The young people of Texel can be defined as the people aged from 10 -19, born from 1995 to 2002. This group belongs to Generation Z and concerns the people who are still in school. Because they still have not formed themselves entirely it is hard to empirically predict what their values are. We can however look at their behavior as a teenager to determine their values.
Because this group is still dependent of their family for education, financial resources and basic needs, they value having a good relationship with their close family.
For the same reason this group has minor priority towards securing financial resources.
Young people are trying to find their place within a group and often feel the need to belong. Having friends therefore has great value for them.
Health and Fitness
This category is especially hard to generalize because the values probably differ a lot per person. Because healthy food and sporting facilities are related to the financial resources, the youngsters are dependent on the income of their parents. But disregarding the financial prosperity of the family. Young people will probably find fitness important because they value their appearance and have they can feel insecure when they do not like their body. Health is then coupled to body liking.
Home and Place
Young people in Texel, generally want to leave the island as soon as they finish middle school. They want to see what it is like to live “on the other side”. Out of curiosity but also because they do not have a high school on Texel. A part of them returns but another part never comes back. (Unknown)
In class there is less sense of hierarchy. Teachers do not automatically get the respect from their pupils, they need to earn it. They do not have authority over their pupils just because of their function. So we can say, that this young group of people values having a good leader but therefore also aims to be a good leader too.
The monotonous life in Texel could push the boundaries of this age group to engage in dangerous, adrenaline sports or for few drugs and crime might feel like an option. Texel however has a low crime rate. Because the people are on an island, they feel a lot of social control and they can hardly escape without being seen.(Unknown 2014)
The young people of Texel are eager to learn new things and value travelling to expand their horizons. This is shown in the amount of people who leave the Island to continue studying and start a career.
Young people probably find it less important to invest time in doing something for their community because they will likely leave on a short term. But because this generation feels like a global citizen, they will probably invest more time in contributing to society as a whole, as long as it is their own initiative.
The traditional morals and values through the Christian Church have already experienced a great change. Though a long time Texelaars remained true to the church secularization occurred rapidly over the past few years. (Unknown 2014)
Texelaars have become more liberal. Young?
Texelaars mainly work in the tourism industry and have a relatively large amount of entrepreneurs. The young people will probably take part in entrepreneurial activities in the future if they stay in Texel. Here they will mainly focus on target and turnover. They will value a more horizontal business structure while looking for people who can inspire them. (Unknown 2014)
Future values towards sustainable development
Sustainable development created a paradigm shift in development theory, policy and practice. It lead to a realization that economic development, social development and the environment are interdependent. Sustainable happiness represents another paradigm shift. It suggests that human pursuit of happiness has positive and adverse impacts, locally and globally – in the present and far into the future. The challenge is to recognize the far-reaching impact of everyday decisions and actions. A further challenge is for human species to take responsibility for how we pursue happiness. (O'Brien 2008) After having established the current values of the Texelaars we need to determine what values need to change in order to become a sustainable society.
Sustainable happiness is the pursuit of happiness that does not exploit other people, the environment or future generations.
There are two key challenges when bringing about a behavioral change. One is to make people realize that the notion of economic growth being equal to development is untrue. The second is to argue that consumption leads to happiness. The following paragraphs show what values account for young people who value sustainable development.
Because this group is still dependent of their family for education, financial resources and basic needs, they value having a good relationship with their close family. Their family teaches them sustainable values that will be passed on by generations.
Financial resources should be less important than they are nowadays. Because for example parents would rely less on having a car. Other more sustainable means of transportation become necessary. This however is a value the parents of the group should have, then this value can be passed on to the children. In that way they will grow up giving less meaning to monetary values.
The young people should value peers who have a sustainable mindset. In the beginning this might be few people. So we need young people who are not afraid to speak up and do not feel the need to belong always. Because peer pressure has often lead to bad habits like, smoking and drinking, but also wanting the nicest clothes and the newest gadgets.
Health and Fitness
Health and fitness contribute largely to sustainable happiness. For example, by active transportation people can compensate their sedentary lifestyle. For this we need safe sidewalks, good cycling roads and good and affordable sporting facilities. More physical activity will lead to less child obesity and a better well-being.
Home and Place
Children should value where they come from, in order to sustain their island. It does not mean that they need to stay on their island when they grow up. But they should be able speak positively of their island, this shows self-respect and self-acceptance.
This group values to be a good leader and they need a good leader too, in order to have a clearer idea of their life path and what decisions to make. For sustainable development it is important that these leaders represent sustainable values.
The young Texelaars already have reasonable values to pursue recreational activities. They do not often seek leisure in drug use or criminal activities. They do however value a more thriving lifestyle. For this is the reason these young people often leave the island. An adjustment in values could be good here, like in finding more fulfillment in nature and sport activities.
Good education should contribute significantly to personal and collective happiness. Sustainable development is not well understood by many educators. Education should be a part of awareness razing to set an example for sustainable values for the young people of Texel.
The young people should have a strong global and local communal sense. In order to contribute to the environment, air quality, reduce congestion and safety.
Young people should be able to pursue their own beliefs and be raised in a society which is open towards different views on the meaning of life. Only then will the young people feel totally free to speak their mind and move their values from extrinsic to intrinsic values.
If young people can be totally free in their contribution to their work they will feel more enjoyment in their work. This means that companies will have a more horizontal structure.
The analysis of the current and future values shows us what young people should value in order to contribute to sustainable development. However some values are hard to inflict on a group of people. It is also undesirable to try to force a certain mindset upon them. So taking this into account, results in the analysis of the actors that have an influence on young people. These actors are especially, parents and teachers. But the analysis also shows us that peers contribute significantly to the change of values of the young people. If peers would care less of how the other classmates are dressed or what they have, less value will be given to materialistic stuff. Another important result is the value young people give to the island of Texel itself. A positive view from the young people can influence the other inhabitants’ happiness.
O'Brien, C. (2008). Sustainable Happiness - How Happiness studies can contribute to a more sustainable future. Canadian Psychology. Cape Breton University, Canadian Psychological Organisation. 49: 289-295.
Unknown. "'Stil aan de overkant' ". Retrieved 2 december 2014, 2014
Unknown (2014). "Texelaars lijken verdacht veel op Nederlanders." Retrieved 2 december 2014.
Unknown (2014). "Wie is generatie Z en hoe bereik je ze?". Retrieved 2 december 2014, 2014, from http://www.frankwatching.com/archive/2011/11/10/wie-is-generatie-z-en-hoe-bereik-je-ze/.