The differences in mentality as the sources of ideological conflicts

Janusz Reykowski

Abstract


There is the widespread view that Polish society is deeply divided due to the profound differences in worldviews and societal values. Some authors regard these differences as an indication that there are “two Polands”, not one. It should be noted, however, that similar divisions can be observed in other societies. It means that issues of the conflicts are almost the same. In the paper, I argue that the apparent cross-cultural similarity of ideological conflicts is due to the fact, that there exist in all societies the fundamental contradictions between two kinds of mentality – one that is based on predominance of community over individual (collectivist) and the other that is based on predominance of an individual (individualist). These two kinds of mentalities differ in their understanding of community, in the basis of their epistemic and moral beliefs, in their convictions about foundations of the social order. They also differ in a number of psychological characteristics. The differences manifest as an opposition between conservative (right-wing) and liberal ideologies. But in spite of the major differences between these mentalities there are also some important psychological mechanisms that might attenuate the potential conflicts. However the conflicts might be augmented by political or economic interest groups.


Keywords


conflict; worldview; values; concervatism-liberalism; identity; cognitive and emotional processes

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