What is EIKKA

EIKKA (European Youth Research and Organisation Developing and Communication Centre) is a fairly new workshop focusing on the Social Sciences. It was established in 2005 in order to have a part in the development of a new direction for education and youth research, the results of which can be used in the world of business, communication, marketing and for sociology, pedagogy, art and cultural sociology. The centre wishes to become a meeting point for Hungarian and international researchers, while involving students in its operations as well. It would like to become a new school and have an international network.

EIKKA’s strategic aim is to get to know the sociological features of young persons and students, via doing research, transmitting scientific results into the field of education, and publishing books.

Strategic partners:
• Institute for Higher Education Research,
• Hungarian Academy of Sciences - Institute of Sociology,
• Office of Youth Research,
• University of Szeged (Szeged, Hungary),
• Babes-Bolyai University (Cluj, Romania).

Works by the foundation experts and researchers are published by Belvedere Meridionale Publishing House. The published works are the results of a ten-year workshop-like collaboration that has been articulated in a series entitled ”ifjúsági korszakváltás”(youth epoch changing).

Areas of research:
Research in education and youth. This can be divided into four parts, which correlate.
1. Education and youth sociological, empirical research.
2. Formulating strategic documents.
3. Fitting research results into the framework of higher education.
4. Publishing books and other materials.

Our work is based on the theory of ’youth epoch changing’ as outlined in Hungary by Dr. Kálmán Gábor.

The theoretical basis of our youth research: the phenomenon of youth time period change is able to be constantly observed in Western Europe from the sixties until the eighties. The essence of this phenomenon was the transformation of social reproduction, the increasing value of knowledge gained via the education system, a prolongation of youth life and the formation of a ’professional youth status’ at the expense of the ’amateur’ one.

Institutions controlling youth directly (the work place, family, political organisations) have been replaced by bodies having a more indirect form of control (the mass media, the consumer industry). Young persons have become more autonomous. The younger generations organise themselves more actively, and conflicts between young people and adults become filled with tension. Youth culture plays a more important role in the social orientation and political behavioural patterns of young people. The relationship between young people and adults is as if it were a one-way road becoming a two-way road; youth does not just follow, but creates patterns to follow... We think that the youth-life period has gradually become more valuable concerning both its social and private context. And all major youth concepts have to find their new place here. Concepts that see youth life as a long-term process of individual development secured by society are correct. In this process, both cultural capital and modern methods of reproduction are reflected as individually achievable sources of power.

Within youth research it is especially important to investigate youth within the framework of a transforming system of education. Besides students studying within higher education, other groups of young people are involved in the process of research, and youth mobility is a crucial point for the whole issue. We are chiefly putting an emphasis on surveying the orientation of values, leisure activities, political behavioural patterns, transformation of the planning of life events, youth identity and vulnerability.

An extremely important field of research is the attitude of youth towards culture. The Island Festival research (started ten years ago) fits in within the framework of this. We have always taken special care to make our surveys compatible, which is why we are also involving young Hungarian people living in neighbouring countries in the research.

The core of the university-student research can be traced back to the second part of the eighties, and we have focused here on the problems of social composition, different layers and equal opportunities. We also put emphasis on issues pertaining to the socialisation of students; also, on theoretical and methodological aspects with regard to how to ’follow’ graduates after they have left the system of education.