Afghanistan: Topics of Interest

Wednesday 28th December 2011 | Author: SankalpaD

By Audrey Ariss; Master’s student in Columbia University’s Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences program.

Continuing on the discussion from the previous post, some of the countries surveyed displayed interesting results.

Afghanistan is a unique country in the sample. The survey in Afghanistan was different to all the others as it was the only country in which questions were posed about interest in issues on democracy, education, reconstruction, women and youth issues, rather than news about the topics listed above.

The survey yielded some interesting results. While 34 per cent are very interested in politics, only 9 per cent of the respondents are reported to be very interested in democracy. Indeed, the majority – 65 per cent of respondents – do not display any interest in seeing this topic discussed in the news. Age and sex do not have an effect this trend; even ethnicity does not significantly influence the responses people gave. Whether an Afghani is Tajik, Pashtun or other does not determine the respondents’ reported interest in seeing news about democracy.

Aside from regional news and politics, agriculture is the most salient topic to the respondents. One in three are very interested in this topic, and almost three quarters of respondents have some interest in this issue. Reconstruction efforts, unsurprisingly, are also high concern to the respondents. Another interesting point to be noted is the high degree of interest in women’s concerns and youth, compared to a far lower interest in education. As might be expected, there is a correlation between sex and interest in seeing news about women’s concern in Afghanistan: 80% of women are either ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ interested, compared to only 45% of men.

The chart below ranks the topics in order of percentage of people that show some interest in news about these topics.

Figure 1: Percentage of respondents in Afghanistan that are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ interested in the following topics

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