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Political Tolerance in Poland and the United States

Vyacheslav Karpov
Social Forces
Vol. 77, No. 4 (Jun., 1999), pp. 1525-1549
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/3005885
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3005885
Page Count: 25
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Political Tolerance in Poland and the United States
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Abstract

Some experts say that in Eastern Europe, under the surface of pro-democratic attitudes, persists an authoritarian and intolerant political culture. Synchronic and diachronic comparisons of tolerance in Poland (1993 Polish General Social Survey, N = 1649) and the U.S. (1954 Stouffer's data and NORC GSS data, 1972-93) do not support this view. Polish opinions appear nearly as tolerant as contemporary American opinions, and more tolerant than American opinions in the past. Education, stratification, and age predict tolerance similarly in Poland and America. Combined with findings from previous research, these data suggest that intolerance in Eastern Europe may be a transient result of recent and current conflicts rather than a primordial politico-cultural element.

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