UNPUBLISHED POLLS - A SKETCH TO A PORTRAIT OF YOUNG PEOPLE AT THE END OF THE GOMULKA ERA
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In 1970 a team under Albin Klementowski conducted polls among secondary school students - members of the Union of Socialist Youth (ZMS - a mass-scale organisation in 1957-1976, closely associated with the Polish United Workers' Party). The posed questions concerned socio-political stands, values, interests, life targets, and visions of the future. Apparently, the majority of the respondents expressed a positive evaluation of Polish reality and optimistically faced the future. They accepted the socialist system, the only one that they had experienced, although they noticed some of its faults such as bureaucracy. They were or at least wished to be perceived as patriots, social activists and idealists, whose important goals included obtaining an education, social usefulness, and personal happiness, and who attached much less importance to money or popularity. Although they belonged to a political organisation, they were little interested in politics, in contrast to sport, music and the cinema; they were fascinated with Western culture with which they wanted to have greater contact. The majority of the responses in the anonymous survey were sincere. We are entitled to conclude that the examined activists did not differ from most of their peers, and that their attitude was rather typical for the young generation of the period. The characteristic feature of their behaviour had to be more determined only as regards political issues - as ZMS members they could not assess reality in critical terms.
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