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Between Construction and Deconstruction of the Universes of Meaning

Research into the Religiosity of Academic Youth in the Years 1988 – 1998 – 2005 – 2017

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Edited By Sławomir H. Zaręba and Marcin Zarzecki

Among young people, symptoms of social change emerge in a multiple manner. This observation by Karl Mannheim inspired the concept of the survey of social and religious attitudes conducted by the integrated research team of employees of the Department of Sociology of Religion in the Institute of Sociology at Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw and Institute for Catholic Church Statistics SAC. The title of the book is an intentional reference to the concept of social constructionism. This idea manifests itself in the subjective function of participants of an interaction who reconstruct social contexts in the course of the interaction on the basis of symbolic meanings. The conducted survey is a diachronic measurement with statistical time series of the years 1988 – 1998 – 2005 – 2017. The survey uses the research tool in which dimensions were primarily established by Charles Glock and Rodney Stark and a community component by Ohio Fukuyama. The term ‘global profession of faith’ was introduced by French sociologists Louis Dingemans and Jean Rémy to describe motivation and dynamics of changes of one’s individual religiousness and identification of individuals with religious group of reference. In this survey of social and religious attitudes of young university students, religiousness dimensions adopted by forms of activity on the Internet were added to the research tool.

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Prosocial orientations and trust to people

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Abstract: The chapter focuses on the issue of continuity and change of prosocial orientation and trust to people in the community of academic youth in Poland in the long term of 1998–2017. The basis of the analysis in the study are the results of nationwide representative empirical research carried out in four periods: 1988, 1998, 2005 and 2017. The comparative analysis allows to draw a conclusion that the general tendency that is observed is the growth of moderately selfish orientation and its evident domination over pro-social orientation. Taking into account the two components of pro-social orientation – helpfulness and altruism, it can be said that over 29 years there has been a significant and continuous decrease in the tendency to help others for altruistic reasons. Through the same period of time there was a growing popularity of attitude of helping others, motivated by self-interest, expressed by expectation of a potential repayment. At the same time, continuously a much larger majority of respondents in the examined group declare trust in people rather than distrust. However, trust in other people expressed by the vast majority of students is not unconditional. It’s limited by boundary conditions – good knowledge of the trustworthy person and his credibility. The foundation for this trust has a clearly epistemological character (referring to P. Sztompka). Interpretation of changes that have occurred within the pro-social orientation and interpersonal trust among academic youth in Poland in the long-term perspective requires taking into account the conditions resulting from dynamic system...

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