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Social representations of the individual: A post-Communist perspective

Markova I, Moodie E, Farr RM, Drozda-Senkowska E, Eros F, Plichtova J, Gervais M, Hoffmannova J & Mullerova O (1998) Social representations of the individual: A post-Communist perspective. European Journal of Social Psychology, 28 (5), pp. 797-829.

Social representations of the individual are examined in three post-Communist Central European nations, i.e. the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, and in three West European nations, i.e. Scotland, England and France. All six nations share a common European history since the Renaissance and Humanism, based on such values as freedom, agency, individual rights and individual responsibility. Many of these values were rejected by the Communist regimes in which people lived for 40 years. Extreme forms of individualism developed in certain West European nations during the same period. In view of these historical events we have asked the following questions: Do people in the post-Communist countries of Central Europe, after 40 years of totalitarian collectivism, still adhere to the values of the common European heritage? What is the meaning of ‘the individual’ today, in Western democracies and in Central European post-Communist nations? Which issues are important for the well-being of the individual and how do they relate to the political and economic circumstances of those individuals? The results show that the values of the common European heritage in Central Europe have not been destroyed and that factors relating to the well-being of the individual differ between the two parts of Europe. These data are discussed in terms of the political and economic situations in Central and Western Europe, the relationship between language and social representations and the structure of social representations.

European Journal of Social Psychology: Volume 28, Issue 5

Author(s)Markova, Ivana; Moodie, Eleanor; Farr, Robert M; Drozda-Senkowska, Ewa; Eros, Ferenc; Plichtova, Jana; Gervais, Marie-Claude; Hoffmannova, Jana; Mullerova, Olga
Publication date30/09/1998
Publication date online21/12/1998
Date accepted by journal23/10/1997
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