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European Social Survey – how Poles fared. Anna Materska-Sosnowska and Michał Kotnarowski comment

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On Saturday, the guests of “Fakty po Faktach” talked about the results of the European Social Survey. Political scientist Dr. Anna Materska-Sosnowska assessed that “two pictures” emerge from the study. In her opinion, it shows that “we are so pro-democratic, pro-European”, and at the same time “we do not trust each other”. Sociologist Dr. Michał Kotnarowski said that “lack of trust between us is a lack of social bond”. “This means that it is difficult for us to do anything in the public sphere,” he commented.

Residents of 32 countries took part in the latest, 10th edition of the European Social Survey. The initiator of the project is the European Science Foundation. In Poland poll conducted by the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Findings of the European Social Survey about Poland

Only 3 percent of residents of large cities in Poland believe that they have a significant impact on the political situation in the country. A similar view is shared by 4 percent of rural residents, according to the European Social Survey, which is one of the largest public opinion polls in Europe. It aims to observe the attitudes of people in individual countries towards key problems, as well as to detect changes in value systems.

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77 percent of rural residents have nothing against settling in Poland by foreigners who belong to the same ethnic group as Poles. In cities, it’s 90 percent.

More than half of those surveyed in rural areas believe that gays and lesbians should have the right to arrange their lives according to their own beliefs. 19 percent are against and 29 percent have no position on the issue. 19 percent of rural respondents said they would feel ashamed if there was a lesbian or gay member in their immediate family. 49 percent see no reason for such emotions towards people of homosexual orientation, and 32 percent have no opinion on the matter. 72 percent of residents of large cities would not be ashamed of a homosexual person in their close family.

Round 10 of the European Social Survey. What does it say about Poles?TVN24, Reuters

Materska-Sosnowska: this poll shows that we do not trust each other

The results of the European survey were discussed in “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24 by sociologist Dr. Michał Kotnarowski from the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, national coordinator of the European Social Survey and political scientist Dr. Anna Materska-Sosnowska from the University of Warsaw.

Materska-Sosnowska assessed that “this poll looks very good, but this poll also shows that we do not trust each other.” She explained that “he looks nice as a whole, we are so pro-democratic, pro-European”, but “there are two paintings”.

One of them is an image of a society open to migrants, although – as noted by the political scientist – “they must be similar” to Poles. In the second picture – said the expert – there is a “lack of trust”. – So, on the one hand, others do not bother us, on the other hand, we do not trust them. We don’t trust politicians, we don’t trust institutions.

Materska-Sosnowska: this poll shows that we do not trust each other

Materska-Sosnowska: this poll shows that we do not trust each otherTVN24

Political scientist: I’m afraid we’re a little trying to be better on the outside than we really are

The political scientist said that before the program she asked Kotnarowski “whether the respondents knew that this was a scientific European study, and not just a survey”. – Yes, they knew. I’m afraid we’re a little trying to be better on the outside than we really are.”

She made a reservation that she knew that the research “is very well done methodologically”, but – as she said – “if everyone says that we are supposed to be democrats, we admit it a bit”.

– There is also such data in this study, in my opinion very disturbing, that slightly more than 19 percent of respondents are satisfied with the state of democracy in Poland – she said. – If we have a very high lack of trust in each other (…), in institutions, a very low capital of the sense of democracy, then unfortunately it is as it is – added Materska-Sosnowska.

Materska-Sosnowska: I'm afraid we're trying to be better on the outside than we really are

Materska-Sosnowska: I’m afraid we’re trying to be better on the outside than we really areTVN24

Kotnarowski: lack of trust between us is a lack of social bond

Kotnarowski wondered how this lack of trust translates into civic engagement. “It’s a big problem,” said the expert. As he said, “the lack of trust between us is the lack of social bond”. – This means that it is difficult for us to do anything in the public sphere, in our backyard, in our neighborhood, in our city, in the country, but also, for example, in business – he enumerated.

The sociologist pointed out that at the same time “we are observing an increase in activity and political involvement”. “It manifests itself in two ways,” he said. – We read a little more, we watch, we are interested in politics, but (…) we also observe a large increase in such more active involvement, that is: signing petitions, participating in demonstrations, commenting on something on the Internet – he said.

He admitted that “most of us are still passive, but something is starting to happen”. – Moreover, this political activism, it appeared mainly among opposition voters – he added.

Kotnarowski: lack of trust between us is a lack of social bond

Kotnarowski: lack of trust between us is a lack of social bondTVN24

A sociologist from the Polish Academy of Sciences: young people are much more open

The sociologist from the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences also spoke about other information resulting from the survey. – On issues of openness, tolerance, issues LGBT, issues of openness to migrants, we observe differences mainly between generations. It is interesting that these are stronger differences between age groups than between education and town size groups. Young people are much more open-minded. As he assessed, “society changes, not people”.

“An interesting thing about the climate,” he continued. – Here the older are the allies of the younger. When we asked if they were very worried about the climate, it turned out that the older ones worry less often, but a little more often, about climate issues and the climate catastrophe than the younger ones – said Kotnarowski.

A sociologist from the Polish Academy of Sciences on the European Social Survey: young people are much more open

A sociologist from the Polish Academy of Sciences on the European Social Survey: young people are much more openTVN24

Main photo source: TVN24



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