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Social solidarities

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Anna Shirokaner

on 19 April 2013

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Transcript of Social solidarities

Social and Family Solidarity in the Post-Communist Transition:
Post-Socialist vs. Post-Soviet? Kazan, April 19, 2013
complex political, economic, and value change provokes uncertainty and long
term "transition" sets on (Genov 2009) low levels of trust and "relaxing morals" in post-communist societies (Inglehart 2005; Sapsford 2006; Swader 2012)
deficiency of moral principles to hold on to for big groups of people
totalitarian past (Shlapentokh, Levada, Dubin)
cultural trauma of transition (Alexander, Sztompka)
ongoing changes, capitalism/individualization (Swader the process tracked down in social research unfold: collectivist ideology recedes;
time-tested units of friends and family less important;
demand on security values AND individual risks The Research Question The Reasons Background What unites people under such value change?
Who/What social groups do people rely on in their everyday life? My goal: compare patterns of social solidarity
across Europe, special attention to post-communist countries. Q: Do post-soviet citizens rely more on their family than in post-socialist countries?
Q: Are post-soviet citizens more sympathetic with the underprivileged groups in society than people in post-socialist countries? The Context

"Solidarity" not in Durkheim's normative sense: societies do not HAVE to keep high solidarity
- more like social cohesion devoid of political sense;
- close to social capital but the emphasis on both giving and receiving (help, care, etc.) In post-communist countries, the claims are not rare about the LACK of solidarity in society Theories of solidarity/individualism/ modernization values Welzel discusses modern individualism as part of “emancipative values” – a subset of self-expression values that involves priorities for lifestyle liberty, gender equality, personal autonomy and the voice of the people. Self-expression values rise as a result of economic security and modernization.
Welzel (2010) demonstrates that self-expression values are a civic form of modern individualism, they are associated with altruism and trust in people. In other publications, the Inglehart & Welzel also prove and argue that modern individualism, which is part of self-expression values, nurtures "civicness" and goes together with humanism and not egoism (2011:215). Theories of solidarity/individualism/ modernization values A breakdown of trust and confidence – the core of cultural trauma (Sztompka 2002)
Localization of trust (Aberg and Sandberf 2003) Sapsford and Abbott label this situation an atomized society, “one in which trust is confined to small local pockets of interaction” and “there is no confidence in the social or economic future or in the institutions which are being created or developed” (Sapsford 2006:62).
The origin of this erosion of trust is seen in dramatic negatively perceived change (Sapsford 2006:69). Russia: “It is impossible to trust anyone except close relatives” – 71 % (1996); 78 % (2002). Public life under Communism contained a paradox: against the backdrop of distrust to government, survival depended on individuals’ initiative (like in liberal societies), but in it individuals had to rely on the help of others from the closest environment of friends and family. This collectivism of “natural bonds” rooted in kinship or locality was pre-modern by nature and cut across political differences. Everyday life was anchored in pre-modern relations, in contrast to public life collectivist ideology. Day-to-day collectivism based on trust to friends and family also formed the basis for public opinion. There was a nearly symmetrical divide into two spheres in society operating on different bonding mechanisms (Koczanowicz 2005:119-121). Post-totalitarian societies are characterized by
breakdown and fall of social ties,
atomization and
distrust to social institutions and people, especially to strangers (Dubin 2009).

Associations are a weak source of solidarity in Russia: between the state as a source of goods, on the one hand, and the circle of relatives and friends, on the other, there is nothing, “a social vacuum” (Dubin 2009). Source of success Ukraine Western Countries
Influential family members 51 13

Wealthy parents 37 15

Getting round the law 33 5

Intellectual abilities 30 56

Education 26 49

Influential friends 27 7

Egoism, individualism 12 6 The Difference post-socialist post-soviet official morals neglected by individuals
friends and family concentrate trust

positive to change / negative to change
connection to religion / soul-searching Method

2-level modelling
European Values Study (2008), most representative for Eastern Europe
limitations of survey questions (wording, scales, etc.)
linear regressions Literature
Bevzenko L.D. (2012) Modernization Processes in Ukraine: Some Sociological Ascertaining. In: <Sociological Monitoring>, p. 55-67 [in Ukranian]
Dubin B (2009) Social atomization as a legacy and a fact, Index/Censorship Dossier, vol. 29, URL: index.org.ru/journal/29/01-dubin.html [in Russian].
Guiso L, Sapienza P, Zingales L (2004) The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development, The American Economic Review, vol. 93, no. 3, p. 526-556.
Inglehart R, Welzel C (2011) [2005] Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy: The Human Development Sequence. Moscow: Novoe izdatelstvo [in Russian].
Koczanowicz L (2005) Wspolnota I emancypacje: Spor o spoleczenstwo postkonwencjonalne. Wroclaw: Wyd. Naukowe DSWE TWP [in Polish].
Oorschot W. van, Komter A. (1998) What is It That Ties...? Theoretical perspectives on social bond, Sociale Wetternschappen, no. 3, p.5-24.
Sapsford R, Abbott P (2006) Trust, confidence and social environment in post-communist societies, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, vol. 39, p. 59-71.
Swader C. (2012) The Capitalist Personality: Face-To-Face Sociality and Economic Change in the Post-Communist World. Routledge
Sztompka P (2002) Cultural trauma: the other face of social change, European Journal of Social Theory, vol. 3, p. 441-465.
Welzel C (2010) How Selfish Are Self-Expression Values? A Civicness Test, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, vol. 41, no. 2, 152-174. Results Format: family solidarity (necessity to take care about parents and children) as compared to redistributive solidarity (concern about the underprivileged in society). Generally, the results were surprising. Results:
1. non-linear dependence between traditional family values and strong redistribution.

Traditional values: strong family, low redistribution.
Modernization: individualism, welfare state.
Communist modernization: collectivism, redistribution
Post-communist modernization: low to high redistribution, individualization. 2. As a rule, higher isolationism (radical individualism in family life) is complemented by high redistribution values.
In post-communist countries, the ressentiment to collectivism+welcoming of capitalism have produced a strong anti-redistribution sentiment. Results:
3. Countries with high family isolationism and weak redistribution values are prone to the "lack of solidarity" syndrome:
Solidarity reflects the feeling of justice: when living conditions correspond to expectations, "society is just", and solidarity is high.
E.g., when the majority accept bribes as a social mechanism, this may turn a neutral, default option. 4. Societies with high injustice rate are likely to develop social conflicts between big groups defined by their SES, ethnicity, etc. Results:
5. Post-communist countries fall into different groups based on their prevalent patterns of solidarity:
- strong familism + high redistribution (Georgia, Armenia, Moldova);
- strong familism + low redistribution (Azerbaijan, Poland);
- family isolationism + low redistribution (Lithuania, Latvia);
- "centrist" countries (Ukraine, Russia, Slovenia, Estonia, Belarus);
- family isolationism + high redistribution (East Germany). 6. Direct effect of the post-communist factor is only observable in family solidarity:
post-socialist countries score higher on family solidarity;
post-soviet males score higher on family isolationism. Results 7. Religion exerts considerable effect on both types of solidarity:
- religious Protestants are less likely to have high redistribution expectations;
- in predominantly Orthodox countries, redistribution expectations are higher;
- Muslims score overall higher on family solidarity. Anna Shirokanova
Belarusian State University, Minsk

shirokanova@bsu.by Laboratory for Comparative Social Research*, NRU HSE SPb *Russian Government Grant №11.G34.31.0024 from November 28, 2010
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