„Społeczny obraz” i stereotyp chłopa, urzędnika i robotnika. Analiza odpowiedzi na pytania zamknięte o typowego przedstawiciela grupy zawodowej
Sztabiński, Paweł B.
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One of the methods applied in the investigation of social stereotypes consisted in using questions with graphic scales whose form was modeled after the semantic, differential. Analyses of the data obtained were done at two levels: at the collective level, i.e. by studying the frequencies of particular traits as well as the individual level where the unit was a set of traits indicated by a given respondent. These two approaches are complementary. Analyses of the first type made it possible to characterize the “social image” of the groups considered in the research (peasants, clerks and workmen) as it appeared among the workmen. In the “social image” of a given group were included all those traits being indicated by at least 67% of respondents. The richest turned out to be – both in respect of the number of traits arid of the number of aspects of characterization – the “image” of a workman and only a little poorer was the “image” of a peasant. The “image” of a clerk distinguished itself clearly from the two former images by scarcity of the traits composing it. The comparison of the content of these “images” revealed, much overlapping between the traits attributed to peasants and to own group, i.e. workmen (the overlapping traits related first of all to the sphere of work) – as well as dissimilarity of these traits in relation to those of clerks. This seems to be an evidence of a positive attitude of workmen toward peasants and of their hostility or dislike toward clerks. This conclusion was confirmed by the analysis of the intensity (valence) of the traits attributed to the groups in question; the analysis consisted in comparing the curves representing the percentages of choices of particular points on each of the scale relating to a given pair of opposite traits for peasants, clerks and workmen. The comparison showed that the shapes and slopes of these curves were most often similar and least frequently different in the case of peasants and workmen; most differences and least similarities appeared between workmen and clerks. In further analysis as its unit was adopted the set of traits attributed by particular respondents to a given group. The traits most frequently associated in respondents’ replies were considered to be the stereotype of a given group appearing among the workmen. The comparison of the stereotypes of a peasant, a clerk and a workman leads to the conclusions partly different from those which emerged as a result of the comparison of the “social images” of these groups. The stereotype of a workman considered from the viewpoint of aspects of characterization contained in it was, in certain respects, similar to the stereotype of a peasant, but in other respects, it was similar to that of a clerk; when considered from the viewpoint of overlapping of traits, this stereotype was very much similar to the stereotype of a peasant and completely different – and even opposed – in comparison with the stereotype of a clerk. Emotive colouring of the stereotypes was established using a synthetic index. Each of its values was the resultant of positive or negative evaluations of traits chosen by respondents. This index was calculated only for those traits whose evaluation – both positive and negative one – did not arouse any doubts. The stereotype of own group – i.e. of workmen – was as expected, positive and strong one. Peasants were perceived rather positively as 2/3 of respondents evaluated them favourably, but the strength of these beliefs was weaker than in the case of workmen. As regards clerks, there were found two stereotypes of this group among the workmen: a positive and a negative one which appeared with equal frequency and had similar strength. An attempt to explain the direction and strength of the stereotypes using socio-demographic traits of respondents failed as no relationships were found. The only variable with a more significant explanatory power turned out to be the feeling of group affiliation of respondents as workmen. This finding shows that in explaining social stereotypes one should first of all adopt as independent variables those of a psychological nature. The problem of rigidity of stereotypes was considered taking into account their strength and the degree of their generalization. It was assumed that rigidity may be attributed to those stereotypes which were strong and had a wide scope of generalization. Analyzes showed that rigidity thus conceived appeared only in the case of negative stereotypes.