Pregled bibliografske jedinice broj: 113179
Value Hierarchies and Structures
Value Hierarchies and Structures // Youth and Transition in Croatia / Ilišin, Vlasta ; Radin, Furio (ur.).
Zagreb: IDIZ, DZZOMM, 2002. str. 51-80
Value Hierarchies and Structures
Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada
Poglavlja u knjigama, znanstveni
Youth and Transition in Croatia
Ilišin, Vlasta ; Radin, Furio
When, back in 1986, we conducted the first research into the values of Croatian youth, the oldest participants in the new research were 16 years old, and the youngest had just been born. This very fact would be enough to show how large the time interval is between those two gatherings of data . But, what had happened in those thirteen years makes the hypothesis more probable that, in a psycho-sociological sense, the time between those two dates is far greater. Just recall, our 1986 participants lived in Yugoslavia, in a one party political system called self-management socialism, in an economical crisis that made the currency devolve almost daily, with high youth unemployment, with narrowed perspectives, but also with a guaranteed existential minimum, a safe place of employment (for those who had it), good health care and a solid educational system whose ideological components rapidly decreased. It was a time when Europe was spoken of as a place to travel to and live in, not as an association we should be integrated with and as the opposing pole to the Balkans. Only one national conflict was addressed publicly, the Albanian-Serb one, even though the collective memory pointed to all the other national intolerances as well, known to be latent. Most young people did not predict the break-up of Yugoslavia, indeed, the number of those declaring they are Yugoslavs increased, but it is also certain that not many knew who Milošević was at that time. Gazimestan had not yet happened, and that web and those events, which finally showed that the break-up of the federation was actually the most painless and fairest solution that could have taken place, had not yet started to unravel. The discussion about the manner in which it fell apart and the war following the dissolution would certainly look different. The young actually looked upon politics from a distance, they were not interested in it, they perceived it reflexively, and were separated from it. They wished to be emancipated and they had not been enabled to do this, because a progressive economical crisis reigned, they wanted perspective, but no one could offer them a projection of how they would be living in the next five or ten years. Socialization, conducted in a spirit that limited individual freedoms, with narrowed perspectives for the young and economic security on a really minimal level, brought the young - especially when they compared themselves with European young people (which they did without exception) - to frustration and seclusion in the sphere of privacy where they felt safe and protected, because the surrounding world showed a growing negligence not just for development, but for the social security of the individual as well. We wrote then, that the young favored privacy and individual affirmation, while at the same time giving a low validation to goals presuming political and social engagement, and that an individual tried to realize himself/herself in areas defined by institutions of primary socialization, most of all, the family and a circle of close friends. At the same time, the young related toward the institutions of secondary socialization (work, school, social and political activity) in an instrumental or "market" manner, that is, they appreciated them to the extent to which they had use from them. We interpreted this behavior as the inability of an individual to articulate the options of his/her future at that social moment, but also as a defense mechanism that, in objective economic and cultural deprivation, tries to preserve the integrity of personality. From then to 1999, many things happened: Croatia became an independent state ; there was a devastating war and the atrocities that followed, great hopes and great disappointments, especially in the spheres of politics and economy. To be exact, the system became a multi-party one, privatization turned into robbery ; totalitarian politics and some dubious military operations and human rights' violations closed the doors to European and Western institutions. Actually, in 1999 the citizens were, including the young, expecting social changes whose influence is not the subject of this research, because the youth could not have known anything then of the successes or, even less, of the failures of the government that was formed in 2000. That year, the one before the last year of the twentieth century, thus, much had changed in the Croatian society when compared with 1986. On the global plan, the world was also completely different. We have all, including the young, felt closer to Europe but still without a safe future and defined perspectives and, above all, in economic privation and with a clear perception that one part of the population is living in excessive and undeserved prosperity. The hierarchies and structures of values of the youth followed those basic social changes in a way that everything, that was the result of the decrease of life resources and perspectives, proved in the results of our research to be an even more pronounced advocating of values of privacy and individual affirmation, with a clear message that the young see their future more as a goal to be achieved only by relying on their own forces and the support of friends and family, along with a great distrust toward the institutions of the society, especially the political ones. This is the reason why the greatest differences between the research in 1986 and 1999 are those relating to material position and independence, then professional success, and a great increase occurred regarding the values related to tradition, especially nationality and religion. It is interesting that the value of power also saw a sharp increase, because it was probably understood as one of the rare opportunities for improving an individual's material and social position. Actually, all the values offered were advocated more at the end of the 1990s than in the mid 1980s, which is at the same time an indicator of the great emotional significance they hold for young individuals, perhaps because their realization seems so distant. The only exception is political affirmation, which is even less represented than in 1986. That trend is in congruence with the increased distancing of the young (and not just the young) all over Europe from politics (Cavalli & De Lillo, 1993 and 1997 ; Buzzi & Cavalli, 1999), which will in the future probably result in completely new relationships toward social reality and the regulation of social relations. Finally, value structures, expressed through factors and portrayed graphically through the method of multi-dimensional scaling, indicate the changes over the past thirteen years, as well as the direction of their potential development in the near future. But, only further research will show if these data have a predictive value or are just an expression of the tremendous dissatisfaction imbuing the world of the young and reflecting on their value orientations.