Wpływ oficjalnej i prywatnej sytuacji wywiadu na wypowiedzi respondentów w środowisku inteligencji
Słomczyński, Kazimierz M.
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The author arranged 52 interviews with his close acquaintances or relatives on social stratification, evaluation of the policy of wages, nationalization of various branches of national economy, and socio-political role of sociological researches in Poland. Interviewees were members of intelligentsia, viz. professionals or white collar workers, men and women constituting 50°/o of the group, respectively. Interviews had an official character as they were conducted by a student presenting herself as an interviewer of a scientific institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The author himself succeeded in making contact with 40 of 52 interviewees in order to do focus interviews with them in an atmosphere of a personal and friendly talk about their own definition of the role in which they felt themselves during the first official interviews; he also asked them about the same topics that were touched upon earlier. Then a comparison of answers obtained in the first and in the second interviews was made. The aim was to determine the influence of psycho-social factors upon the degree of congruence between opinions expressed in these two different social situations. The results of this comparison showed that divergences appeared only in the answers to four questions: 1° – in evaluations of changes in the respondents’ living standard during the last several years (there were 15 cases of this kind of discrepancies, in most of them it was in the official interview that the respondents refrained from giving a definite opinion by saying “no change”, whereas in a personal talk they evaluated favorably or negatively the change in their living conditions); 2° – in opinions concerning the most desirable policy of wages (10 cases; most often in a personal talk the respondents favoured the policy benefiting white collar workers, while in official interviews – manual workers); 3° – in opinions about the principle of egalitarian remuneration for work (9 respondents were against egalitarian remuneration in a personal talk while in official interviews evading concrete answers or expressing opinions approving of this principle); 4° – in opinions on the desirable scope of an economic activity of free enterprise (in all seven cases of divergences it was in official interviews that the respondents postulated more severe restrictions against private commerce and artisanship). All the divergences mentioned above appeared among 16 persons (among seven of them in their answers to all four questions, among six in those to one question only, and among three persons in answers to 2–3 questions). For the remainder of the group, viz. among 24 persons, no divergences in their answers were discovered. These divergences in opinions were interpreted as being a consequence of the fact that the respondents acted in two different social roles: that of a citizen interviewed by a representant of state institution, and that of an acquaintance expressing his/her private opinions in a personal talk. Finally, on the basis of introspective confessions of respondents an attempt was made to find out whether in official interviews they expressed opinions sincerely or not. It turned out that among 24 persons whose answers were congruent, as many as twenty said they expressed themselves frankly, whereas among 16 persons whose opinions were contradictory, four did not give an explication clear enough, six admitted to answer insincerely and six maintained that they were answering frankly. The latter six cases were explained as a manifestation of a psychological ambivalence inherent in attitudes, by virtue of which respondents expressed contradictory opinions as a function of two different social situations. It was found that the lack of sincerity seems to be caused by such situational factors as: 1° –conviction that results of sociological researches are (or can be) utilized by some administrative organs; 2° – lack of an individual or group anonymity feeling; 3° – incertitude as to the real character of the survey; 4° – desire to express opinions considered to be “typical” and not those of one’s own.