The paper deals with powerlessness as one of the possible meanings of alienation, and presents Neal's Powerlessness Scale as a means for measuring this concept. The aim of this research is to find out if it is possible to adopt the Neal's research technique, developed in the context of the American culture in the late 1950s, to empirical sociological research in the Czech Republic. This issue is important because there is at present no standard attitudinal instrument for measuring a persons' perception of their power to exert influence over socio-political events. An initial test of the reliability and internal and external validity of Neal's scale is undertaken using a non-representative sample of the Czech population. Results of this quantitative analysis suggest that a subset of nine items from the original twelve item scale is the most reliable and valid measure of a person's sense of control over the socio-political events within the Czech cultural milieu. Importantly, the process of data collection reveals several problematic features of Neal's powerlessness scale, and it is recommended that certain alterations before its further use in the Czech context.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.