PSR 3(199)2017



Political Legitimacy and Normative Disorientation in European Liberal Democracies

Legitimacy is one of the fundamental topics of the social and political sciences, as well as a valid issue in contemporary Western societies. Legitimacy is based on the existence of a common standard for evaluating social and political systems. If such a standard is absent, legitimacy is impossible by definition (Beetham 1991). The research question of this article is: to what extent is the level of a political system’s legitimacy explained by the effect of normative disorientation? Data from round 5 of the European Social Survey is analyzed by multilevel linear regression models in order to verify hypotheses about the strength and direction of the correlation between political legitimacy and normative disorientation. Analysis showed that normative disorientation is negatively correlated with the level of political legitimacy.

Keywords: legitimacy, normative disorientation, liberal democracy, hierarchical linear models



Populism and Its Democratic, Non-Democratic, and Anti-Democratic Potential

The starting point of this paper is the acknowledgement that the DNA of populism is democratic. At the same time, it may bring undemocratic or even counter-democratic consequences when it questions and contests liberalism and pluralism. This paper maps the key arguments on the relations between populism and authoritarianism, and discusses the risk of democratic backsliding as a result of authoritarian populism gaining power. This topic is critically important and growing urgent with the rising wave of populism across the Western world. Due to its chameleonic nature, populism (as a “thin-centered” or “empty-hearted” ideology) manifests itself in various (re)incarnations and intertwines with nationalism, libertarianism, and also radical left-wing ideas or any other ideology from across the wide political spectrum. First, the author reconstructs the historicity of populism as well as the most important ways of defining it. Second, he reflects on the major arguments about the consequences for democracy of populist politics. Finally, in conclusion, he discusses the threat of authoritarianism that populism brings to liberal democracy and democracy as such.

Keywords: populism, democracy, authoritarianism, illiberalism, anti-elitism.



Omnivorism of Eating and ‘Highbrow–Lowbrow’ Distinction: Cultural Stratification in Poland

The idea of the cultural omnivore is increasingly popular. Research in this vein argues that upper-middle class individuals prefer an above-average diversity of art, and that this diversity of tastes is the new marker of high status. Using data from the 2013 national survey, the current study replicates studies carried out in Western societies with respect to patterns of eating. By analyzing the preferences of tastes I try to establish, first—whether omnivorism in eating is mostly displayed among representatives of highbrow culture, referred to intelligentsia, second—to what extent it replaces hierarchical distinction between highbrow and lowbrow categories. It confirms that omnivorism in eating in Poland exists and dominates among higher managers and specialists—they overrun owners, middle lower classes, working class and farmers. Furthermore, although the cultural omnivorism is a new taste pattern, it correlates strongly with the cultural division in highbrow and lowbrow categories.

Keywords: social stratification, omnivorism, patterns of eating, highbrow and lowbrows, lifestyle




A Case Study on Moral Disengagement and Rationalization in the Context of Portuguese Bullfighting

Bullfighting is increasingly seen as a contested practice in Portugal. The Portuguese public generally disapproves of the practice and the Portuguese animal rights movement has dedicated a significant number of their campaigns to protesting against it. Despite this opposition to the practice, however, there is still legal protection of the practice on grounds of preserving it as a national tradition. This contestation and legality has led bullfighting supporters to actively try to defend and rationalize the practice. This paper analyses this defence and rationalization by exploring a case study of the quasi-lobbyist Portuguese organization, Prótoiro. The aforementioned case study is analyzed through the use of critical discourse analysis and neutralization theory. The conclusion reached in this article is that the analysis of speech reveals that Prótoiro and its supporters try to morally disengage with the harm done to the bull by using justifications that bullfighting is an ethical activity.

Keywords: Bullfighting, deviance, Portuguese case study, neutralization theory, critical discourse analysis.





Job Satisfaction of Knowledge Workers. The Role of Interpersonal Justice and Flexible Employment

Organizational justice is a crucial aspect of good management. It has been shown numerous times that an unjust work environment has an adverse impact on employees in terms of job satisfaction. Yet is this effect homogeneous in all groups of workers? In this paper we strive to provide an explanation for this question, presenting a study concerning the impact of one of the dimensions of organizational injustice—interpersonal injustice, on the job satisfaction of knowledge workers in Poland. In particular, we demonstrate how perceived injustice at work influences their job satisfaction compared with other workers. We also analyse whether flexible employment has a mitigating effect on this relationship. Logistic regressions estimated using sample of 23,942 workers surveyed between 2009 and 2013 showed that in both groups interpersonal injustice significantly diminishes job satisfaction. However, in the case of knowledge workers, this effect is significantly smaller among employees with temporary contracts. The mitigating effect of temporary employment is not present among other workers. The results suggest that permanent knowledge workers, are more vulnerable to interpersonal injustice.

Keywords: interpersonal justice, knowledge workers, employment flexibility, job satisfaction.




Emotional Labour of the Polish Social Workers: The Study in Sociology of Emotions

The article presents the results of a study conducted among a group of 55 highly experienced Polish social workers on the management of their emotions in contacts with clients. The research was inspired mainly by Arlie Hochschild’s concept of emotional labour. Using a qualitative approach allowed us to incorporate a wider range of the spontaneity and reflexivity expressed by the subjects of the study. The paper helps illustrate that, similarly to other helping professions, social workers deploy significant emotional labour and use a range of emotional strategies to affect their clients’ actions or behaviour. The effectiveness of such labour depends on experience, individual characteristics and the formal and informal support they have access to. We conclude that with experience such workers not only control their emotions better, but first and foremost become more effective in using their emotions in such a way as to encourage or discourage certain actions and behaviours among their clients. The findings indicate that more attention should be placed on the role of emotions and emotional labour used by social workers in their daily practice. Incorporation of elements of the sociology of emotions might be particularly useful in this regard.

Keywords: emotional labour, sociology of emotions, social work, supervision, social work practice.





Care Issues in the Transnational Families. A Polish Research Review

Polish culture is strongly linked to both nuclear family and family networks, which are believed to safeguard stability and sense of security for individuals and communities. The migrations of young Polish men and women, which often scope to entire families, significantly alter the fundamentals of the above guarantees. The migration of Polish youth changes social expectations, possibilities of a family existing in an unchanged form, as well as provisions of care to those who need it, primarily children and elderly members of the kinship structure. For families affected by temporary migrations and experiencing increasingly settlement-oriented mobility, being “on the move” becomes “a way of life,” in which periods of “togetherness” are intertwined with much longer phases of separation. The practices and strategies employed by migrants in the hopes of overcoming the aforementioned challenges require thorough analysis. Therefore, a main goal of our article is to focus on multi-dimensional consequences of migration that pertain to the changes of ties and relationships in families, as well as the organization of child and elderly care.

Keywords: transnational families, care dilemmas, Polish migrants, child care, elderly care.




Configurations of Using Social Networking Sites and Perceived Online Social Capital Among Adults With and Without Disabilities

 Drawing on nationally representative survey 2014 data, this article examines the implications of social networking sites (SNS) use and the relationship with perceived online social capital among Lithuanian adults with and without disabilities. By contributing to the wide academic discussion on the value of online and social networks for people with disabilities, this research shows that intensive participation on SNS (as Facebook) presupposes stronger affective and evaluative dimensions of social capital. This relatively strong affective and evaluative social capital perception is more characteristic of the persons with disabilities (both with physical and sensory disabilities) than the persons without disabilities. The research data also shows that adults with physical disabilities mainly benefit from SNS as a bridging capital resource thanks to its various practical benefits, established connections and contacts, and participation according to one’s interests by bypassing the limitations posed by the physical environment. These results add to the positive, optimistic information technology and disability studies discourse which argues that the use of social networking sites is of higher value to the persons with disabilities than the persons without disabilities.

Keywords: social networking sites; online social capital; persons with disabilities; nationally representative survey.




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Polish Sociological Review – The English-language versions of publications were financed on the basis of decision no. 573/1/P-DUN/2017 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. 573/1/P-DUN/2017 allocated by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education for the dissemination of knowledge.

To be continued in the meanwhile, don’t forget, readers love to learn about other teacher’s perspectives on topics like these, so if you have questions, ideas, or experiences you want to share, don’t hesitate to comment