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Inconspicuous Documentary about Czech Sociology: Periodical AUC Philosophica et Historica – Studia Sociologica, its Features and Transformations

The goal of this article is to contribute to the study of the history of Czech sociology by examining the journal Acta Universitatis Carolinae Philosophica et Historica – Studia Sociologica (AUC StS), published by the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University. After almost 50 years of its existence, this less-known periodical can be viewed as documentary evidence on the developments and transformations in a part of Czech (or Czechoslovak) sociology. We account for the journal’s main characteristics and discuss its position and role in Czech sociology. In addition to standard procedures of content analysis, we employ the innovative method of citation network analysis. Accordingly, one of the paper’s important goals is to assess the adequacy of the methods applied for addressing research questions of this kind.

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The Effect of Education and Life Satisfaction on Engagement of Czech Citizens

The general aim of the article is to assess the ways residents of Czechia engage in particular types of action in public interest (including attending a public hearing on a local issue, volunteering, donating or signing a petition) and in such actiongenerally. A literature review concludes that the terms engagement and participation tend to be seen as synonymous. In the theory section, predictors of engagement are discussed, amongst which most authors treat education as central. This gives rise to my first hypothesis (H1): Individuals’ civic engagement will be positively influenced by their educational attainment. In contrast, since have been no detailed studies of the relationship between life satisfaction and engagement in Czechia thus far, I formulate H2: There is a relationship between individuals’ life satisfaction and their civic engagement, with more engaged citizens being more satisfied.

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Spatial Dimension of ČEZ Corporation’s Financial Support to Municipalities Near the Dukovany Nuclear Plant

The article strives to contribute to the debate on the concept of corporate social responsibility by focusing on the under-researched area of the effects of firms’ grants on local and regional development from the perspective of local governments and inhabitants. This concept is typically studied from the corporate perspective. While normally ignored, the spatial dimension plays a substantial role in firms’ grant allocation decisions. The article tries to fill the gap by studying the case of spatial distribution of financial grants of the ČEZ Corporation to communities in the vicinity of the Dukovany nuclear plant, which is located at the peripheral border of the regions of Vysočina and South Moravia. The considerable amounts of money sent to local budgets are intended to compensate communities near the nuclear plant for the risks related to its existence.

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Editorial

The electronic version of the second number of the fifteenth edition of the review Our Society (Naše společnost). Our Society issues Center for Public Opinion Research, Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

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Book Review: Ivan Chorvát, Roman Džambazovič (eds.). 2015. Rodina na Slovensku v teórii a vo výskume.

Book Review: Ivan Chorvát, Roman Džambazovič (eds.). 2015. Rodina na Slovensku v teórii a vo výskume. Bratislava: Stimul, 181 s.

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Editorial

The electronic version of the first number of the fifteenth edition of the review Our Society (Naše společnost). Our Society issues Center for Public Opinion Research, Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

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Equivalence and blockmodeling in the analysis of social networks

The paper presents to Czech social scientists an introductory review of the concept of equivalence and the method of blockmodeling in social network analysis (SNA). After introducing the central concepts of SNA such as node and tie, along with their basic metrics such as centrality and cohesion, I present the concepts of role and position. These are treated by SNA as clusters of nodes with similar ties, something I juxtapose to algorithms to identify cohesive subgroups of nodes. Subsequently, I define and compare the two most frequently applied types of equivalence – structural, which is strict but broadly applicable, and regular, which is more liberal but has limited uses.

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On components of political socialization – their generational continuity and discontinuity

The process of political socialization, as shown by numerous findings, is characterised as the transmission of political action and behaviour through the generations. In connection with the political changes the Czech Republic experienced since 1945, not only the prospect of generational continuity but also discontinuity come into consideration. The article deals with the influence of parents and other socialization factors on political self-identification in the Czech population. It focuses mainly on the major age groups: young people up to the age of 29, the younger middle generation of 30–44 years, the older middle generation of 45–59 years and individuals aged 60 years or older, and their parents.

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How Accurately Do Parents Estimate their Child’s Religion?

The goal of the text is to analyze concordance between one’s religion and a close relative’s estimation thereof. To establish the accuracy of parents’ estimates of their children’s religion and vice versa, we ask the following question: what is the concordance of post-socialization beliefs about (un)successful transmission of religiosity between direct actors (parent/child)? We argue that the reliability of that estimate indicates the effectiveness of religious socialization. Socialization is not treated as a nonproblematic one-way process, but rather as a result of repeated mutual parent-child interactions and a host of other intervening factors (secondary socialization etc.) In this context, the level of estimate reliability is treated as an indicator of religious socialization and of the continuity of religious memory within family, which is viewed as a collective phenomenon. In other words, by imprinting values into one’s memory and worldview, the process of religious socialization shapes the ways one views the world and him/herself as well as the focus of his/her attention, or what is stored in his/her memory. Our project is conceptualized at an intersection of the theories of socialization and religious memory. Among the latter, we primarily rely on Jan Assmann’s conceptualization of memory. While many contemporary authors deal with issues of religious socialization, and some even with its links to memory, no investigations thus far have attempted to verify intergenerational transmission in terms of the reliability of mutual estimation of (non)religiousness between generations.

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The Silver Road: Czech-German Cross-Border Cooperation in Practice

Cross-border cooperation between Czechs and Germans is currently evolving in numerous areas. In recent years, the mining tradition has become the common denominator of cross-border activities in the Ore Mountains region. The study deals with this aspect of Czech-Saxon cross-border cooperation primarily from the perspective of regional development and tourism. It focuses on the Silver Road and its role in contemporary Czech-Saxon cross-border activities. As a symbol of shared heritage, the Silver Road exemplifies the so-called spatial turn, i.e. the cultural-social dimension of cross-border cooperation.

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The Opposition Agreement Era in the Light of Public Opinion

The so-called opposition agreement was concluded by the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) and the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) after the Chamber of Deputies elections of 1998. It paved the way for a ČSSD minority government in 1998–2002. To present day, it continues to represent one of the most contested moments of the country’s post-communist political history. Both general awareness and the publicist discourse are dominated by a categorically negative, accusatory evaluation of the agreement as a deviation from the democratic framework, a catalyst of systemic corruption and clientelism, and a source of deep scepticism and political disaffection in the Czech general public.While scholarly literature also features strongly critical attitudes to the opposition agreement, there have been a number of works which compared it to the ways minority governments were formed and operated in other countries or which studied the circumstances of its formation and how the situation evolved. Such works have argued that the opposition agreement was a relatively standard case of minority government with under-developed institutional support.

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Cohabitation in the Czech Republic: Relationship with Education and Income

The article discusses the relationship between educational attainment and the existence of cohabitation in the Czech Republic. Cohabitation of unmarried partners is a timely topic given a constant growth of this form of relationship in the Czech society, which almost tripled between the years 1991 and 2011. Based on data from the ISSP 2012 quantitative survey, the article seeks to demonstrate whether the educational attainment of an individual or his/her partner is associated with whether or not they cohabitate. Cohabitation is juxtaposed to marriage as well as to living-apart-together relationships, with partners living in different households.

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* The public opinion about public opinion polls

Perception of the term “public” has undergone a complex historical development. In very simple terms “it gradually turned from the original meaning of public as a social elite consisting of independent, educated and committed citizens to the concept of plural publics, which are often a synonym for all public.” (Rendlová, Lebeda, 2002: 9). According to the Big Dictionary of Sociology the term public is currently understood as “a larger part of the society (or nation, people) involved in the outcomes of economic and social activities with a more general effect, in the solution of a certain social problem, or in social events as such.

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* Death penalty – res publica?

From time to time all European countries, including the Czech Republic, experience debates about legitimacy of death penalty. Such debates are not incidental. The most serious crimes – violent crimes including the most serious ones - murders – have naturally always stood in the centre of attention of the media. Every time, when the Czech public is shaken by a brutal murder, a question repeatedly comes forth: Shouldn’t death penalty be restored again? Politicians, lawyers, journalists as well as wide public again and again enter the exciting debate, but the result is known beforehand: death penalty is prohibited by constitution and by international commitments of the Czech Republic.

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* Beer patriotism in the Czech society

The relationship of the Czechs towards beer is not a trivial one. Even though we can ostentatiously simplify it to “beer drinkers’ nation,” “pub culture” and so on, relations between the Czechs, beer and pubs are really far more complex and differentiated. The last issue of the Bulletin focused in detail on the institute of pub in the Czech society. This time we will try to focus on beer and primarily on the phenomenon of Czech beer patriotism.

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* Value orientations in our society

Since the beginning of 2004 the Centre for Public Opinion Research of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic have cooperated on a research project called “Social and cultural cohesion in a differentiated society.” The project is financially supported by the Ministry of labour and social affairs of the Czech Republic and it is executed by the employees of the Centre for social and economic strategy (CESES), a research department of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Charles University in Prague, and by the employees of the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

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* Electoral preferences, how to understand them correctly

Researches of election preferences are probably the most monitored products of agencies for public opinion research. The information, which returns via media back to the public, not only describes social reality, but sometimes also co-creates this reality. Results of the researches as such can affect public attitudes. For this reason, among others, we should understand what information the researches of election preferences provide and how to read them correctly.

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* What is important to us in our lives?

Even though many sociological texts deal with the issue of values, contemporary sociology has no unified theoretical conception of values. According to Strmiska, Lautman counted 180 various definitions of the notion “value” in 1981, when he tried to identify the perception of values in social sciences [Strmiska 1996: 375]. The notion of values is not only theoretically unanchored. The methodology is not unified either.

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* Media in public opinion poll

The CVVM public opinion polls focus, among other themes, on media. We chose three areas of questions from their continuous research – 1) level of trust in media, television, newspaper and radios, 2) opinions on accuracy and inaccuracy of information provided by specific media, 3) choice of news programmes, frequency of watching news and respondents’ assessment of the news programmes that they follow.

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* Three examples of cooperation between qualitative and analytical research. (Lazarsfeld’s research workshop.)

Paul Lazarsfeld is known as an author and a great promoter of analytical methods of research. He is often connected with quantitative methodology – with methods of statistical processing of data, with mathematical modelling. No less important part of his contribution to methodology was his emphasis on cooperation of various approaches within the complex social sciences research.

One example of such cooperation was a research of the Marienthal community of the unemployed – a working class colony near Vienna, Austria - at the time of great economic crisis in the thirties of the twentieth century.

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