2004 | 6 | 171-184
Article title

Polish Integration with EU: interest, hopes and fears of rural youth

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The results of research concerning the attitudes among the rural youth towards the integration of Poland with European Union are presented in the article. Taking into consideration the degree of being informed and interested by the young villagers in the integration problems, we can distinguish three categories of their attitudes towards 'being involved in the integration matters': of the observer - related to the feeling of being informed and expressing interest, the potential observer - related to the feeling of being uninformed and expressing interest and of the outsider - related to the lack of interest in the matters concerning the integration process. This manner of measuring the degree of 'being involved in the integration matters' is a factor that strongly determines the general attitude towards the integration of Poland with EU (positive attitude can be more often observed among the observers, whereas the negative attitude is presented by the outsiders and the potential observers). It also significantly affects the opinions concerning 'the beneficians' and 'the losers', and also the range of hopes and anxieties connected with the accession of Poland to EU (the observers are decidedly more optimistic than the outsiders and the potential observers). Finally, it also shapes the inclination to direct action in connection with the integration process (the observers decidedly more often than the outsiders declared not only for the voting for the accession Poland to the EU, but also participating in the accession referendum). The results of our research show that the level of knowledge with regard to the European integration among the members of Polish society is not only the best manner to receive social support for the integration process, but it is also the best strategy to create public consciousness enabling independent look for one's own place in the new social situation after accession. Thus the role of the institutions aimed at promoting the European Union integration should not be stopped even after the successful European referendum.
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  • Z. Drag, Instytut Socjologii, Uniwersytet Jagiellonski, ul. Grodzka 52, 31-044 Krakow, Poland
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