A Historical Comparison of Social Structures in the Czech Republic in the Years 1984 and 1993
Czech Sociological Review
On the basis of three representative surveys conducted in 1984, spring 1993 and autumn 1993, the increasing vertical social differentiation of the economically active Czech population is analysed and the results of the historical comparison are interpreted with reference to the social change in the first phase of the post-communist transformation. The shifts in education, the distribution of managerial positions and class structure are seen as the results of both limited modernisation and
... rnisation and progress in privatisation and meritocratisation. The traditional differentiating principles of the (rather egalitarian and anti-meritocratic) state socialist society -based on steep power differentiation and, eventually, differentiation caused by demographic factors -have lost much of their former influence. A new class structure based on the differentiation of property relations, managerial positions and earnings is gradually emerging. Concurrently, the influence of meritocratic factors, such as education and work complexity on income distribution and, above all, on life-style is also growing. The first steps towards increased social status consistency and a more gradual status distribution are noticeable. At the same time, the attitudes and forms of behaviour have become somewhat more determined by the objective social differentiation. As far as the various concepts and methodological instruments are concerned, an increased explanatory force of the EGP scheme and of a multi-dimensional social status typology based on cluster analysis could be observed in the course of the 1990s. In spite of important changes in the general social context, many frequented multidimensional status patterns in 1984 and 1993 show a great deal of mutual similarity.