Social change and perceptions of consumers

Date of publication: June 15, 1993

Company: GfK

Author: Gunda Plasser


The present paper deals with the experiences and perceptions of consumers in Hungary, the former CSFR 1 ) and Poland since the revolutionary changes in 1989 up to 1992. The data shown are based on large representative studies conducted in these countries and offer insights in consumer relevant attitudes and attitude changes. Results are focusing on the topics of income and sources of income, material possessions, family savings and household finances as well as subjective evaluations of the personal standard of living and the status of the countries’ economies. The first part of the paper concentrates upon the experience of the economical situation, the second part discusses the psychological experience of the transition from a command to a demand economy and describes future perspectives as seen by the people today. It is argued that the original enthusiasm about opening up to the West has been replaced by disillusionment and fear as documented by increasing pessimism. At the same time there are no signs for real despair which could cause a backlash. Instead the populations of these countries are more or less successfully coping with a difficult situation by a very resourceful use of non-monetary additional economies.

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