Revolution and Tradition in People's Poland: Education and Socialization


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The postwar political and technological-industrial revolutions have brought profound changes to Poland. Yet although a generation has now grown up in the Communist ideology, the transformation it demands is far from complete. Traditional institutions, values, and patterns of behavior continue to exist and are in daily confrontation with the new regime.

Education must obviously play a critical role in the process of socialization, and teachers are expected to instill in future citizens a thorough commitment to socialist values. But how well are they equipped for this task? To answer this question Joseph R. Fiszman has done extensive field work in Poland sponsored by the U.S. Office of Education. He is the first American citizen permitted to do research of this type in an Eastern European country. He has examined all aspects of the teachers’ lives, from social background and training to attitudes, values, and status in the community. His findings are an important contribution to the attempt to understand the process of change in societies where revolutionary values face the entrenched power of tradition.

Originally published in 1973.

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