International Experience and Labour Market Success:
Analysing Panel Data from Poland
International experience, defined here as living abroad for two or more months, should enhance individual success on the labour market, ceteris paribus, thanks to the human capital and economic resources that accrue. I use the Polish Panel Survey POLPAN 1988–2008 to examine the impact of having spent at least two months in a foreign country on (a) relative income gains, and (b) the odds of moving into the social class that gained most from the post-communist transformation, employers. In part of the analysis I treat the data as cross-sectional and use OLS regression with lag variables and correction for intra-group correlation. Due to methodological specificity of repeated measurement, I also use panel regression analysis. For both manifestations of individual success, results strongly support the hypothesis of the positive impact of international experience. They also show that international experience is especially valuable for Poles who acquired basic business skills during state socialism.
Keywords: international experience, human capital, economic capital, labour market success, Polish Panel Survey (POLPAN).
Determinants of Success in Public Opinion in Poland:
Factors, Directions and Dynamics of Change
In this paper we present the analysis of changes in perceiving subjective determinants of success in Poland, including implicit attitudes towards the idea of meritocracy. On the basis of factor analysis, we have prepared two scales for the ‘meritocratic’ and ‘family and friends’ dimensions of opinion about path to success. We investigate how support for these scales is differentiated and influenced by socio-demographic characteristics and social class.We accompany in the paper the analysis of ‘meritocratic’ and ‘family and friends’ scales with the analysis of the changing support for individual determinants, such as for example ‘hard work’, ‘good education’ and ‘knowing the right people’. We examine how the opinion of the same group of people on path to success changes over time and to which extend radical changes have occurred in the perception of certain determinants. Our analyses are based on data from the Polish Panel Survey (POLPAN, 1988–2013), where the question as to what conditions success in life was asked in every survey wave. It provides an opportunity to compare attitudes towards success from just before regime transformation and every five years thereafter. We place in the paper a particular emphasis in the paper on previously unanalysed data from the years 2008–2013.
Keywords: Subjective determinants of success, meritocracy, transformation, social classes, panel survey.
National Context, Parental Socialization, and Religious Belief
in 38 Nations as of 2008:
The End of National Exceptionalism?
Late in the 20th century, research found that (1) people living in religious nations will, in proportion to the religiosity of their fellow-citizens, acquire more orthodox beliefs than otherwise similar people living in secular nations; (2a) in relatively secular nations, family religiosity strongly shapes children’s religious beliefs, while the influence of national religious context is small; (2b) in relatively religious nations family religiosity, although important, has less effect on children’s beliefs than does national context; (3) the USA was exceptional, being more religious than other nations at its high level of development, and (4) formerly Communist nations in East-Central Europe were also exceptional, being less devout than Western nations. This paper tests whether these patterns still hold in more recent times. Almost two decades later, the effects of family and national religiosity still hold, and strongly so. But few nations are any longer noticeably exceptional: After adjusting for demographic differences, parents’ devoutness, and the strong impact of national context, the USA is only fractionally more devout than comparable nations. East-Central Europe now hardly differs from the West. Poland—as devout as the USA without adjustments—is fractionally less devout than comparable nations after these adjustments. Data are from 38 nations and over 50000 respondents, analyzed by multi-level methods.
Keywords: Religion, religious beliefs, devout, secularization, parental socialization, cross-cultural, national context, US exceptionalism, Poland, Communism.
The Social Role of the Priest as Perceived by Polish Youth.
A Sociological Analysis
With this article I show the perception shared by high school and university students in Poland concerning the role of the priest in the Church and society. The basis of these findings are the results of three sociological studies that I carried out in years 1983, 1998, and 2008, realized among 976 high school students and 414 university students in Kalisz, Poland. In the given 25 year period, the perception of the role of the religious priest in the Church and the parish, as well as his social role in a democratic state, underwent major changes. Both types of roles—religious and social—recognized by the audited youth differ significantly from their definition as given by the doctrine of the Catholic Church. The youth imagine the priest in these roles in a different way than the Church and concentrate their attention on those elements that have practical significance. Indicators of these changes are included in the statistical tables.
Keywords: Social role of a priest, awareness, secondary school students, university students, the Catholic Church.
The Political Representation of Salient Issues
This paper deals with research into the quality of democracy and political representation and intends to make two contributions to the debate on the representation of citizens’ preferences in Eastern Europe. First, attention is focused on the level of congruence in a period of transition (1998–2001) in two countries: Hungary and Poland. The intent is to demonstrate that political representation, understood as a congruence of preferences on issues, is present in transitional democracies and improves in Poland from 1997 to 2001. Second, differences in congruence are accounted for. The first hypothesis is that citizens’ and parliamentarians’ rankings of the importance of issues will differ due to the different reasons these groups become involved in politics. Secondly, the variation of congruence is explained by the importance (salience) citizens attribute to an issue. Furthermore, saliency makes political parties crowd to represent the majority preference. On less salient issues political party representatives hold to their ideological preferences. For comparison purposes congruence is operationalized as a ‘one to many linkage’ and is measured in accord with the measurements of Kitschelt et al. (1999) of absolute and relative representation. The hypotheses are tested using data from 1997 and 2001 for Poland and 1998 for Hungary. The data allows for measuring policy preference on a range of issues in economic, social, cultural, and foreign policy domains. The measures of congruence are unique in recording the preferences of a sample of citizens and a sample of representatives in both countries. For citizens, the analysis was conducted at the level of individuals and party-supporter groups, while for the MPs, it was conducted at the level of political party groups. The findings have implications for the study of how saliency affects political representation and contribute to the understanding of the transition to democracy in Eastern Europe.
Keywords: political representation, congruence, salience, left-right, Eastern Europe.
MAREK S. SZCZEPAŃSKI
A Genealogy of Sociological Theories—
An Attempt at General Reflection
This article attempts to show the asymmetry in the framework of theoretical sociology. This asymmetry concerns the unambiguous domination of Western sociological theoretical systems over theoretical systems from outside theWest’s boundaries.We have in mind here the intellectual domination of representatives of countries of the North over countries of the South. It may be agreed simultaneously that such an asymmetry is acceptable and reasonable, and that it is unjust to ascribe unique truth and appropriateness to the theories of the North in explaining all the phenomena of the whole world—North and South alike. Thus in this article we present, in the historical perspective, selected sociological theories—in our opinion the most important ones—which confirm the validity of the domination of sociological theories of Europe and North America. We reach back to the first sociological systems of, among others, Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber, and the theories of social development. These latter are important in that it is precisely within their framework that two kinds of theories emerged with clear input from scholars of the South: dependency theory and endogenous theories of social development.
Keywords: sociological systems and theories, world as North and South, modernizing development, dependent development, theories of endogenous development.
Critical Sociology in Poland and its Public Function
Abstract: The text describes how the public task of the social sciences could be linked with the practice of critical sociology. Recently, interesting changes have occurred which extend this prospect. In the last years, aside from critical analyses of changing social conditions, there have also been auto-reflections on the social entanglement of knowledge about the transformation. Critical analysis of the public function of scientific diagnoses and the engagement of sociologists is the result of earlier thinking about the model of imitative modernization. The source of the latter’s domination can be sought in the social characteristics of Eastern Europe; the basis is recognition of the area’s historical peripheralness and long-lasting economic backwardness. The growing interest in critical sociology in Poland not only broadens the interpretative palette, but above all raises questions about the originality of interpretations: that is, it addresses the mechanism of import or local creation in the interpretation of social phenomena in the post-communist sphere.
Keywords: Polish sociology, post-communist transformation, critical theory, public sociology.
Logos, Ethos, Pathos. Classical Rhetoric Revisited
The main purpose of this paper is to reflect upon the question to what extent contemporary politics is only the “eristic technique” skilled at introducing pathos and instrumentally appealing to logos and ethos. Aristotle’s rhetorical triad—logos, ethos, pathos—makes rhetoric the art of persuasive or honest communication. Applying methods developed by psychoanalysis and in reference to the work of Freud, Lacan, Searle, Laclau, Ranciere and Foucault author reflect on the premises, the shape and the consequences of contemporary sophistic politics. Author is tempted to test the intuition according to which the prototype of a method of communication is catachresis, a figure of speech in which a word or phrase has vastly departed from its traditional, paradigmatic usage.
Keywords: communication community, excitable speech, iterability, locutionary speech act, performative acts, act, philosophy, politics, resignification, rhetoric, total speech situation.