Journal Our Society Archive
* Miloš Brunclík, Miroslav Novák et al.: Internetové volby. Budoucnost, nebo slepá ulička demokracie?
Review of the book Miloš Brunclík, Miroslav Novák et al.: Internetové volby. Budoucnost, nebo slepá ulička demokracie?
Assessment of people's views with an emphasis on sociological aspects is mainly associated with the tradition of the European public opinion research. American authors introduced empirical and socio-psychological approaches to this field of study. Hadley Cantril was one of those who pioneered "scientific" public opinion research inspired by George Gallup. This paper reviews Cantril´s work, recalling some of his most important theoretical and methodological findings and empirical projects, to conclude that his studies remain a rich source of knowledge for all present-day and future public opinion researchers.
The article focuses on the development of terms which were used in antiquity and Middle Age Europe to denote public opinion (fama, existimatio, opinio in Ancient Rome, fama publica, communis opinio in the Middle Ages etc.). Particular attention is paid to the distinction made in Roman public life between a fama, which represented common opinion, and a rumor, which meant undervalued and unreliable opinion of the plebs. The medieval term fama, more often fama publica, referred to a local information network or mechanism of collective evaluation of individuals' esteem. It was also an important part of court proceedings. Both historic eras were concerned with rumor in today's sense of the word, which often comprised or underlaid common opinion.
* Religious Affiliation in the Czech Republic from the Perspective of Inter- and Intragenerational Transmission
The paper focuses on the intergenerational and intragenerational transmission of religion in the Czech Republic. The authors start from the general statement that self-reported religious affiliation in Czech society continued to decline during the second half of the 20th century. This trend has usually been explained by secularization theory and by specifics of Czech social history, especially with regard to the anti-religious policies of the Communist regime. In their analysis of data from ISSP 2008 – Religion, the authors aim at a more detailed inquiry into the factors responsible for the decrease in self-reported religiosity in the Czech Republic. The results show that the key factor lies in de-conversion, which is not compensated sufficiently by conversion in either type of transmission, inter- or intragenerational.
* A Party that Never Dies: On the Causes of Stable Electoral Support for the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
The paper analyses the fact that the Czech communist party (KSČM) can rely on substantial and stable (occasionally even rising) electoral support. The phenomenon has been discussed extensively in academic as well as social and political discourses. On the basis of available empirical data, sociological analyses and statistical information, the paper categorizes some basic socio-political conditions and predispositions which may help explain the fact that the political party once considered to be the anti-system heir of the non-democratic regime is now one of the most stable elements of Czech politics.
The article describes a sociological problem linked to decision-making about the locality in which a deep geological repository of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste is to be built in the Czech Republic. The introduction explains the social situation of negotiations about the repository and identifies concerned stakeholders. The article then outlines the legal framework of the negotia-tions and summarizes their progress up to the present day. The rest of the article analyses data from two public opinion surveys. The first one surveyed the attitudes of citizens in selected locali-ties toward the project of the deep geological repository. The second survey investigated the atti-tudes of the Czech public toward radioactive waste and the deep geological repository.
This paper deals with the representation of national and ethnic identity categories in media texts during the Population and Housing Census 2011. Census is understood here as means of constructing collective identities not as clearly pre-defined categories but as socially and media shaped parts of an individual identity. The aim of this study is thus to analyze media representations of Population and Housing Census 2011 as an event that highlights the negotiation of collective identities and the processes of the so called “identitary mobilization”. Quantitative analysis of selected articles from national newspapers enriched by findings of qualitative analysis of comments and videos from the new media shows, among others, that the Census is often represented through a kind of media discourse called national in this paper and that the processes of identitary mobilization acquire specific forms during the Census, although probably not limited to its actual period.
The aim of this review article is to assess the use of different research methods in empirical studies on the influence of new media on journalism. It analyses all articles related to the topic which were published between 2006-2013 in three selected prestigious academic journals – Journalism, Journalism Studies and New Media & Society. Employing the principles of systemic review, the articles are grouped in three temporal categories according to the methods applied in the research they present. It is concluded that mostly traditional research methods were used in the analysed period, only with minor adaptation to the new communication environment. Only from 2009 some tendencies towards a change of classical methods (software analysis, various combinations of methods) and techniques (using of special software which helps to study new internet phenomena such as social networks sites Facebook and Twitter) are evident.
* Labour Market Training and Educational Programmes: Their Importance and Contribution to the Increase of Employability of the People Threatened by Unemployment
The aim of this article is to explain the role of educational and training programmes that represent both the key labour market policy tool increasing labour force employability and the lifelong learning policy tool contributing to the lifelong learning concept. On the basis of the exploration of wide range of related literature, statistics and research studies we describe existing types and goals of educational and training programmes which are used as key measures of public policy in different countries. At the same time we reflect the role of these programmes in current changing economic and social conditions and their link to the principles of flexicurity policy.
* Typology of Grandparent Role in the Czech Society – Factors Influencing the Involvement of Grandparents in the Care for Young Children
The aim of the study is to provide basic summary of the factors that influence the involvement of grandparents in the care for young children in the Czech families and to introduce a typology of the patterns of grandparent role. The paper presents results of both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The first part of the paper uses the data from the second wave of SHARE 1) to outline the typology of grandparents’ involvement with respect to different forms and intensity of contacts with grandchildren and the geographical proximity of family members and 2) to map how the socio-demographic factors influence the forms and intensity of involvement in the care for grandchildren. The second part of the paper focuses on the subjective experience of Czech mothers and grandmothers. 18 mothers and 12 grandmothers of children younger than 10 years were interviewed. The paper points out the existence of various conceptions of grandmothers’ role in the Czech families.
The degree of party polarization is a significant analytical measure contributing to our understanding of the party system development and it’s dynamic in time. It influences the government formation and indirectly also its stability. Moreover, the party polarization affects electoral choice and thus the voter decision-making process. Despite these it has been wrongfully neglected in the Czech political science literature so far. The aim of this paper is to fill this gap and present empirically backed data on the intensity and change of the party polarization in the Czech Republic. The analysis is based on the data sets of CVVM which monthly records the voter self-placement on the left-right scale in the long term. By analysing these data and using Dalton's index of party system polarization it is proved that party polarization in the Czech Republic has generally increased since 1993 and that it was usually higher during General election campaign. Within the period under review (1993-2013) the polarization index reached its lowest value in 2001, while the highest value was found in June 2010.
Červenka, Jan. 2013. „Ekonomika a veřejné mínění: Koresponduje subjektivní hodnocení s reálným vývojem?" Naše společnost 11 (2): 53-69,
The text discusses the relationship between real economic development, which is primarily measured by conventional statistical macroeconomic indicators, and the public opinion on economic development, whose regular monitoring offers a number of subjective indicators. Empirical data from the period of the independent Czech Republic show that subjective indicators reflect the real economic situation and its changes over time. In a broader sense the paper highlights some of the practical difficulties, which always arise when interpreting the results of public opinion polls and similar quantitative sociological investigations in this area.
Karaščáková, Zuzana. 2013. „Prvá priama voľba prezidenta v Českej republike na Twitteri." Naše společnost 11 (2): 41-52,
This article examines the use of microblogging service Twitter during the period of presidential election 2013, in the Czech Republic and aims to contribute to a development of an emerging research field to which only a marginal interest of academics have been devoted so far, especially in the Czech Republic. A multi-method approach is used to analyze the dataset of tweets, which have contained predefined hashtags within a course of four weeks period – including both, the first and the second round of elections. The findings indicate that the debate on Twitter "copies" events in mainstream media (mainly presidential TV debate), while linking to information sources in posts does not necessarily lead to the official media sources. The analysis also reveals that tweets most often refer to Karel Schwarzenberg, in comparison with the names of other candidates, and that among the themes of tweets and retweets the most frequent topics are the campaign and political preferences which suggests the potential of Czech Twitter to form a basis of online political communication.
* The First round of the Czech Presidential Campaign in 2013 in the Perspective of Alexander’s Performative Theory
Horák, Vít. 2013. „Kampaň před prvním kolem české prezidentské volby v roce 2013 z perspektivy Alexanderovy performativní teorie." Naše společnost 11 (2): 30-40,
The presented paper tries to interpret the campaign before the presidential election in Czech 2013 from the perspective of Jeffrey Alexander´s performative theory. It argues that the process of preference formation cannot be completely explained on the basis of rational interests of the voters, media or socioeconomic strata. On the contrary, the paper based in durkheimian paradigm argues for the importance of collective emotions. The campaign is understood here as a sequence of performative acts in which the candidates, understood as collective representations, try to associate themselves with emotions of the voters. The performance in Alexander’s perspective takes place in the civil sphere formed by the cultural code with binary structure of the democratic and antidemocratic side. In this perspective the case of Czech presidential campaign will be shown with the focus on the unexpected advancement of Karel Schwarzenberg to the second round of the election.
* Karel Schwarzenberg and Miloš Zeman: Positive and Negative Campaign before the Presidential Elections
Červinková, Monika, Lucie Kulhavá. 2013. „Karel Schwarzenberg a Miloš Zeman: Pozitivní a negativní kampaň k prezidentským volbám." Naše společnost 11 (2): 16-29,
The article discusses the official presentations of the two most successful candidates of the first round of the presidential elections in the Czech Republic 2013, Karel Schwarzenberg and Miloš Zeman, from the perspective of the concepts of positive and negative political advertisement and the reflection of the election campaigns by Czech citizens. By the means of the framework and content analyses the topics and the most frequent words of the official (created by campaigns teams) materials are identified. The results are interpreted with regard to the attributes of positive and negative campaign. Using the statistical analysis of the data from public opinion survey by CVVM the Czech public’s reflection of the election campaigns is described. The results of the study indicate that we can denote Zeman’s campaign after the first round of the elections as a negative one. Zeman’s campaign has also proved to be more specific and memorable - by both, subjective evaluation of the respondents and the associations, connected with the candidates after the elections.
Jeřábek, Hynek, Jan Rössler, Pavel Sklenařík. 2013. „Mediální obraz Karla Schwarzenberga v tištěných denících před prezidentskými volbami 2013." Naše společnost 11 (2): 3-15,
The first direct presidential elections in the Czech Republic took place in January 2013. This event and the period before were extensively covered by media, which many candidates and political actors described as ultimately having a significant influence on voters’ decisions. This article focuses on an analysis of the media image of one of the presidential candidates, Karel Schwarzenberg. Originally an outsider, he reached the second round of the elections, but then he was beaten by Miloš Zeman. The article uses the theory of framing and specifies it to the circumstances of the first and second round of the elections. It applies a quantitative and qualitative content analysis to the main Czech daily newspapers and to the website supporting Schwarzenberg www.volimkarla.cz. The in-depth analysis reveals that the positive image of Karel Schwarzenberg created by his supporters before the first round of the elections was reframed before the second round into a rather negative image.
Interview with Josef Bečvář, researcher of the Institute for Public Opinion Research of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences.
Old age and aging of individuals are phenomenons that took important place in society as early as former times. During twentieth century the question of aging got new meaning, because it newly started to overreach from individual level to all-society. As a result of improvement of some social conditions (f.e. medical care, lifestyle, hygiene, living standard etc.), that was already initiated approximately at the beginning of the nineteenth century, dying started to be moved to higher age and people live longer. In modern societies this event usually goes with decline of natality and fertility. In final effect combination of these two factors causes the process that is known as demographic aging. In general we have to distinction between two views of problems of aging. The first view is focused on individual aging, the second one on demographic aging of human population. But it is clear that both of these views relate to each other. Similarly this article offers the roundup of problems of demographic aging, but also gives a touch of questions about longevity and quality of life, that gain ground in connection with theme of individual aging.
The aim of this article is to signify the profile of the Czech political parties from the point of view of their voters and with reference to some fundamental determinants of voting behaviour. Text tries to apply the theoretic bases and empirical research to the current Czech party system. Consequently, the author notices the social approach to the parties and party system functioning or more precisely to the social cleavage affecting the key individuals and identifying the formative processes of this system.
The article stands as a first part of a series about the question answering process during standardized surveys. The series conceptually draws on the Cognitive Aspects of Survey Methodology (CASM) and hence it maps primarily cognitive aspects of responding process. At the very beginning the interview situation itself is described and its interactional/communication, cognitive and formal components are defined. The answering process is in accord with prevailing theories described in the course of the question interpretation, memories retrieval, making the judgement and editing the answer. The first part of the whole series concentrates on the interpretation phase. The topic of question representation is elaborated thru the psychological conception of mental representation in detail and several examples show implications for survey quality. Schemas and scenarios are then described as an “at hand” tools for interpretation of the question, and these are again illustrated by some examples. In the end, priming is mentioned as another possible source of interpretation bias.
The text focuses on public opinion in Czech Republic and Poland relating to the plan of U.S. government to locate some parts of U.S. national missile defence in these countries. It describes and compares main shifts of developments of public attitudes in both countries to the project as well as to eventual referendum in this matter within the period up to the first half of 2007. The text shows main demographical, societal and political differences in both countries and discusses reasons and motives behind particular attitudes of Czech and Polish citizens.