20 SES 02, Freedom of Every Day Interactions: Youth and Democratic Culture in Hungary
Several recent studies on youth culture have demonstrated the way an antidemocratic political culture may emerge in a late modern democratic setting(Verena 1995; Holmes 2000; Feischmidt – Glózer – Illyés – Kasznár – Zakariás 2014). Within recent discussion about political socialization there appears to be a tendency to analyze the fast expansion of non-democratic activity patterns in stable democracies (Minkenberg 2000). Some would argue, it is in part indicative of the major reorganization of cultural and social dimensions after the implementation of the neo-liberal reform initiatives (Ferge 2002; Halmai – Kalb2011;). In this sense the paper aims to contribute to the critical analysis of modernization by evaluating the democratic quality of a society from the perspective of the freedom of the everyday interactions which reproduce the everyday interpretation of the world (Habermas 1996). The core part of this reflection is to expand sociological imagination to think beyond democratic institutions and follow the process of institutionalization in the micro milieu of communities (Meyer 2003;Pye 2003;Rohrschneider 2003; Schwartz 2003)
While many rely on macro perspectives in their account of how higher educational institutions impact political behaviour in post-socialist countries, social scientists have rarely looked at how the seemingly irrelevant micro processes of the evolution of democratic culture adds up to significant outcomes. To see more clearly in respect of democratic processes in youth cultures it is illuminating to reveal how the changing forms of connectivity and privacy contribute to civic education. Specifically, the paper addresses the institutionalization process of democratic communities in a higher educational institutional setting.
In an attempt to understand whether apathy, love of comfort or inactivity lies behind one of the lowest participation rate of young adults in Europe(ESS 2010), the Campus-life project (http://campuslet.unideb.hu) aimed to identify factors of civic education that structure and organize Hungarian students’ activity patterns beyond the formal agents of civic socialization. It raises the question whether young adults consider themselves to be part of the nation state and under what circumstances they are able and ready to contribute to it.
After the political transition in a country with definite collectivist priorities there was an elementary need to redefine private and public boundaries and rebuild existing models of civic and political socialization. Therefore, political and civic behaviour is considered in this paper to be action in this ever-changing strategic field which involves civic and political engagement, but also participation in communities. Parallel to the “rise of privacy”, the forms of connectivity and the notion of communities has also altered. As classical communities has turned to be communicative communities (Weintraub –Kumar 1997;Bauman 2000, Delanty 2003; Halft –Krah 2012), the level and way of commitment to institutions has changed and different identification strategies and institutionalization processes have emerged.
BAUMAN, Z. (2001): Community: Seeking Safety in an Insecure World. Cambridge, Polity Press DELANTY, G. (2003): Community. London, New York, Routledge FEISCHMIDT, M.– GLOZER, R.– ILYES, Z.– KASZNAR, V.K. and ZAKARIAS, I. (2014): Nemzet a mindennapokban – Az újnacionalizmus popularis kultúrája . Budapest, L’Harmattan FERGE, Zs. (2002): ‘Social Structure and Inequalities in Old Socialism and New Capitalism in Hungary’ In Review of Sociology of the HAS vol. 4. HABERMAS, J. (1996): Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy. (Trans. Rehg, W.) Cambridge, Polity Press. HALFT, S. – KRAH, H. (2012): Privatheit. Strategien und Transformationen. Passau, Stutz HALMAI , G.– KALB, D. (2011): Headlines of Nations, Subtexts of Class; Working-Class Populism and the Rreturn of the Repressed in Neoliberal Europe. New York, Berghahn Books HOLMES,D.R. (2000): Integral Europe: Fast-Capitalism, Multiculturalism, Neofascism. Priceton, Priceton University Press MEYER, G. (2003): ‘Values, Small Life Worlds and Communitarian Orientations: Ambivalent Legacies and Democratic Potentials in Post-Communist Political Cultures’. In: Pollack, D. – Jacobs J. – Muller,O. – Pickel, G. (Eds): Political Culture in PostCommunist Europe: Attitudes in New Democracies. Burlington, VT: Ashgate MICKENBERG, M. (2000): The Renewal of the Radical Right: between Modernity and Antimodernity, Government and Opposition, 35(2), 170-188. PYE, L. W. (2003): ‘Culture as Destiny’. . In: Pollack, D. – Jacobs J. – Muller,O. – Pickel, G. (Eds): Political Culture in PostCommunist Europe: Attitudes in New Democracies. Burlington, VT: Ashgate ROHRSCHNEIDER, R. (2003) ‘Learning Democracy: Do Democratic Values Adjust to New Institutions?’ In: Pollack, D. – Jacobs J. – Muller,O. – Pickel, G. (Eds): Political Culture in PostCommunist Europe: Attitudes in New Democracies. Burlington, VT: Ashgate ROSEN, Bernard, Carl (2001): Masks and Mirrors – Generation X and the Chameleon Personality. Westport, Praeger Publishers SCHWARZ, Anna (2003) 'Uber sieben Brucken must Du gehen ...' Life Worlds as Places of Socialization and Biographical Transformation Work.’ In: Pollack, D. – Jacobs J. – Muller,O. – Pickel, G. (Eds): Political Culture in PostCommunist Europe: Attitudes in New Democracies. Burlington, VT: Ashgate UTASI, Á (2008):Vitalizing Relationships : The Effects of the Social Network on the Subjective Quality of Life. Budapest, ÚMK VERENA,S. (1995): Talking Culture, New Boundaries, New Rhetorics of Exclusion in Europe, Current Anthropology, 36 (1),1-24. WEINTRAUB, J. – Kumar, K (Eds.): Public and Private in Thought and Practice. Perspectives on a Grand Dichotomy. Chicago, London, University of Chicago Press
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