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.

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