The popular myth about the alleged authoritarianism in the Polish countryside, promulgated by patterns of socialization in peasant families, finds little empirical support. Most of the studies do not take into account the diversity of the countryside nor its changes over time. Using the empirical data from 1988, 1989, and 2002, the authoress looks at the community, status, generational and regional diversity in authoritarianism. The analysis looked at the style of family upbringing and authoritarianism measured by a modified California scale F. She concludes that: (1) authoritarianism in the countryside is indeed stronger than in the city; (2) such generalization does not apply to the younger generation. Particularly, the peasant youth are not the most inclined to authoritarianism; (3) such tendencies cannot be explained in terms of family upbringing nor 'peasant status' as such, but by a specific and complex mix of factors. Leading among them are the combination of 'peasant status' and the strategic educational choices that often determine man's further biography - making autrhoritarianism more or less attractive.
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