Multiple Functions of Analogical Reasoning
in Science and Everyday Life
Abstract: This article addresses the functions analogical reasoning may have in science and everyday life. The focus ranges from the heuristic and probative value of this kind of reasoning to its illustrative and didactic utility, not excluding the opinion-forming, choice-facilitating, argumentative and justice-dispensing aspects of the inferences based upon similarity discernible between the instances being compared. In this context, the Author reveals disagreements between the standpoints of several scholars and singles out their most interesting stances and statements.
In addition, the question of making the generalizations and understanding of notions (terms) presented in ordinary language as well as the problem of conceptualization have been touched upon. The relation of analogy to metaphor and its occurrence in humor, literature and poetics have also been addressed.
Keywords: analogy, functions, science, everyday life, heuristic, probative, argumentation, reasoning.
Religious Sensemaking and Social Exclusion in the Western World
Abstract: This paper contains an analysis of the possible forms and functions of religious sensemaking in modern society. Based on the thesis of desecularisation the author discusses the changes caused in the relationship between individual and religion by the altering system of social relationships, along with a more detailed analysis of the relationship between social exclusion and religious sensemaking. The author argues that owing to the complex nature of modernity people’s uncertainty absorption mechanisms prefer distinction schemes that apply
clear sensemaking distinctions which remain stable over a longer period of time. The author finds that the key role of religious communication lies in that it can more effectively shape the identities of people than other social mechanisms, in the sense that it can offer an experience of certainty. The author discusses the situation of social exclusion as a particular area of religious sensemaking when the person’s fundamentally positive self-evaluation that has developed in the existing sensemaking situation reflecting on the individual himself can no longer be or can hardly be maintained any longer.
Keywords: religion, religious sensemaking, desecularisation thesis, identity, social exclusion, system theory, social and communication theory.
A Gender Gap in Opinionation
in Times of Crises and Political Stability
Abstract: In the 70s and 80s, a number of analyses of nonresponses in questionnaires was conducted with the assumption that nonresponses carry much important information. The share of expressed nonresponses can be an indicator of apathy, ignorance and lack of information. Studies revealed a higher share of nonresponses being expressed by women in comparison to men. Changing social conditions, such as the period of transition after the change of political system, the emancipation of women and financial and economic crises, can have an impact on the gender inequality expressed in nonresponses. This article will analyse the differences in nonresponse answers between men and women to some socioeconomic questions for three periods: 1) 2000–2003, the period after the transition and before accession to the European Union (EU); 2) 2004–2008, the period after accession to the EU and the presidency of the Council of the EU, as well as a period of economic growth; and 3) 2009–2013, the beginning of economic, financial and political crises in Slovenia. The number of nonresponses between men and women is different in the three observed periods. In opposition to our assumption, the gap was higher in the first two periods and lower in the period of economic, financial and political crises.
Keywords: socioeconomic position, women, nonresponse, transition, Slovenia.
Is Entering STEM Socially Contagious?
Contextual Factors in Women’s Educational Decisions
Abstract: Despite the nonexistence of institutional obstacles, majors in science and mathematics continuously attract women to a greater extent than those in technology and engineering. Based on a series of in-depth interviews conducted with students of various STEM majors in an university and a polytechnic in the same city in Poland, this paper attempts to explore the reasons for this divergence. Analysis of the detailed biographical narrations reveals that the women’s choice of male-dominated majors coincides with the presence of a significant role model (SRM) in the close social network. An SRM is an individual who is more experienced in a given domain and who has personal, lasting, and emotional contact with the decision-maker. The presence of an SRM was observed most often among female students of polytechnic, and was hardly observable among their university counterparts. The SRM provided various forms of support and information, and debunked discouraging stereotypes of male dominated majors. Furthermore, a long-lasting relationship with the SRM led to the development of a strong preference for polytechnics over universities. Those findings fit well with the explanations provided by the theory of social contagion.
Keywords: STEM, gender, Poland, social contagion.
Framing the Winter Olympic Games: A Content Analysis
of Polish Newspapers Coverage of Female and Male Athletes
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyse the media coverage provided by two Polish daily newspapers (Gazeta Wyborcza and Przegląd Sportowy) during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games according to the athletes’ gender. The paper makes reference to agenda setting theory and media framing and it is based on an analysis of photographs of the games on the front pages and the sporting articles’ main themes. The analysis reveals that the press focused mainly on the Polish medal winners and did not reveal significant differences between women’s and men’s press coverage. Results show that the discourse of nationalism overrode the discourse of gender, the newspapers’ coverage being mainly based on the success of the Polish athletes, regardless of their gender.
Keywords: Winter Olympic Games, press coverage, gender, nation, media framing.
Between Dissonance and Convergence:
The Dynamics of Interactions Between Vernacular and Official
(Non-) Memories of the Mass Murder of Germans by Poles in Nieszawa
Abstract: Nieszawa, which is situated in northern Poland, is unique in the history of Polish-German relations. In 1945 local Polish militiamen murdered a group of German civilians there. In 2000, after decades of public silence about this crime, the leaders of the local community decided to commemorate the victims. In this article, the mutual influence of three kinds of (non-)memory of the crime—national official, local official, and vernacular—are analyzed. In conclusion, some of the factors are identified that make members of a group that mistreated “Others” accept the truth about the event and acknowledge the need to discuss it publicly.
Keywords: vernacular memory, official memory, non-memory, local community, recategorization, public apology.
Territorial Partnerships in Rural Regions—
Abstract: This paper examines territorial partnerships (TPs) through the prism of neo-institutional theory and governance. As an example, it considers area-based rural partnerships (Local Action Groups—LAGs) situated in the Sub-Carpathian region of Poland. It identifies the mechanisms by which TPs are created and major aspects of their activities. An overview is given of the social-economic factors conditioning the implementation of TPs in the Sub-Carpathian region. The important role of local authorities in establishing and managing the majority of the LAGs under analysis is revealed. The analysis concludes that LAGs are run in a manner typical of representative democracy and that this manner is contrary to the basic tenets of heterarchic governance. However, the partnership model of accomplishing common projects and the positive outcomes of the projects are likely to produce considerable added value in rural communities.
Keywords: Territorial partnership, Local Action Group, neo-institutional theory, governance, rural areas.
The Passively Active Worker—A Diagnosis and Comparison
of the Phenomenon in a Mining Company and a Corporation
Abstract: Individual behavior in an organization depends on many factors. However, an individual joining an organization is already equipped with a fixed system of values and an attitude. Therefore, identifying workers’ attitudes is essential for human resource management in organizations. A passively active worker—the so-called Z type—exhibits social behavior with features of homo sovieticus. The authors think that a Z-type employee is not solely the product of totalitarian and communist systems. The Z attitude appears in various forms among workers in the types of economies that are characteristic of Western Europe or the USA.
The aim of this study was to determine the intensity of the Z attitude among workers in two organizations with different technical cultures. The authors compared the technical cultures in Firm X and a department of Mine X.
Keywords: a passively active worker, workers’ behavior, homo sovieticus, homo corporatus, organization, hard coal mining.