PSR 2(202)2018




Reading, Writing and Political Competence

In the present paper we analyze the relation between political competence and media exposure. Taking into account the dynamic transition of media environment related to growing impact of the internet (web 2.0) we made several assumptions about the influence of traditional and new media on political sophistication. We hypothesize that the impact of the media on political competence is related to qualitative, rather than quantitative factors; competence rises with the way a media consumer interacts with the medium, rather than on the amount of time spent with the medium. The empirical analysis based on a mass public opinion survey confirms our assumptions: there is a positive relationship between media exposure and political competence, however various kind of media differ as far as their influence is concerned. Moreover the use of interactive internet features (participation in information exchange) is a key factor shaping competence.

Keywords: media effects, political competence, media exposure, television, newspaper, web 2.0






Actors, Relations, and Networks: Scholarly Collaboration Beyond Bibliometric Measures

Scholarly collaboration is relatively well described quantitatively on the macro level thanks to the analyses of large bibliographic databases. At the same time, there are known limitations of the bibliometric approaches to studying collaboration in science. We argue that in order to improve our understanding of social processes operating in science it is necessary to take a more in-depth look: (1) identify kinds of actors that are recognized as potential partners in collaboration, (2) what features of collaborative relations are considered crucial for engaged actors, (3) what kinds of structures of networks composed of collaboration relations actors are embedded in, and what PSR202-02factors influence these structures. With 30 individual in-depth interviews (IDI) with Polish scholars we gathered detailed information about individual collaborations that allowed us to analyze collaborative ties from individual perspective and map respondent-centered networks of collaboration. Scholars identify individuals as well as teams or institutions as collaborators. They also distinguish symmetric and asymmetric collaborations. Structures of respondent-centered collaboration networks are affected by (a) leadership strategies of team principals (especially whether teams are built around positions or individuals); (b) institutional location (by making establishing external collaborations easier for scientists from bigger institutions); (c) scientific degree and recent changes in financing of science (as young scientists receive more freedom from usual organizational hierarchies by receiving substantial grants).

Keywords: scholarly collaboration, social networks, gender, core-periphery, ego-networks.

pdf PSR202-02




Early Careers of Tertiary Graduates in Poland: Employability, Earnings, and Differences between Public and Private Higher Education

Poland’s system of higher education has expanded rapidly in the last quarter century. Not all graduates of the massified educational system have succeeded in the labor market. Part of the public debate regarding the labor market performance of graduates focuses on the performance of graduates who attended private institutions and part-time programs. As yet, there has been no detailed research into the career paths of recent university graduates in Poland, let alone a comprehensive investigation of the differences between the performance of graduates of various types of studies. In this paper, we present the newly created Polish Graduate Tracking System. We use data from the system to evaluate the labor market performance of recent graduates and to demonstrate the differences between graduates of public and private education. Overall, the privately educated graduates fare better on the labor market, but a more in-depth analysis shows that this could be attributed to their strategy of early entry into the labor market.

Keywords: higher education, labor market, graduate tracking, administrative data, Poland.

pdf PSR202-03



Trade Unions Confronted with Employee Ownership: From Competition to Cooperation

The major issue addressed in this article is union involvement in conversions to employee ownership and the impact of such ownership on union roles and functions. The main point is that employee ownership appears to generate role conflict for unions as they thus potentially represent both employees and owners. The author hypothesizes that trade unions are ready to accept the conversion of a public firm to an EOC when the union is certain of maintaining political control over the company. There are two clearly defined situations in which unions might support a conversion: a) in the case of a failing firm that converts to employee ownership to save jobs; and b) in the case where a company is converted to protect it against a takeover by private competitors.

Keywords: trade unions, employee ownership, Employee Owned Company, property rights, participation.



A Culture of Resistance: Mass Media and Its Social Perception in Central and Eastern Europe

In this paper the author interprets the changing role of mass media in social processes over recent decades. Society’s perception of mass media is also investigated, with a focus on Central and Eastern Europe. The author explores mass media’s position in the societies of the region, asking how these societies interpret media messages. He analyzes the context of people’s reservations about media messages (people’s misgivings, conditioned by social history). One of the key arguments of the paper is that the majority of audiences in the countries concerned have grown more sceptical of mass media messages than have the audiences of Western European countries. According to the author, various social groups consider that the mass media is heavily politicized and that its construction of reality has little in common with their own interpretations.

Keywords: social theory, systems theory, mass media, mass media message, perception of mass media, social development in the Central and Eastern European region.





Debt Experience of Facebook Users in Poland. A Conceptual Model and Empirical Test

Negative debt experiences of individuals lead to costly social and macroeconomic tensions. This study examines the impact of four latent variables, namely financial education, debt literacy, personality, and online personal network, on the debt experience of Facebook users in Poland (N = 1,055). Based on some prior research, we proposed a Structural Equations Model (SEM) testing the relationships among variables hypothesised to be linked to debt experience. The findings indicate that debt experience is a complex phenomenon determined simultaneously by many diverse factors. Surprisingly, the personal networks of Facebook users have no significant impact on the debt experience of our respondents. The findings also suggest that results of any explanatory study on debt experiences may strongly depend on the measures used.

Keywords: debt experience, debt literacy, social networks, Facebook, SEM.




The Effect of Using Different Types of Survey Sample on Sample Execution in the European Social Survey

Existing literature on survey methodology is not particularly saturated with studies of the relationship between the type of survey sample and the quality of their fieldwork execution. This paper focuses on three main types of probability sample, i.e., address, household and individual name sample, and examines whether limited capacity for controlling the process of within-household selection of a target respondent, that is always implemented in address and household samples, results in over-selection of easy-to-reach and cooperative respondents.

Based on data from the cross-country European Social Survey project, it is demonstrated that individual name samples are associated with higher quality of fieldwork execution, while address and household samples significantly decrease fieldwork quality by over-selecting individuals more prone to staying at home and more willing to take part in a survey. It is also demonstrated that well-known survey outcome rates (such as response rate, contact rate, cooperation rate and refusal rate) are of little use in detecting fieldwork irregularities.

Keywords: types of survey sample; fieldwork quality; comparability of cross-national surveys; European Social Survey.



Characteristics of Studies in an Environment of Persons with Intellectual Disability—Ethical and Methodological Deliberations

The purpose of the article is to show the difficulties that are encountered by a researcher dealing with the problems of persons with intellectual disability. The article stresses some notions related to ontological and epistemological issues, the source of which are questions about the possibilities and manner of exploring mental handicap. They refer not only to the broadly-understood problems of handicap and the methodological consequences of identifications, but also the manner of diagnosis and analysis that are characteristic of particular fields of science. The article raises the notions related to a field researcher’s workshop, difficulties in data acquisition, the emotional context of exploring the environment of persons with disabilities, as well as the ethical and moral dilemmas that provide an indispensable element of such a research undertaking.

Keywords: intellectual disability, field studies, methodological problems, ethical dilemmas.


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Polish Sociological Review – The English-language versions of publications were financed on the basis of decision no. 817/P-DUN/2018 by funds allocated by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education for the dissemination of knowledge.

Polish Sociological Review – digitalization of publications and monographs in order to ensure and maintain an open access through the Internet is financed by the decision no. 817/P-DUN/2018 allocated by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education for the dissemination of knowledge.