Quarter-Century after Velvet Revolution: How Are You, Slovaks?

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2015-2-77-84

N. Korovitsyna, Institute of Slavic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, 32, Leninskii Prosp., Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation (korovicyna@mail.ru).

Abstract. The article considers changes in most important areas of Slovak society after 1989: dynamics of social stratification, family values, religiosity, leisure activities, voting behavior and preferences, democratic participation. The aim is to examine the contemporary position of Slovakia between the East and the West European civilization systems after two waves of social transformation in the middle and at the end of the 20th century, considering the accelerated change of the underdeveloped agrarian social structure into the industrial type under the "real socialism". However, at the beginning of the 21st century Slovak settlements still retain a strong rural character. As a result of market reforms and westernization a large part of the countryside tremble in the balance, processes of depopulation and formation of excluded social groups take place especially in small municipalities. Further still, in the context of increasing migration from cities to countryside more and more rural patterns of thinking extend to urban environments. The primarily important urban-rural line of societal differentiation, perceptions, attitudes and voters decision-making process are analyzed on base of Slovak sociologists' research. They discovered the phenomenon of historic “embedding” of the party type gaining the voters' support and commitment to one-party system, starting from the Inter-War Period till present. Slovakia represents the case of the weak left-right party profiling and inclination to various “parties of collective identity”. Definitive significance of ethnicity and religion as divisions in mass political orientations, traditionally characterized by the emphasis on leftist orientations, social rights and value of nation are shown in the paper. According to results of the latest socio-empiric studies in the country, most people in Slovakia (mainly the so called “loosers”) did not adopt neoliberal, Western-type path of development, regarding the existing inequalities as too large, and preferring social equality in a society of poor to social differentiation in a society of abundance. Social rights are estimated by the majority of Slovak people higher than political rights now.

Keywords: Slovaks, shifts in behavior and consciousness, sociocultural dynamics, political traditions, civilization orientation

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For citation:
Korovitsyna N. Quarter-Century after Velvet Revolution: How Are You, Slovaks?. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2015, no. 2, pp. 77-84. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2015-2-77-84

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