when questioned about topics relating to gender and sexuality. These findings provide us with sufficient evidence to question the 2013 Datafolha study and the dominance of reactionary attitudes in a political environment that has swung to the right, highlighting a more complex and nuanced vision than all-encompassing general shift towards to conservatism.