Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Sustainable development : an ambivalent cliché or a tangible reality? : exploring its complexities from the eyes of Maltese youths
Authors: Cassar, Clinton
Keywords: Sustainable development -- Malta
Sustainable development -- Malta -- Public opinion
Public opinion -- Malta
Youth -- Malta -- Attitudes
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Cassar, C. (2015). Sustainable development: an ambivalent cliché or a tangible reality?: exploring its complexities from the eyes of Maltese youths (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: The main aim of this dissertation is to understand the term sustainable development (SD) through the eyes of Maltese youths from 18 to 30 years. This term has been linked to complexities based upon its historical evolution, semantics, the notion of space and time, its multiple domains and multiple interpretations. The research questions, which are linked to the dissertation’s objectives, focus on youths’ knowledge, attitudes, skills and participation vis-a-vis SD. These served as the underpinning of the mixed methodology approach which was utilised, through the questionnaires and focus groups. Proportionate stratified random sampling on the basis of age, gender and location was employed. Questionnaires were distributed to the population sample, followed by focus group sessions. The participants of the latter were the same of the questionnaire, selected on the basis of their acceptance to participate in such sessions. Results show that youths are fairly informed about SD. Youths either defined it through previous renowned definitions, which they had to study for their examinations such as that of the Brundtland report (1987) or they gave a personalised one, depending on their ambiences or personal experiences. The notion of subjectivity and dynamicity seem to be the major complexities to be accredited for. It emerged that the pillar of the environment is given most importance since youths often link it with SD, while culture is given the least preference, despite being the unifying factor to other ‘hidden’ pillars such as the spiritual-religious and the political one. Local issues which require attention are improving transport and traffic, promoting renewable energy, improving air quality and reducing waste, while global issues include reducing the effects on climate, reducing poverty, promoting renewable energy and improving air quality. Results also show that few youths participate in any SD activities and more action should be taken in this regard. Based on such results, this research presents some recommendations such as a new paradigm for SD – ‘from an era of ambivalence to a more tangible reality’, the cogwheel model of participation that outlines modes of youth participation and enhancing the link between formal and informal education system. Therefore, changing one’s lifestyle is important rather than just disseminating information to the youth sector. Youths need to be involved in order to become agents of change.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - CenEER - 2015

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
  Restricted Access
6.04 MBAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.