Volume 30, 1998, No. 6
Catholic University of America, Washington
The principal argument advanced in this essay pertains to the social, collective, and indeed generation-embedded nature of critical social knowledge production. Critical theory has been developed in the West, and among The American intellectuals first of all, as a collective, generational endeavour. The so called “uppity generation”, which was a cohort of the social science and the humanities scholars who came of ange in the 1960s, unlike in East-Central Europe, has been absorbed by the existing institutional structure of the higher education system and was capable to transform the very principle and the idea upon which the organization of the Western society rested. This task was accomplished by turn of attention to the autonomous powers of the capitalist state. The structural and political processes in the East-Central Europe, as it is demonstrated in this study, worked in contrast with Western patters, and therefore, even though the social scientists were relatively closer - in epistemological sense - to the discivery of the complex relationship between social movements, the state, and social change, they failed to produce critical theory of society that would explain the nature of the systemic transition of the 1989-1998.
Sociológia 1998, Vol. 30 (No. 6: 557-586)
The Institute for Sociology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava
Life goals of people in post-communist countries are significant indicators of social transformation on micro-level of society. The very first consequences of social transformation at the macro-level were changes in state social policy. Those changes caused a situation of social pressure operating on individuals and families. The article is based on comparison of individual and family goals in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. In all three countries individual and family goals are socially conditioned. Individual goals subsequently influence personal acting in the most important spheres of social life (demographic behaviour, individual strategies on the labour market and in evaluation of social transformation and modernisation process). Cross-country comparisons indicate more similarities in individual and family life goals in Poland and Slovakia as well as their different structure in the Czech Republic.
Sociológia 1998, Vol. 30 (No. 6: 587-600)
Institute of Sociology, Sofia
A valid comparison between Western and Eastern European stratification phenomena and processes would require that scientists reckon with a number of facts and conditions, various risks of misconceptions as to social stratification in the countries of the former Socialist bloc. The restructuring of inequality has reached different degrees in the different East European countries A significant part of the processes and mechanisms of stratification are imperceptible and exclusive for concrete empirical registration and proof. The "body" of stratification proves "crippled" and "beheaded". Risks in stratification analysis in Eastern European countries lies as well in the unsuspected multi-factor determination of concrete empirical identification of the individual respondent with a given category, group, and stratum. There are difficulties in using international classifications: the problem of adapting them to the specific national context, social, cultural, political and economic, as well as the need for making them more sociological. In Eastern European countries such a subjective group identification approach would be acceptable with certain qualifications and under certain conditions. The risks of misleading analysis of social stratification in East European societies become greater especially if the periods prior to 1989 are included. Post-communist stratification remains more or less puzzling to a Western observer lacking at least some specific knowledge of that period.
Sociológia 1998, Vol. 30 (No. 6: 601-622)
Institute for Sociology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava
The author outlines the conditions and trends in the domain of social dialogue in Slovakia, which are relevant for the process of post-communist transformation and European integration. In relation to the social dialogue at the societal macro-level, she points at the problem of group interests’ representation and their incorporation into the political system and decision making processes in a pluralistic democratic system.
The integration process has opened a new research domain, but first of all, it faces its actors with practical tasks; it has represented the challenge to contribute to the process of EU extension so that the process is to include not only the extension of the European market and capital but also the extension of democratic norms and social standards.
Sociológia 1998, Vol. 30 (No. 6: 623-632)