Abraham 1/2000

Sociologie Românească (Romanian Sociology), XI new series no. 1/2000, pp. 5-43.



SR 2000 1 coperta

Atlasul sociologic al schimbării sociale din România postcomunistă. Studii preliminare

Sociological Atlas of Social Changes in Postcommunist Romania. Preliminary study

Dorel Abraham


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Abstract: The analysis is focused on the dramatically changes among the Romanian active (labor force) population during the last ten years of the Twentieth century. In order to asses the impact of the post-communist Reform had in Romania on the occupational structure we tried to evaluate the main types of social changes of labor force in these years and to understand social and regional variation using the regional research methods. The paper include; on the one hand, a historical perspective of the experience and methods used in Regional Research, both in Romania and in other countries and, on the other hand, the main social changes of Romanian active population during 1990-1999. The analysis is based on over 38.0000 households survey from 460 different types of settlements from all counties conducted by CURS in November 1999. The samples are representative for each county at a tolerated error of ±3% - ±3.6% at a level of confidence of 95%. The stress was on assessment of the following types of social changes of the active population: The occupational mobility (the changing of the job and/or of the profession); the social marginalization and/or the social exclusion (unemployment, early retirement, becoming redundant) and intensive adaptation of integration to market economy development (making their own business or graduating new training courses)
The main conclusion is that compared to a long period of communist social homogenization the active population of Romania was the subject of an intensive process of restructuring in a very short period of time Thus, in 1990-1999 about 90% of the active population of Romania changed its occupational position, was social marginalized or was involved itself in the market economy. The directions of the changes were different. For about 40% of the active population the changes meant vertical and horizontal mobility involving moving upward or downward from one social position to another of a different rank and from one social position to another of the same rank. For another 40% of the active population the social changes meant social marginalization and/or social exclusion involving mainly the industrial workers losing their jobs because traditional employment opportunities in the industrial sector were largely closed for both the unskilled and skilled labor force. Only about 10% of the active population adapted to market economy by starting their own companies or by graduat¬ing courses improving their qualifications.
All these changes showed a spatial variation so a new social or sociological map of Romania emerged. The Social Map shows that Romania was marked in 1990-1999 by a high rate of the social mobility and the social changes and a new social stratification or a different society's stratification system is emerging in its post-communist stage.