Learning in local communities. Case study of southern and western territories in Poland

Ewa Kurantowicz
Dolnośląska Szkoła Wyższa Edukacji TWP, Wrocław

1.What helps an individual in their striving to become empowered are, undoubtedly, transformations which take place in modern culture and society. On the one hand, processes of individualisation, globalisation and life experience in the risk society strengthen individualism, but, on the other, are not only an impulse to announce „the end of local communities”, but a strong impetus to change thinking on (local) community and its development. How is it possible to conduct a debate on communities (especially - local ones) among the accompanying debates on globalisation, detraditonalisation, deterritorialisation, individualisation, etc.?

2.A short history of local communities in southern and western Poland from the perspective of the history of places (taking into account „effects” of transformation in recent years on these territories). What arguments from the perspective of transformations of local communities are in favour of their marginalisation and self-exclusion and, in contrast, oppose such diagnoses?

3.Learning in local contexts: from local education to learning community. The concept of learning community undermines the exclusivity of traditional factors which are the reason for social inequalities and the access to learning. They are as follows: social class, owned property, sex, age. It introduces and reveals new factors connected with social stratification such as: time, place, space and finally local identity. To what extent does local community become a new form of social integration by the means of widely understood social learning?

4.Presentation of points 2 and 3 will be based on the results of my own empirical research and of other researchers of microterritories in this region.

Exhibiting post-communism in contemporary (east) German history museums

Dr Fiona Smith
University of Dundee

Examining the cultural practices of two museums of contemporary history in the eastern Laender of Germany, the paper explores some of the diverse visual and material cultural practices which constitute sites of contemporary engagement with the communist history of eastern Germany, the GDR state, and the period of restructuring since 1989/90. The paper explores how the museums exhibit the socialist period and, through public debates and diverse uses of these museum spaces, offer cultural spaces through which discourses and practices of post-communism can be examined. Their roles as spaces of remembering and forgetting in relation to both national and individual/ collective experiences of socialism and post-socialism are examined to analyse the museums as entangled spaces in the complex memory politics of post-unification/post-socialist Germany.

Science, Human Rights and Social Transformation

Judith Bessant,
Professor Youth Studies and Sociology,
RMIT University, Melbourne.

Social movements engaged in processes social transformation encounter all kinds of impediments, from inertia through to the mobilization by groups whose interests will be affected by success on the part of those agitating for change. The movement to enhance the civic and human rights of children and young people faces in most societies special challenges given the near total exclusion of children and young people from the kinds of civic forums and resources other social movements have had available.

In this paper I consider the role of intellectual and scientific work that play a role in maintaining the subordination of young people. In ways analogous to the emancipatory struggles by women, blacks and gays, bio-medical theories and empirical research have been used to position those who will benefit from civic emancipation as ‘defective’, ‘deficient’ or ‘naturally inferior’ to those possessing civic rights and are deemed to be normal.

I pay attention to what some recent neuroscientists are doing to confirm what has long been ‘known’ about ‘the young’, namely that they are ‘troublesome’, ’rebellious’, even ‘criminally incline’ in terms of a basic proposition: their brains are different. Using neurological non-invasive scanning technology some neuroscientists now propose the ‘adolescent brain’ doesn’t complete development until humans are in their early twenties. These latest ‘facts’ are now used to ‘explain’ why young people are different enough to warrant special treatment like their exclusion from activities that mark out normal adult capacities like voting, drinking alcohol and driving.

In this paper I argue firstly why this research needs to be treated with skepticism. A critical analysis of what is problematic about this new ‘brain science’ is provided. I then situate this research in a longer history of scientism which has seen scientific research used again vulnerable groups like Afro-Americans, indigenous peoples and women. Finally I argue that why we should not fear authentic science, and why human rights advocates always need to be on guard against scientism when it is used to reinforce prejudice and ill-treatment targeting groups who lack significant civic protection of basic human rights.

Flexible figures in Discourses of University Governing

Anna Bjuremark
Linköping University

A new political governance of University Institutions took place in Sweden in the middle of 1980´s. The “New Public Management” is made by means of talks about freedom and characterized by the removal of the locus of power, from the knowledge of practicing professionals to policymakers. Each university was given the opportunity to organize its own graduate education, whereas the goals were still in the hands of central governance. A contemporary discussion was whether research is sake of politics, if politics instead should provide conditions for the research on the researchers own terms, or if research is a question for the markets needs. Through persuasion and political technologies individuals are expected to be able to govern themselves in their own way, but at the same time, according to implicit intentions of state representatives. The measurable and quantifiable becomes highly valued. What is materialized may be seen as new governing discourses and related practices mutated from historical thinking in earlier days.

The point of departure in this paper is to reflect on how some of these conflicts are considered in policy texts. The purpose is to analyze and give perspectives with special attention to motives for governing, and how they are legitimized in policy documents. The paper also aims at an understanding of the significance of political representatives (within University Boards), the importance of “external” recruited chairpersons and “internal” academic members, as well as the strategies of knowledge production and the techniques and forms of influence. The analysis will try to make visible the constitutive power of governing discourses in policy documents over time, how they eventually mutate and find new form of possibilities.

Reproduction, Empowerment and External Studies. Few Remarks on Higher Education System in Poland

Piotr Stańczyk
Uniwersytet Gdański

Commercialization of as many as it is possible spheres of social life advances – higher education system is not an exception but there are still some relic of social system – cost free studies. The problem appears if we realize that this relic is some kind of differentiation of students and it is form of discrimination also. The analyses of external and regular studies resulted in defining the following “four steps of constructing ascendancy” - (1)by paying taxes part-time student participates in maintaining the educational system. (2)But if he/she wants to benefit from it, he/she will have to bear additional cost of tuition fee. It would mean that part-time student bears double cost for (3)less complex educational services and, as if it is not enough, (4)he/she economically supports system out of which he/she is alienated in Marx’s sense.

So there is a question: (1)Who are external students, people who are determined to participate in alienating educational practice? (2)If it is necessity to start external studies? (3)How is participation in this alienating educational practice motivated?

External studies are, in most of cases, necessity depending on: (1)socio-economic distance between parents of both groups of students – regular students’ parents more frequently take higher positions in social stratification structure; (2)educational distance between parents – regulars’ parents are better educated; (3)educational failures of external students at earlier levels of education.

External students are highly motivated to get master degree to get better (in theirs beliefs) job and get chance for “better life” in the same time they are forced to study at much worse condition.

The most important remark is that economical context has dominated thinking of educational processes. Studies only has meaning if it leads to so called “better life” and that “better life” is commonly defined with material prosperity. Academic liberty and personal progress are in danger with principle of free market.

The Reflections of Popular Culture: A Multiple Case Study

Serap Yilmaz,
M.A. student
University of Adnan Menderes
Aydin, Turkey

Meltem Cengel
M.A. student
University of Adnan Menderes
Aydin, Turkey

Mehmet Ali Icbay
Ph.D. student
Middle East Technical University
Ankara, Turkey

Popular culture is the global and superficial culture that postpones the conflicts of ordinary life and thus creates artificial happiness. Mass communication tools are the ways to spread this popular culture. Television as a type of mass communication is the mostly utilized way of broadening the popular culture. It aims at manipulating the middle class and consumption-driven viewers through the different kinds of programmes. These programmes produced mainly in the western world such as the United States, the United Kingdom or France are directly exported to the third world countries or adopted to the social norms. The goal of these exported or modified popular TV programmes is to create an artificial joy culture which leads the children in this contemporary world to copy the discourse embedded in these TV programmes. The influence of popular culture thus can be traced in the educational system, especially in the non-formal curriculum, such as the end of term activities, which include student speeches, songs and dances. The primary aim of this ethnographic study is to investigate the influence of popular culture in the end of term activities. Further, the study seeks to answer the role of class difference in shaping the level of popular culture in students’ lives. The participants are the students who attend three different schools, one in the lower class, one in the middle class and one in the upper class, in Aydin. The end of term activities as well as the rehearsals that the students prepare are recorded. In addition to the recordings, the researchers take field notes during these activities.

Key word: popular culture, the end of term activities.

Education Reforms in Post-Communist Poland and Latvia

Lynn W. Zimmerman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Education
Purdue University Calumet

In his Prison Notebooks Antonio Gramsci (1971) examined the role of intellectuals in a society. He contended that societies and intellectuals are interdependent, based on social, political, and economic needs. He goes on to say that the dominant group in a society needs intellectuals who support and maintain the needs of that group. He asserted that the complexity of a society can be determined by the breadth and depth of education and the amount of specialization required, stating that “school is the instrument through which intellectuals of various levels are elaborated” (p. 10). If that is the case, then each new regime must institute education reforms which contribute to the intellectual transition.

The purpose of this presentation is to examine data from a qualitative research project about education reforms in post-Communist Poland and Latvia. The project focuses on how pre-service English teachers in Latvia and Poland perceive their roles as future teachers in the particular context of their societies, in order to examine their expectations and perceptions in the socio-political context of their respective countries related to recent education reforms in each country. The narratives yielded four primary thematic categories: needs of society; educational philosophy issues; social changes and impact on education; and role of government in education.

The purpose of the project, whose participants were university students who have lived during the time of transition in their countries, is to look how the changes in society and education reflect shifts in their consciousness of themselves as future educators. According to Shea (1996),

One of the problems of living in a period of transition comes from the dissonance created by an episodic shift away from older meaning systems and our inability to react with any kind of sensibility or coherence to the fragmentary new symbol systems that strike our bewildered consciousness (p. 40).

This project seeks to determine how this dissonance manifests itself, and how the participants, as university students wanting to become educators themselves, fit into Gramsci’s (1971) strata of intellectuals.

On the societal level, the political and economic shifts in both countries has decreased the need for vocational education to train workers for industry, and brought about a need for more academic education to teach citizens how to live in a democratic society and how to work in a service-directed economy (Bollag 1999; Pachocinski 1997; Kwiek 2001; Soros Foundation 2001; Hamot 1998; Zachariev 1999). There is also the need for the knowledge and skills in order to participate in a unified Europe (Snoek et al 2003; Kwiek 2001; Scott 2002). Philosophically, there has been a shift away from the narrow and instrumental role that education played under the previous system to a role that is meant to promote social, political, cultural, and vocational competencies that are necessary for the individual to carry on a successful life individually, socially, and globally (Pachocinski 1997, p. 8).
These changes highlight what Eisner and Vallance (1974) refer to as a curriculum which recognizes that “individual development and the quality of the social context are interdependent” (Eisner and Vallance 1974, p. 11).

The new economic and political systems in Latvia and Poland created a need for a shift in curriculum development, moving away from the essentialist education of the past which focused on learning specific knowledge and skills to a more progressive curriculum which recognizes that learning is dynamic and which focuses on the learner. This study sheds some light on the effect that the reforms are having on education in both countries, and how the reforms reflect and inform the intellectual transition in the new regimes.

‘Current men’ and contemporary ethical education

Vikki Pollard
PhD Candidate
Faculty of Education
Monash University
Melbourne, Australia

In 1872, as Professor of Classical Philology at Bale University, Friedrich Nietzsche presented a series of five lectures titled “On the future of our educational institutions”. Presented as a report of a conversation Nietzsche overheard as a young man, these lectures pose questions which remain remarkably applicable for modern education. In the first lecture one of the characters, an ex-teacher and philosopher, argues that the educational system is purely utilitarian and aims to produce ‘current men’. What did he mean by ‘current men’? The aim of this paper is to explore this question in relation to contemporary educational theory. How is the aim of producing ‘current men’ critiqued in modern educational literature? What can Nietzsche’s critique teach educationalists about an ethical education? I will be arguing that an ethical education is one that enables creativity and resistance.

Child Play and Toy in two Generations: “Upon a Childhood History”

Ruken Akar Vural, PhD.
Adnan Menderes University, Faculty of Education,

Hasan Akbulut, PhD.
Cinema-Television Department of Communication Faculty of Kocaeli University, Kocaeli-Turkey

Müslime Güneş, PhD.
Adnan Menderes University, Faculty of Education,

Erinç Erdal, PhD Student.
Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences,

The aim of this study is to define historical evolution of child play and toy within two generations in context of socio-economic and political conditions in Turkey. Due to this aim, two periods of time were determined. These periods of time are consisted of 1950-1960: Government of Democrat Party and 1990-2000: Post 1980 period. The reason of deciding on these periods is since the two periods were determined by political, economic and cultural turning points in Republican Period. The period between 1950 and 1960 is young Republic’s passing to multiparty system from one-party state, meanwhile departing from her basic ideology; getting acquainted with American assistance and Marshall Plans and moreover, choosing her political side in the international area.

1950’s also witnessed a mass migration from rural to urban areas and as a result, population growth and emergence of indigenous bourgeoisie in big cities. This period is also considered as changing perception to childhood. Between period 1990 and 2000, a new middle class was emerged with free market economy and liberal values, state’s responsibility over public life was decreased and the understanding of social state was weakened. After the breakdown of USSR, United States turned into the biggest power in every areas and globalization was accepted without questioning. In communication filed, one-channel broadcast left its place to multi-channel broadcast; new technologies such as computer, internet, and mobile phone came into our lives. This short ten-year period changed the understanding of child, childhood and child play by means of human conception.

In this study, interviews will be conducted in order to determine forms, types and structures of child plays and toys within specified periods and to analyze changes in the course of time. The sample of this study will be consisted of 20 narrators from different age groups (50-60 aged above and fewer than 16 aged). Oral history interviews to the people between 50-60 ages and semi-structured interviews to the people fewer than 16 ages will be conducted in this study. The draft of interview forms were developed by researchers and after presented to expert opinion, needed corrections were done. Digital voice recorder will be used, photographs will be taken during the interviews and camera recordings will be taken where necessary. On the other hand, after getting individual permission, narrators’ childhood photographs will be taken and examined. Interview recordings will be coded by the researchers individually to strengthen reliability of the research. The categories will be ultimately generated after all data analysis, and relevant categories will be organized under the research questions.

Keywords: play, childhood history, oral history

Change and Resistance in European Higher Education. Technologies of Discourse of Academic Institutions in Poland

Kamila Biały
University of Łódź,
Institute of Sociology

Towards the end of the XX century, starting from the late ‘70s, a failing economy, inflation, and rising unemployment shift the political balance to the right, that is, to the new right, based not upon land but upon the market. Like all other ideologies of the twentieth century, neoliberalism promises paradise on earth. It considers itself to be the emancipation project of all human beings based on the unlimited capacities of science and technology and the corresponding rules of free market global economy, which are supposed to facilitate their unrestricted development. And like most Enlightenment ideologies, although it uses the language of reason and science, it is actually driven by faith.

The shift one can observe in today’s higher education from the Humboldtian notion of the university, claimed increasingly obsolete for a knowledge society, to one that operates under market pressures is part of the processes described above. The notion of “the enterpreneurial university” is based on the assumption of a coexistence between ethical and intellectual values, such as truth, ethics, authority, autonomy, the freedom of research and teaching, critical potential, scientific risk and economic and technological values, such as utility, efficiency, calculation, accountability, flexibility and innovation.

In the shift I see, contrary to supporters of the coincidentia oppositorum, a disproportion between ethical and intellectual values on the one hand and economic and technological values on the other. This disproportion can be revealed with the use of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). Furthermore, the analysis of the processes of changes in academic institutions, conducted from that particular perspective, makes visible opaque relationships between language and ideology, to be precise, it may disclose an ideological function of the system of higher education in maintaining neoliberal status quo as well as illuminate the attempts of resistance to that, using CDA’s terminology, universal order of discourse.

In my presentation this approach will help me to see an academic institution as a sheer enterprise where four major strategies play a major role: production, finance & law, human resources and marketing. I will analyse in terms of technologies of discourse a few examples, taken from the Polish academic institutions, that in my view represent the new language of the university.

Western-Style Arabic Music Video Clips and Emirati Youth Changes

Maher Khelifa & Adel Jendli
Zayed University,
Dubai, UAE

Recently, Arabic satellite channels increasingly broadcast Western-style Arabic video clips (AVC). Although the song lyrics are in Arabic, they seem to promote foreign lifestyles and behaviors that depart considerably in content and in style from conventional Arab and Islamic shows that take into account viewers’ values and culture. This study examined the degree of Emirati exposure to and acceptance of these programs; examined the psychosocial impact of these programs on viewers, especially the impact of these shifts in content on traditional values, cultural identity; and family TV viewing habits. The study was conducted using a survey research on 360 young UAE male and female viewers. As hypothesized, results indicated that UAE viewers are frequently exposed to these programs, especially young females. Viewers tend to watch music videos out of: boredom, interest and entertainment, lack of better programs, and to keep up with latest videos, songs, fashion and style trends. Contrary to the study hypothesis participants’ identity, values and culture did not seem to be changing at the core by the content of these videos although they acknowledged that AVC normalized and altered their perception of indecent images. Participants who choose not view these programs reported varied reasons for their abstention including that these programs are blindly modeled after western shows, are harmful, and are against fundamental religious beliefs, values and morals. In line with the study hypothesis, results further showed that these programs greatly affect family TV viewing habits as these shows are not family oriented.

Sexual education – girls still invisible

Lucie Jarkovská
Faculty of Social Studies,
Masaryk University,
Brno, Czech Republic

The social transformation of the Czech society after 1989 meant in some respect a return to conservatism in social representations of gender. In the educational filed we can see that in lack of programs focused on promoting gender equality. Czech educational praxis is therefore characterized by nonreflexive reproduction of gender inequality and what more, there are moments that can be seen as explicit lessons of stereotypical masculinity and femininity.

It was proven in many researches that girls tend to be less visible part of the classroom (for example Sadker & Sadkern, 1994). However, there are school subjects and topics which are perceived by common sense as girls’ domain. Among these we can count sexual education lessons. It is believed that sexual education is more a „girls' thing“, that girls are more concerned about the topic and are more involved. The paper reveals this believe is a myth and shows how the discursive practices leave the girls out of the discourse and make them more silent and less involved in the discussion about sexuality than they are in any other subjects in school.

The author argues that sexual education, which is not gender sensitive and is not reflecting gender inequalities, is reproducing gender hierarchy and contributes to inscription of the gender inequality into girls' and boys' bodies. The process of incorporating of gender inequalities fortifies the girls’ invisibility in other subjects and spaces.

The author shows how such a paradox influences the symbolic space of schooling.
The paper is based in a particular outcome of an ethnographic research that was conducted in the 6th grade of elementary school in the Czech Republic and which focused on gender aspects of education.

key words: sexual education, gender inequality, gender socialization

Family or cultural patterns of life? - changes and conformity between three generations and intergenerations transmission.

Marzanna Farnicka
Uniwersytet Zielonogórski

Main ideas: motherhood, fatherhood, development tasks, early adults, change and asynchrony between three generations, transcultural and transgenaration transmission.

Main theses:
This review is from the research about the influence of culture changes onto perception of age- appropiatness behaviour among young Polish and their families. This is a performance pattern of timing of doing development tasks in each generation.


The aim of this article is to indicate changes between three generations (young adults, their parents and grandparents) in perception pattern of timing of doing development tasks (Havighurst). The results show great conformity between three generations in perception orders, age, importance and frequency each of this events. In this research we can see specific difference in perception between all generations and specific asynchrony common in the all groups which consists in including events into this development period such as the choice of the job or getting emotional and economical independence of parents and exclusion the birth of another child in the period. We can see changes in aims and values in each group and factors of them such as close to each other, material and family status, origin (a city or a country).
In general, this research asks the question about the influence of cultural changes onto perception of age- appropiatness behaviour among young Polish and their families. Especially because changes in this country and in the world are going on.

Mediation, social Change and Life Long Learning , based on the Universal Principles of Adult Education.

By: Dr. David Silvera

In his book “The little book of wisdom” the Dalai Lama wrote on the ripple effect, saying: ”If an individual human being eventually become a nice, calm, peaceful person, than it automatically brings some kind of positive atmosphere, and you have a happy family”.

He continues to say: “Happiness comes from kindness. Happiness cannot come from hatred or anger”.

Regarding the effect of happiness not on individual but a group of people, he wrote: “Genuine compassion must be acting on the basis of respect, and the realization or recognition that others also, just like me, have the right to be happy”.
“Compassion compels us to reach out to all living being, including our-so called enemies, those people who upset or hurt us”.

The relationships between the State, Civil Society and the Citizens have changed, as the democratic ideology and practice prevails. It was the American president, Richard Nixon who said: “After an era of confrontation, the time has come for an era of negotiation”.

One may still face violence – usually, at the beginning of a conflict. At the end –to end peacefully a conflict, one may have to talk, to negotiate, to come to an agreement.
This is the social change that modern society has to adopt.
Many of the patterns and processes which characterize conflict is one era also characterize it in others. Conflicts are universal –and so are the the dealings with them.
Negotiation by methods of mediation is the answer to modern era relationships, individually and collectively, between the state and the civil society.

Universities as sites of Transformation and Resistance: An Australian case Study

Rob Watts,
Professor of Social Policy,
School of Global studies, Social Science and Planning
RMIT University

In all Anglo-American societies there is a long and honorable tradition constituting a discourse of ‘academic freedom’ and promotion of the liberal university as a source of critical thought and the voice of social conscience. Yet what role do contemporary universities actually play post-September 11, 2001 a time some (Sitsky 2006) characterise as a ‘new dark age’? Such a point of view points to an ethico-political culture of synthesised fear, manufactured intolerance, and widespread complacency as governments generate endless and complacent talk about the need for security, freedom, self-reliance, the values of the market, and the peculiar kind of rationality said to characterise the market. This Australian case study examines both the shifts in university culture and practice and the politics of contemporary universities and universities in a time of major transformation. It explores the effects a combination of new state policies, the commercialisation of intellectual practice and certain long standing ‘constructive schemes’ specifically in at work in the social sciences and more generally in ‘academic discourse’ (Bourdieu 1997) have had on what some call the ‘enterprise university’. Avoiding nostalgia for a defunct mythic ‘golden age’ were sites of a ‘politics of freedom’ the paper argues long standing habits of mind and intellectual practice continue to obstruct the potential development of universities as sites of democratic education (Giroux 2004).

Rob Watts is Professor of Social Policy at RMIT University. He is author or co-author of books like Foundations of the National Welfare State (1987), Arguing About the Welfare State (1992), Making Groups Work (1996), Discovering Risk (2004), Abuse of Trust (2005) and Sociology Australia (1999;2003;2007) and States of Violence (forthcoming)

Emirati (Arab, Muslim) Women: Their changing views on marriage

Ann Barrell, M.Lit. & Dawn McBride, Ph.D
Zayed University (United Arab Emirates) and University of Lethbridge (Canada)

Less than 35 years ago, people of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) lived as nomads who traveled by camel across the desert looking for food and ways to earn an income. Today, rapid urbanization and significant government reforms are fueled by the recent discovery of oil. One of the many consequences of this is that the Emirati people (who are Muslim) have experienced significant cultural changes as they adapt to a new, urbanized lifestyle. In the last few decades, the government has become increasingly active in supporting women’s freedom to acquire an education and employment outside the home. As professors of post-secondary female Emirati students, we listen to stories of how difficult it can be for the families of our students, and for society in general, to adapt to the radical changes in women’s roles. In this context of rapid cultural change, it is women who are fundamentally changing the social landscape of the country. It is this change that forms the basis of our current research and this paper.

Over the past four years we have undertaken a series of research studies to investigate the beliefs of university Emirati women as it relates to marriage, family, their careers, and their culture. Through the use of surveys (n=200 participants in various surveys) and 19 focus groups, we have begun to identify the beliefs, values and challenges associated with women’s changing role in the UAE society.

The heightened necessity of cultural sensitivity throughout this research required the development of an innovative approach to collecting data using focus groups. This involved the use of fictional short stories written by a local Emirati. This procedure proved to be highly effective and could easily be adapted to other cultural settings where the moderator is outside the cultural mainstream. Details of this unique focus group methodology will be discussed.

The results have yielded rich data related to women’s views on their changing roles in marriage, family life, and in having a career. One predominant theme, which was revealed in the focus groups, was the challenge women faced in separating their country’s cultural beliefs from Islam’s practices. This research is of significance to practitioners in diverse fields, including educators and those in the helping fields. Special reference will be made on increasing one’s cultural competence in teaching Muslim women and in supporting their quest to have a strong family life and a successful career. The results will be highlighted with ample use of examples from the research data, as well as video clips. This presentation will be delivered in a culturally sensitive manner designed to shed light on how the changing Muslim Emirati women’s roles are central to the transformation of their remarkable country.

Polish Language and Foreign Language Policy in Postcommunist Poland: New Educational Challenges

Dr Łucja Biel
Department of Translation Studies and Intercultural Communication
Institute of English
University of Gdansk

The paper discusses the current language policy (unilingualism) and shifts in attitudes towards foreign languages under political and economic transformations. Owing to frequent contacts, Polish was to a certain degree affected by Russian in the Communist era. In the late 80ties and the 90ties an unparalleled number of borrowings from English entered Polish, in line with the global trend. In the mid 90ties it was felt necessary to protect Polish against the growing imperialism of English; hence, to protect the national identity in the globalisation process. As a result, the Polish Language Protection Act 1999 was adopted, imposing an obligation to use Polish in legal transactions (contracts), press advertisements, product descriptions, etc. The purist attitudes stem to a large degree from the historic experience when Poland was without a state for 123 years and restrictions on the use of Polish were regarded as a threat to the national identity.

The high impact of English on Polish is also due to the fact that English has become the dominant foreign language learnt in Poland. In the Communist era Russian was a compulsory language at primary and secondary schools (it is spoken by ca. 23% of Poles). In the early 90ties the prestige of Russian was declining rapidly; it was no longer an obligatory subject and a large number of Russian teachers had to requalify. The shift in foreign language preferences is well visible in the discrepancy between the number of pupils learning English and Russian at primary and secondary schools: English (4m), German (2m), Russian (0.4m). It is also worth noting that in the period of 2000-2004 the number of pupils learning Russian further decreased by more than 50%, even though it is relatively easy for a Pole to learn Russian. This trend is confirmed by the choice of a foreign language at the secondary school graduation examination: 76% English, 18% German, 6% Russian, 1% French. Therefore, the Western languages are chosen by 94% of students, symbolising Poland’s redirection towards the West. The popular approach “you have to know a language of your enemy and of your friend”, where German was officially supposed to be a language of enemy and Russian was a language of friend, is no longer applied. What counts are prospects on the job market.

Knowledge of foreign languages is an important skill in Postcommunist Poland in light of the high inflow of foreign direct investments, in particular business process offshoring. Being one of the largest markets in the EU, the Polish market is attractive to foreign investors due to its low labour costs, access to well-qualified and young human resources. Poland’s accession to the EU means increased contacts with other official languages and gives access to the Single Market with ca. 500 million consumers. Furthermore, Polish is an official language of the EU and under the principle of multilingualism all relevant legislative and other texts have to be translated into Polish, increasing the demand for LSP translators. The article will analyse other political, economic and cultural changes that generate the demand for translators, in particular LSP translators and teachers, and require changes in university-level language education.

The examination of the Turkish youth’ life satisfaction according to their just world belief, level of political participation and orientation

Mediha Sari, PhD student;
Fulya Cenkseven, PhD.;
Ruken Akar Vural, PhD.

Life satisfaction can be described as the individual cognitive assessment of his life in such a way that it includes everything (wide-ranging) (Pavot .et al, 1991). According to Pavot and Diener (1993), the judgment of self-satisfaction is based in the comparisons between the self-imposed criteria and the perception of the life conditions. It is believed that the Turkish youth’ just world belief, their level of political participation and their political orientation play a significant role in shaping their life satisfaction which is described as the individual assessment of each aspects of his life. The Just World Belief hypothesis states that people believe in a world in which people get what they reserve and deserve what they get. The Just World Belief has been found correlated with a number of variables, such as power distance, authoritarianism, conservatism, depression, and psychological well-being, among others. The political participation is the political activities at which citizens aim to selecting governmental authorities, and to directly or indirectly have an impact on their activities (Nie, Verba & Converse,1989). The political participation namely is the ruled citizens’ act of joining in the process of ruling. Research findings show that the level of political participation in youth is low (Borre, 2000; Brown, 2003; Dixon, 1996; Dudley & Gitelson, 2003; Erdoğan, 2003; Flanagan, 2003; McAllister & White 1994; Soule, 2001; Torney - Purta- Amadeo, 2003; Wilkins, 1999).

In this study, the Turkish youth’ life satisfaction is examined on the basis of their just world belief, the level of their political participation and their political orientation. The study seeks to answer the following questions:
1.Is there any significant difference in the Turkish youth’ life satisfaction according to the level of their just world belief?
2.Is there any significant difference in the Turkish youth’ life satisfaction according to the level of their political participation?
3.Is there any significant difference in the Turkish youth’ life satisfaction according to their political orientation?
4.Is there any significant relation among the Turkish youth’ life satisfaction, their just world belief and level of political participation?
The participants of the study consist of the youngs who are 18-25 ages either university students or not in Adana and Aydin, Turkey. Life Satisfaction Inventory by Diener, Diener, Emmons, Larsen and Griffin (1985), Life Satisfaction Scale by Emmons, Larsen and Griffin (1985), Just World Scale by Rubin and Peplau (1975), Political Participation Questionnaire and Right-Left Orientation Scale by Cuhadar (2006) are used as data collection tools.
Key words: life satisfaction, just world belief, political participation, political orientation.

Hiring God: Religion and the Market Economy in Romania

Sorina Chiper
Al. I. Cuza Univesrity of IAsi

One of the changes in post socialist Romania has been the visibility of the church as an institution, and a renewed interest in religion. Whereas the communist ideology had been atheist, the new nation, after 1989, defined itself as Christian. Paraphrasing Bruno Latour, it seemed that we had never been communists, and in the initial draft of the Constitution, the Orthodox Christianity had been declared as the official state religion.

During the so-called “transition period,” the Orthodox Church had to face various controversies over the involvement of church leaders with the Secret Police (Securitate) and over the construction of the Orthodox Cathedral of the People. Political leaders have also made public appearances in religious contexts, capitalizing on the trust that Romanians have in the church to build political capital. On the other hand, religious institutions have been increasingly involved in the social.

My presentation will be a case study of a monastery in North East Moldova. Using the framework of anthropology, I will analyse the hybrid forms of religiosity and market economy, the types of entrepreneurship and creative interpretation/deviation from monastic rules that have made possible the setting up and management f a profitable business in the printing industry. Particular questions that I will address are: what types of networks are shaped when one of the persons involved in business management is a monastic? What are the conditions of possibility for the emergence of such a hybrid form of doing business? What discoursive moves have been invoked in promoting the business? What do work ethic, professionalism, obedience and sacrifice mean in such a mixed context?

“Collective stories” – Or: How social work could help to remember and educate for heterogeneity

Susanne Maurer,
University of Marburg,

In societies which increasingly tend to privatize and individualize the risks of existence it makes sense to reconstruct the collective dimension of the social – taking into account those multiple and complex differences of origin, belonging, experience and opinion. The “new collective” has to consider heterogeneity. The “new solidarity” has to be built in spite of it, even through the recognition of it. Thus I would like to strengthen the perspective of a “heterogen collectivity”, be it in the context of social movements and political activism or in the context of education and social work.

Institutions and practises of education and social work already carry experience and knowledge which could support and enrich critical movements of resistance and transformation. This paper will especially highlight the quality of social work (its institutions and professionals, procedures and practises) as society’s memory of social conflicts. The history of social work is not only telling individual stories of neediness on one side and (more or less) helpful support on the other. Modern social work is part of the new capitalist bourgeois society where class relationships were (and still are) at risk. It’s also part of the collective efforts of organizing one’s own existential needs and finding ways to build solidarity for the weak and marginalized. These collective efforts came historically out of very different contexts – the working class movement, the women’s movement and also some other currents of the new Civil Society.

Besides its normalizing and affirmative, its repressive and controlling aspects social work stands also for concepts which try to understand, respect and integrate “difference”, and which are perfectly aware of heterogeneity in society in both aspects – unequality and diversity. One could also say: Social work is historically connected with the collective attempt to reduce unequality and make diversity - or choice - possible.

By recognizing the quality of social work as a “memorial site” of social conflicts, productive effects of social change as well as surrender and loss will come into sight. Remembrance of former struggles and awareness of their institutional consequences could open up new perspectives for resistance and transformation.

Revolutionary Colors

Natalia Kovalyova
UT Austin

A recent wave of regime-changing uprisings in the Eastern Europe was a topic of much discussion while the events were unfolding and their commonalities generated a sizeable amount of scholarly work that defined them as a “second wave of post-communist electoral revolutions” (Tucker 2005). Apart from being close in time, these pro-democracy movements were centered about fraud in elections organized by the administration: as a result of seriously mishandling of electoral procedures and vote counting, mass protests took place; after some period of time, the incumbent president resigned and/or election results were overturned, and the leader of the opposition became a new president. Yet, in a very strict sense of a word, the term revolution does not apply to those events as they have not produced any long-term consequences and social changes. Rather, the term revolution in their regard identifies that the movement was successful in “overthrowing the current regime” (Tucker 2005, p.2).
This paper examines one such movement – the “Orange Revolution” of 2004 in Ukraine – using a collection of news (776 stories) captured by in October – December 2004. The sources of the news include the BBC, CNN, Deutsche Welle, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, The Times, The Financial Times, and news agencies (Associated Press and Reuter). The analysis uses a close reading of texts focusing in labels mentioned, actors or interested parties identified, and perspectives employed in order to gain insight into versions of the Orange Revolution that were presented to the (international) public.

Border-Oder-Other. On dynamics of mental change in context of formal change based on example of Polish – German border on Oder line

Anna Suska,
Elzbieta Okroy,
Ewa Okroy,
Krzysztof Leszczynski

Mental mapping of border inhabitants is still subject to many important, unanswered questions. Although many classical publications were issued regarding perception of place, little of them deals with change of that perception. What deserves thorough study is not only the change itself, but the triggers of such change in perceiving space as well – especially relations to physical and functional (both formal and informal) change of the environment.

The example of Oder line is significant and interesting for many reasons, among which the most important are the genesis of populations on both sides of the river, former political system that conducted in specific security policy in this area, multicultural and dynamic environment which is crucial for successful discourse analysis as main methodology for this research.

The research places this change in specific economical and political situation and focuses on dynamics of visible (human, capital) and invisible (forces triggering change, hidden ideologies, values and symbols) flows. Of major importance are change „triggers”, which have different forms and ways of occurence. Mental space constructed by inhabitants and meanings transmitted by institutions remain also in certain relation, which defines cultural transmission and strategies of domination and symbolic power. It is therefore crucial to shift the analysis of change from the point of view based on „how something functions?” to „what it means?”.

Critical theory and Post Soviet legacies: rights and wrongs of capitalism

Rasa Baločkaitė
PhD Sociology
Kaunas University of Technology

Session: The missing language? Marxism and Social Critique after the Fall of Berlin Wall

The capitalist system, since its very beginning in Western Europe, had its proponents and adversaries as well. The fundamental critique of capitalist system was developed by Marx. Marx coined terms of alienation, commodification, false consciousness and false needs that provide an illusionary substitutes from real freedom, emancipated consciousness, subjectivity and self actualization. Later on, the Frankfurt school and critical theory (“Dialectic of Enlightenment” by Adorno & Horkheimer, “One dimensional man”, “Eros and Civilization” by H.Marcuse etc.) debated the totalitarian nature of free market and culture industries that produce “one dimensional” man, deprive individuals of their subjectivity, train and socialize them as consumers, manipulating their sexuality, so that individuals only serve the needs of the market. Critique of the late capitalism was continued by many others, like Baudrillard, who blames the vices of contemporary western society and consumerism.

While in Western countries, the critique of capitalism has century long traditions, the Eastern block was rather unaware of discontents and inadequacies of late capitalism. After collapse of the Soviet regime in 1990, in Eastern Europe, “West” was found as a new source of legitimacy - capitalism was perceived as only alternative, while former critique of the capitalist system was associated with the Soviet propaganda.

Eastern European societies have been captured by dilemma: on the one hand, fostering transition from authoritarian political regime and planned economy towards liberal democracies and free markets, on the other hand – maintaining critical attitudes. How, then, critique of capitalism is possible in Eastern Europe and where it comes from?

Surprisingly or not, the cultural critique of capitalist system first came from the intellectuals of elder generation. Here, R. Grigas, A. Mikelinskas, O.Baliukonyte, V. Kubilius. M.Martinaitis, A.Juozaitis, J.Aputis are to mention, among many others. Although there was no formal school or trend of social thought, they represented certain conservative perspective towards development of late capitalism. The analysis of their critique of capitalism unveils striking similarities with the Frankfurt school: blaming consumerism, commodification, lack of substantive choice options, stupidifying mass culture and culture industries that deprive individuals of their subjectivity by fostering and then, satisfying false needs and enslaving individuals into never ending circle of consumption.

The critique of late capitalism and consumerism in post Soviet Lithuania, in contrast to critical theory in Western world, was met with contempt and deprecation, and the critics themselves accused of intolerance, arrogance, anti liberal attitudes, sentiments towards totalitarian past, or even compared to Ku Klux Klan (KKK). The texts, containing critique of late capitalism and consumerism, were published in Lithuanian cultural media during 1995-1998. Although they have never been gathered into substantive edition, they represent rather a consistent trend of social cultural criticism and illuminate the development of the social thought in Lithuania.

Searching for a new sense of location – East German identity and Ostalgie

Dobrochna Hildebrandt-Wypych PhD
Adam Mickiewicz University

The paper takes its point of departure in the phenomenon of East German systemic change that gave way to various practices of reconstructing collective memories and reworking the past experiences of the ‘nonexistent nation’. The unidirectional and asymmetrical process of German integration delegitimated GDR1 culture and produced – after the euphoric beginning – the sense of loss and dislocation among the New German States inhabitants. The new phenomena of ‘East German identity’ and Ostalgie can be perceived as the collective attempts to re-legitimate these lost personal experiences, symbols and rituals – all ‘positive memories’ of the GDR. As M. Blum puts it, since the mid ’90 ‘mementos from the former GDR have suddenly become en vogue2. The paper argues that this outstanding comeback of GDR relicts is not – as some claim – merely the glorification of the past based on resentments and negation (East German identity as Abgrenzungsidentität3 – ‘a fencing identity’). It is located not entirely in the past, but also in the present and future; it constitutes an attempt to overcome ‘the destabilizing juncture between the old and the new, between a stable and recognizable past in a well defined nation state and a presently evolving culture that is in the search of foundational myth’4. ‘The memories from the past can also function as modes of adaptation to the culture of a new (Western) capitalism, as well as counteractions against uniformity of global culture and economy. The idea behind the re-construction of East German identity can be more then just a negotiation of the past; it can also function as challenge to a uniformity of global world, a way out in the blurred and unpredictable future.

1 German Democratic Republic
2 Blum M. (2000), Remaking East German Past: ‘Ostalgie’, Identity and Material Culture, The Journal of Popular Culture, Volume XXIV, 3/2000. p. 229-253
3 Pollack D. (1998), Ostdeutsche Identität. Ein multidimensionales Phänomen, w: Meulemann H. (red.), Werte und nationale Identität im vereinten Deutschland. Erklärungsansätze der Umfrageforschung, Opladen
4 Jozwiak J.F., Mermann E. (2006), The Wall in Our Minds? Colonization, Integration and Nostalgia, The Journal of Popular Cuture, Volume XXXIX, 5/2006, p. 780-795

Unemployment and responsibility

Sylwiusz Retowski
Szkoła Wyższa Psychologii Społecznej

Apart from levelling system and economic differences between Poland and Western Europe, the last dozen or so years of free market transformations in Poland have brought about also negative effects – often on an unexpected scale. Mass unemployment affecting millions of people and the phenomenon of homelessness can be the examples of such negative effects. Perception of one’s own responsibility for seeking (taking up) a job seems to be the key problem among unemployed people in Poland. Most of these unemployed are people who have lived in a communist system (before 1989) in which for many years they had no chance to take full responsibility for their lives. The psychological analyses have shown that the determination of four typical ways of coping with life problems, i.e. the application of so called Brickman’s responsibility model (1982), helps to explain better the behaviour of unemployed (or homeless) people in Poland. The oral presentation will present the basic principles of Brickman’s model with reference to people that are unemployed or at risk of unemployment, as well as the results of the research concerning long-term unemployed and young adults living in the areas where big state farms had once been situated.


Senior Lecturers in English,

Change, resistance, adaptation and transformation are irresistible ingredients of human society. They open new vistas of knowledge. In this paper we have made a modest effort to introduce some of the visionary ideas of writers in English who have mirrored and projected the Indian social fabric with authenticity.

The introduction of English in India way back in the 17th century did have an impact on the literary renaissance in India. Later, the study of English literature stimulated the regional literatures. New paradigms came into being.

In this paper we trace the progressive evolution of the Indian writing in English beginning with the work of Raja Rammohan Roy who highlighted the plight of widows, darkness of superstition, ignorance and backwardness to the present day authors trying to establish their identity in the scheme of things in the globized world. This trend is seen to a great extent in the contemporary Indian writing in English including the diasporic writing. In this journey, we trace the works of other prominent authors such as Rabindra Nath Tagore, Aurobindo Ghosh, Sarojini Naidu, Mulk Raj Anand, Kamla Das, Ved Mehta, R.K. Narayan, Khushwant Singh, Nissim Ezekiel, Dom Morris, R.K. Narayan, Amitav Ghosh, Vikram Seth, Arundhiti Roy, Ruskin Bond and many others like Salman Rushdie, V.S. Naipaul, etc.

Our conclusion is that Indian Writing in English has realistically and faithfully captured the Indian consciousness and it definitely had an impact on the social milieu, thereby giving a veiled direction to the Indian independence struggle and at the same time exerting a much wider influence on many other countries of the world still struggling for freedom, democracy, equality and justice.

Changing language changing thinking: considerations on the implications of the Bologna process concerning the ubiquity of the English academic style

Margaret Percy

Queen Mary University of London

In an article on the Bologna Process published by the Higher Education Academy, Lomine states interestingly and unequivocally,

It was clear from the outset that the British system would have little to do to adapt and comply with the Bologna principles” One could add that accommodating to the norms and vagaries of the English language was not one of the things they would have to do, nor would any change in the English academic style required in articles and papers for international publishing or presentation at a conference such as this.

In Western culture the chief alternative to objectivism has traditionally been taken to be subjectivism…..thus according to the dichotomy that our culture would foist upon us, we would be left with only a radical subjectivism”, lament Lackoff and Johnson (2003), concerned to promote more peaceable ways of communication.

When one puts objectivity in parenthesis, all views, all verses in the multiverse are equally valid”, proposes Humberto Maturana (1985), refusing to participate in the dichotomizing activity of western academia.

The paper will discuss the changes implicit in the shift from various languages, multiverses, into the accepted language and format of English which Edward De Bono indicates as being good for description but not good for perception. The format imposed by English language academia requires changing mind sets, changing the thinking and perceiving of those whose languages may give more room to perception not to mention the logical-positivist requirement of writing from the traditional objectivist stance which may no longer be ecologically sound.