Work Social Representation Among Young People and the Ambiguity of the Development Policy in Poland

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 10:45 AM
Room: 301
Oral Presentation
Xaquin PEREZ SINDIN LOPEZ , Social Science, Gdansk University of Technology, Gdansk, Poland
This paper aims to examine the perception of the meaning of a “good job” among young generations in Poland. The economic policies implemented in recent years have emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship among new generations. The immobility of generations raised during the communist period is usually seen as an inconvenient that stop a major development. This is very clear judging by the number of public advertisement that encourage students to start up their own business, the invitations to take part on competition for the “best business idea”, the highlighting of entrepreneurship related subjects in the universities´ curriculum and the emergency of certain entrepreneurship icons within the political spectrum. By mean the conduction of focus groups, in-depth interviews and participant observation, the current research inquiries on the idea of a “good job” among young people, with a special stress on how entrepreneurship is seen. Despite the pessimistic and dominant discourse about the low wages, working in some of the many foreign corporations that has invested in the country in recent years is seen as the top of the mind job. This accounts for the importance given to the symbolic meaning of belonging to an “international” organization, the social status provided by it and the need of constructing a “modern” identity of themselves. All these things, despite the usual low wages and lack of career opportunities provided. Asked directly about the possibility of becoming entrepreneur, it is seen as a step subjected to first success in a corporation. Entrepreneurship incentive policies might not have the expected results. The fault might be, among other reasons, the contradictory of the public discourse between, on one hand, the importance given to entrepreneurship and, on the other hand, the persistence for attracting globally-driven investment by established corporations and elites via tax break and low salaries policies.