The Eastern European model of transition into adulthood - myth or fact
Institute of Sociology Jagiellonian University Kraków, Poland
The regional models of youth transitions have been referred to since the beginning of the studies on the topic. 'Mediterranean' and 'Nordic' models of transitions were described by Galland already in the 90s. Recently, Walther has written about universalistic, liberal, sub-protective and employment-centered transition regimes within the 'old' European Community. Significantly enough, none of those typologies included Eastern European countries.
As youth in Eastern European countries has encountered quite similar political and economical changes, as well as all has been under the influence of the Western values, we might suspect that the transitions patterns among those countries could be similar (and often it is taken for granted, even in academic literature). Still, there are many traits that differentiate those countries (e.g. size, religion, percentage of urbanised areas). Therefore, the aim of my article will be to analyse if the 'Eastern European model of transition' does exist and, if so, what are its distinctive characteristics.
In my analysis, I will use the quantitative data from the European Social Survey (round 3) and include countries that have taken part in the project. This dataset will allow me to compare Eastern European countries with one another, as well as to compare them to the rest of Europe.
What has to be taken most care of, and what is often a mistake in the transnational/European analyses, is the usage of theoretical background, concepts and rationale created on the basis of data and contexts from the Western European countries.