Electronic Library of Scientific Literature - © Academic Electronic Press
Volume 33, 2001, No. 3, p. 233-332
The Institute for Sociology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava
From Dual Deviation to Dual Identity? The Case of Electronic Industry Workers in Slovak Republic 1995 – 2000. The merit of this paper is the characteristic of working life and industrial relations in the electronic industry in Slovak Republic based on the comparison of selected outcomes obtained in the framework of 2nd (year 1995) and 3rd (year 2000) phase of international research "Quality of Working Life in the Electronic Industry".
The main research tool was a survey of workers attitudes, using a standardised questionnaire, together with the economic analyses and interviews with experts.
The selected research outcomes are provided in the context of economic and social development, situation on the labour market and the development of industrial relations and relations of social partnership in Slovakia during the observed period.
The most important change in industrial relations in Slovakia (at least in observed firms) in the last five years was the following: while in 1995 there was a typical tendency to dual deviation (workers-identification neither with management nor with trade union) in the sphere of industrial relations in the Slovak electronic industry, in 2000 dual identity (workers identification with management and simultaneously with trade union) predominated.
The characteristic of Slovak economy, its branches and also surveyed plants is important dimension for explanation of this changes such as for consideration of question whether the dual identity in contemporary Slovakia - including the reasons of its creation - is specific in comparison with universal trends, observed in West European countries.
Sociológia 2001 Vol 33 (No. 3: 235-250)
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK & Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria
A New Index of Democracy. The Democratisation of the Mass Public in Five Central European Countries, 1991-1998. The analysis of political transformations in 5 post-Communist countries in Central Europe and the comparison with other post-Communist countries for the period between 1991 and 1998 showed that we cannot and we should not speak of one post-Communist Eastern Europe, which would imply a homogeneity of the process of democratisation of the region, but of very different regions within the former ‘Soviet Bloc’. The paper identified four different regions, which display diverging patterns of political change. The first and most advanced region is ‘Central Europe’, including Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Slovakia. The second distinct region is the Balkan region, which encompasses Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The third post-Communist region, which crystallised in this paper, is the post-Communist ‘Baltic’s’, including Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. Finally, the fourth post-Communist region is the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which includes Belarus, Ukraine and the Russian Federation. The basic feature of these four regions is that we do not find a convergence of patterns of political development, but a clear divergence of paths of political change across these four main post-Communist regions.
The main innovation of this paper consists in the conceptualisation and development of an ‘Index of Democracy’ by the author, which for the first time enables comparative political science to measure with one single figure the extent and level of democratisation at the micro-level of political change, at the level of the post-Communist mass public in post-Communist Europe. The micro-analysis of the complex processes of democratisation, performed in this paper showed that Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary can be already labelled as ‘consolidated democracies’, because more than 60 per cent of the mass public in these Central European countries are already ‘democratic post-Communist citizens’. A clear-cut majority of the mass public is also democratic in Slovenia and Slovakia; especially Slovenia is very close to the position of a consolidated democracy.
The second level of democratisation is visible in post-Communist Balkans: Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria can be characterised as ‘emerging democracies’, because in all three Southern European countries more than 50 per cent of the population can be described as democrats, which is well beyond the threshold of 40 per cent Democrats for the type of emerging democracies. Serbia-Montenegro is a deviant case in Southern Europe; it is a transforming society with an uncertain outcome regarding the democratisation at the micro-level. In the Baltic region, only Estonia fulfils the criteria for an emerging democracy with a share of 46 per cent Democrats, whereas Lithuania and Latvia are transforming societies, where democracy is only one alternative amongst a variety of different types of political regimes. The lowest level of democratisation at the level of the mass public was identified in the CIS region.
At the micro-level of the post-Communist citizen, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, but also Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria are beyond the point of no return regarding the process of democratisation. Democracy as a form of political regime is more and more embedded in these 8 societies during the process of political transformation. Estonia and Belarus are emerging democracies at the level of the population; here the interaction between micro-support for democracy and macro-actions of the political elites will decide the future course of democratisation in these countries. Democracy is in a very weak position in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine and the Russian Federation with regard to the support by their own citizens. In these countries, the transformation towards non-democratic regimes is not impossible and the outcome of political transformations, even 10 years after the end of Communism, is not pointing clearly towards democracy. In these 5 transforming post-Communist societies, democracy appears to be only one option of political change, which is challenged by non-democratic alternatives, whereas in Central Europe, the path towards democracy is stabilised and irreversible.
Sociológia 2001 Vol. 33 (No. 3: 251-274)
Department of Sociology, University of California, Davis
What Slovak Women Perceive to Be Domestic Violence. This research examines attitudes and perceptions of Slovak women towards domestic violence. Domestic violence is understood mainly as physical and psychological violence perpetrated by husbands/partners. Attitudes and perceptions are operationalised in four dimensions. The dimension of legitimacy investigates whether in some situations women would consider violence justified. The dimension of the perpetrator intends to capture the most typical images of violence between husbands/partners, held by respondents. The dimension of public versus private is created to measure the extent to which domestic violence is perceived as a private, inner family issue, or a widespread social problem deserving public attention. The dimension of comparability serves to detect to what extent do Slovak women’s perceptions of intimate violence resonate with the well-established Anglo-American concept of domestic violence. The sample consists of 163 women selected in Nové Zámky, Slovakia. The findings indicate that domestic violence is perceived rather as a private, intimate issue, which women would most likely discuss with their husband/partner in the first place. Furthermore, women with elementary education have a stronger tendency to regard the use of violence by the husband/partner justified in certain situations. ‘Violence between intimate partners’ is associated with the multiple facets of domestic violence, often described in Western literature, such as sexual, economic or social coercion. The most typical perpetrator is viewed as an alcoholic, egoistic and rough. Women with a lower educational level would most often choose the category of an alcoholic, while women with a university degree tend to see aggressive husbands/partners as uneducated. In conclusion, data analysis is linked to the present social-legal situation in Slovakia and policy implications are drawn.
Sociológia 2001 Vol 33 (No. 3: 275-296)
Department of Psychology, Comenius University, Bratislava
Responsibility and Rights of Patients and Doctors in Treating Transmittable Disease. The results of the qualitative research in cultural comparative perspective are presented. The corpus of data consists of transcribed discussions in 16 focus groups (8 Slovak and 8 Scottish, per 5 adolescents in each) on the problem how to contain spreading HIV/AIDS and to preserve medical confidentiality simultaneously. The analysis describes (1) how the discussants reformulate the problem, (2) in what sense they take into account possible irresponsibility of the patients with HIV/AIDS and (3) how they allocate rights, responsibilities and obligations among doctors, patients, the Ministry of Health and individuals. It is revealed, that the Scots understand the responsibility of doctors as limited to their patients, while according the Slovaks, doctor is responsible to the sexual partners and family members of the infected as well as. To contain a disease, Scots propose to increase general awareness of a risk to practice unprotected sex (everybody should protect oneself), while the Slovaks suggest a variety of activities of the authorities to protect general public (e.g. to rise up against promiscuity, to prevent the further sexual contact of the infected persons). The differences are also found in the meaning of responsibility. While the Scottish discussants understand the responsibility in the terms of individual choice and rights (responsibility to oneself), the Slovak speak about responsibility in the terms of the duties toward somebody else (e. g. in relation to the sexual partners and to family members). While the individual rights is for Scots the aim of the ultimate value, the Slovaks consider obligations and rights together.
Sociológia 2001 Vol. 33 (No. 3: 297-316)
University of Liverpool, Liverpool
University of Saint Cyril and Methodius, Trnava
Youth Enterprise and Youth Unemployment in European Union Member and Associated Countries. Can East-Central Europe's youth unemployment be solved by encouraging and assisting those concerned to start their own enterprises? It is argued that in the 1990s young people in the new market economies had exceptional opportunities to succeed in business. However, as the new market economies mature, the young unemployed will become a section of the population least equipped to succeed in business, as is the case across Western Europe. It is further argued that the particular type of youth unemployment that has spread in the new market economies will not be solved by creating low quality jobs. Young people expect, and are prepared to wait for, good quality employment. It is concluded that the best hope for matching demand and supply in East-Central Europe's youth labour markets lies in developing some of the existing micro-enterprises into quality SMEs. This is the way in which policies towards the self-employed are most likely to contribute to hauling down youth unemployment.
Sociológia 2001 Vol 33 (No. 3: 317-328)
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