Class Structure in the Social Consciousness

Class Structure in the Social Consciousness

Class Structure in the Social Consciousness

Class Structure in the Social Consciousness

Excerpt

Nearly five years have passed since this book was originally published in the Polish language. Its appearance in print was in a certain sense linked with the events of October 1956 in Poland, for these made it possible to publish the work on which I had been engaged for several years without hope of SYSTEMation. The book went to press in the post-October period of enthusiasm and hope, and this emotional climate was reflected in its final touches.

Since 1957 a number of sociological enquiries have been carried out in Poland; they include enquiries into social attitudes towards the problems of egalitarianism, the relationship to socialism in various social milieux in our country and the ways in which socialism is conceived. The speed of social change in the world means that we often look back at events that happened only a few years before from a historical perspective. None the less it seems to me that the events of the intervening period have produced nothing that would necessitate any changes in the contents of this book, the subject matter of which consists of problems that are not confined to a single country, system or period.

The book of course reflects in various respects the conditions prevailing in the country in which it was written. Sometimes this affects the manner in which problems are presented. At other times it may emerge in certain reflexions or allusions or in the citing of instances which are of particular importance for the situation that prevailed in Poland before October 1956. For instance, the reference in the introduction to the coincidence between the entirely independent views of Prus and Engels, which an English-speaking reader may regard as unessential, was in reaction to the view propagated in Eastern Europe about the absolute contrast between the Marxist classics and positivistic 'bourgeois' thought.

For a considerable period Poland has lain at a crossroads of various trends of thought. She possesses old-established sociological traditions linked with the names of Joachim Lelewel . . .

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