Appendix 1: The Interviews
and the Method of Analysis
I conducted the interviews upon which this study is largely based in Prague during the spring and early summer of 1993; in Berlin during the spring of 1996; and in Tartu and Tallinn during the late summer and early autumn of 1997. In each country the interview set was composed of 12 semi-structured face-to-face theme interviews (see questionnaires in Appendix 2) among randomly chosen university students (Prague; Berlin) and among young university-educated people (Tartu; Tallinn). The interviewees were born between 1964 and 1973, and hence belong to my own generation and educational group — the group whose horizons of expectation I can presumably understand better than those of any other group. There are thirty-six interviews altogether, lasting from one hour to over two hours, with an average of one and a half hours. They were taped and transcribed.
The number of interviews may appear small, although in this kind of ethnographically oriented research it is considered to be average. It is true that more interviews would have produced an additional source of useful formulations, perhaps better ones than those printed on these pages. However, in terms of new ideas the point of saturation was achieved fairly quickly with the questionnaires that were used; in this respect even fewer interviews might have been possible. More importantly, the small number of interviewees helps to highlight the individual perspective of this study, the individuality of the presented interpretations. Finally, the small number of interviews made it possible to limit the study within a certain frame: the questions can be big if the data being analysed is sufficiently small.
In Germany all interviews were conducted in German, and in Estonia in Estonian, apart from one that was conducted in English because of the excellent English of the interviewee. In the Czech Republic, seven interviews were conducted in English, four in Czech and one in Finnish; the idea was to use the most suitable common language, as my Czech was still fairly rudimentary in 1993. Despite their often rather limited knowledge of English, the young Czechs were able to make their arguments surprisingly clear — probably a sign of profound reflection with respect to the events I was interested in. In these cases the language has