Anticipating social change in Eastern Europe

Date of publication: June 15, 1993


The purpose of this paper is to present RISC's experience in applying its specific socio-cultural expertise in the monitoring of social change to the former communist societies. The first part presents the ACE East program, its developments, and its purposes, as well as its methodological background. It also introduces briefly some basic concepts (socio-cultural trend, socio-cultural map, and the Euroscan) which will illustrate the analysis developed in the second part. The second part, entitled "Anticipating Change in East Europe" deals with the concept of "Eastern Europe", analyzing its relevance from a socio-cultural perspective. A two-steps approach is proposed: first, to define the "Eastern Europe" when compared with a West European model. Based on surveys in 9 East European countries, RISC's measurements show some key dimensions characteristic for the studied area. The second part of this paper presents both, proximities and divergencies in socio-cultural dynamics in both areas. Eastern and Western Europe. In its last part, the article questions the relevance of the concept of "Eastern Europe" and its homogeneity from an "insider" point of view. Three examples (European Russia, Baltic States, Eastern Germany) illustrates this part.

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