The nature of spirituality among young people in Australia and Thailand
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
Eighty interviews with Thai young people and 283 interviews with Australian young people revealed that there were similarities and differences in the ways they related to religion. All Thai young people identified with a religion and considered religion important as a basis for morality. In contrast, many Australian young people neither identified with religion nor considered it important. In both contexts, many young people occasionally or never participated in public or personal religious practices. While many Thai young people were sceptical about some traditional religious beliefs, it was common among Australian young people to see beliefs as something they constructed personally using traditions as resources. In Thailand, religion remains a key part of the publicly accepted culture, while in Australia it has become a personal “lifestyle” option. The differences suggest that religion plays different social roles and takes different forms in different cultural contexts.