Szegény gazdagok vagy gazdag szegények? a gazdagság és szegénység reprezentációja egyetemisták körében /
With the growing polarization of the Hungarian society, the issue of affluence vs. poverty has been raised with increasing intensity, seeing the incessantly widening gap between the two classes of society. Simultaneously with the mounting social tensions, one can perceive more explicitly the intensi...
|Summary:||With the growing polarization of the Hungarian society, the issue of affluence vs. poverty has been raised with increasing intensity, seeing the incessantly widening gap between the two classes of society. Simultaneously with the mounting social tensions, one can perceive more explicitly the intensification of anger and prejudices triggered by extremities. We focused on establishing ways of thinking adopted by the Hungarian university students concerning rich and poor people or the conflict of wealth and poverty and wanted to discover relationships, if any, between the social status of the respondents and their answers, respectively. 193 students attending five institutions of higher education (two located in Budapest and three elsewhere in the country) were involved in the study, and we used a questionnaire consisting of explicit and implicit questions. The results suggested that the students identified the level of affluence vs. poverty in different ways, depending on their social and financial status and their age. While the answers reflected a very high standard deviation regarding their views about affluence, they developed a fairly consistent and accurate perception about the level of poverty. The interviewed students had no insight into the life of the super-rich and identified wealth with the affluence achieved by people classified to the middle or upper-middle class of society. Outlines of very ambivalent perception can be recognized concerning the attitudes of rich people. The emphasis laid on some positive features is accompanied by highlighting the role of fraudulent and criminal behavior and the distortion of human relations and personality characteristics. The rich people are supposed to be competent, successful and efficient, but they have many improper attributes. These results notwithstanding, the students regarded affluence and wealth as attractive properties. The participants associated the poverty threshold with earning minimum wage, but they expressed poverty in terms of difficulties in daily subsistence rather than the actual earnings. To their minds, poor people are characterized by social exclusion, deprivation and permanence of wishful thinking. They assume the poor to have weak capabilities and many wrong attributes; however, they evoke sympathy in most of the students.|