Trwałość, postaw i zachowań religijnych w rodzinie wiejskiej w świetle badań socjologicznych

Janusz Mariański


Continuity and change, as two values characteristic of all socio-cultural processes, also refer to the sphere of religious life. The arising problem is to what extent the country family, as a natural and original group of influence, fulfils the religious socio-educational functions which weigh the family down in the new socio-cultural situation. Is the result of the family’s education expressed in the general uniformity of the religious attitudes of the parents and their children and in the continuation of religious attitude in the following generations? Which of the elements of religious tradition preserve their continuity, which are partly questioned and which are rejected?

The author seeks answers to the questions stated above in sociological research made in the recent twenty years. He divides the material gained into three basic groups: a) religious attitudes of children against the background of the attitudes of the parents, b) religious attitudes of the adult population of the country against the background of the attitudes of their parents, c) religious education in the opinion of rustic population.

The repeated analysis of the studies and materials showed that the contemporary family living in the Polish country, less uniformed than the traditional country family, successfully counterpoises the secularizing effects, both those con- trolled and spontaneous. Family influence on shaping and preserving the child’s philosophy of life is stronger than the influence of other social groups including school. The main clash, however, between Marxist and Catholic outlooks on life has not yet occurred in the country in Poland, has not yet occurred in the country in Poland.

De facto in the country family there preserves a religious bequest of values, norms and patterns of behaviour as well as general conformity of religious attitudes among the generations on a mass scale, though there are some exceptions with regard to the latter. The differences in the attitudes and religious behaviour of the generations are little and do not extend beyond the limits of a regular confrontation of cultures and customs. The above confirms that the secularizing trends in the country are rather weak.

With accepting the proposition of the general persistence of religious attitudes in a country family the author stresses the fact that the family has ceased to be the only social and normative environment where an individual belong to. It has many incoherent and mixed features, and its unshakable religious character can not be taken as sure fact. Particular elements of religious tradition undergo some changes, but the country family remains the main factor continuing and preserving the religious culture inherited from the past generations.

In the light of the materials gained, there arises a doubt whether the process of religious socialization, which is presently taking place, is intensive and deep enough to preserve in the future the unity and solidarity of generations of Poles in their attitude towards religion. This process, it seems, has traces of partial and selective socialization. The role of the family, however crucial, is not exclusive in the processes of consolidating religious attitudes. There is a need of cooperation among other socializing factors and of the continuation of the socialization with adult population (permanent socialization).

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