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SWPS University - Main page

ULTRAGEN: Becoming an adult in times of ultra-uncertainty
research
ongoing

ULTRAGENBecoming an adult in times of ultra-uncertainty: intergenerational theory of 'shaky' transitions

principal investigator / project leader
Paulina Pustułka
Ph.D. / Associate Professor

Sociologist. Head of the Youth Research Center.

Full bio
project value: PLN 1,796,657
funding source: National Science Center
discipline: social sciences
location: Warsaw
duration: 2021 2022 2023 2024

Events related to the global COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent war in Ukraine have been changing the nature of various social processes, including the ways of thinking about the paths to becoming an adult. Questions about the desired and envisioned transitions-to-adulthood are important not only among young people, but also in the context of families - especially parents - who typically support them. Treating the global polycrisis as a backdrop for studying social change, the ULTRAGEN project wants to find out what are the long-term effects of social crises on the transitions-to-adulthood and intergenerational solidarity in contemporary Poland.

The project is financed by the National Science Center, under the OPUS-19 scheme, project number 2020/37/B/HS6/01685.

Project objectives

The main research question in the ULTRAGEN project concerns the lasting impact of social crises on intergenerational relations, particularly solidarity, in the processes of becoming an adult. At a more detailed level, we consider three questions:

  1. What are the key determinants of becoming an adult in a time of ultra-uncertainty?
  2. What types of social and intergenerational solidarity emerge from crises?
  3. How do younger and older age cohorts of Polish women and men differ in their attitudes and practices in (in)compliance during unsettling events?

We assume that age/generational link significantly differentiates responses and attitudes related to social crises. In this context, we juxtapose the experience of the pandemic among young adults (18-35 years old) with the experience of past crises (e.g. martial law of 1981-1983), as processes that shape the identities of subsequent generations. In the ULTRAGEN project, we show that disruptive socio-historical circumstances lead to ‘shaky’ processes of reaching adulthood, which are marked by alternating accelerations and regressions. Reaching the sense of being an adult additionally requires joint efforts from two generations of young adults and their parents, which explains ULTRAGEN’s interest in intergenerational relations and solidarities that accompany the process of transition.

The goal of the ULTRAGEN project is to investigate the impact of social crises on the process of transition-to-adulthood. By comparing qualitative data concerning life stories of young Poles with the life trajectories of their parents, and by analyzing information from social media and study questionnaires, we will obtain comprehensive information on long-term social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on values, social practices and relationships in today’s Poland. The intergenerational perspective, in particular concerning solidarity, will allow us to capture social change that has been happening right here, right now. This knowledge is indispensable in the context of the prolonged pandemic and the impending recession – two phenomena that contribute to the ubiquitous feeling of ultra-uncertainty.

Pustułka, Paulina Principal Investigator
Bio
Tak
Specialization
sociologist
Permanent employee
Tak
First and last name
Paulina Pustułka
Academic degree or title
Ph.D. / Associate Professor
City
warszawa
Discipline
sociology
Position
profesor uczelni
Role in the Institute
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Role in the Research Center
{"funkcja-w-centrum0":{"Funkcja":"Head","\u0141\u0105cznik":"of the","Nazwa w mianowniku":"Youth Research Center"}}
Institute
Array
Role in the Faculty
[]
Role in the Department
[]
Ph.D. / Associate Professor Paulina PustułkaSociologist. Head of the Youth Research Center.

Methodology

In order to conceptualize ‘shaky transitions’, we will bring together qualitative and quantitative methods of research conducted online. Following literature review and secondary data analysis, we will launch a Qualitative Longitudinal Study, in which we will conduct online individual interviews with 35. young adults and their parents, meeting with them twice over the course of the project (collecting a total of about 120 interviews). What is more, we will study how changes caused by the pandemic are reflected in social media by analyzing Twitter data. We will also conduct a representative online survey in Poland. Across the data collection methods, will cover numerous topics related to crises and their impact on intergenerational relations and processes of entering adulthood. We will then integrate data from all components in the final phase of the ULTRAGEN project.

Practical applications of results

Reliable data and interesting results about the impact of social crises on the processes of entering adulthood will allow us to create a broader theory of 'shaky’ transitions. The fact that the project considers the age variable in the context of historical social unrest will translate into recommendations for public policy. The collected data will make it possible to forecast the social reactions of Poles to future crises. Finally, an additional ambition of the project is to establish and launch Poland's first archive of qualitative longitudinal data, which will enable long-term use of the data collected at the Young at the Center Lab research center at SWPS University.


Project team

Golińska, Agnieszka
Bio
Tak
Specialization
business psychologist and certified Assessment and Development Center (AC/DC) assessor, specializes in organizational behavior
Permanent employee
Tak
First and last name
Agnieszka Golińska
Academic degree or title
Ph.D. / Assistant Professor
City
warszawa
Discipline
management-and-quality-studies
Position
adiunkt
Role in the Department
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Role in the Institute
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Role in the Research Center
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Role in the Faculty
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Faculty
Array
Institute
Array
Ph.D. / Assistant Professor Agnieszka Golińskabusiness psychologist and certified Assessment and Development Center (AC/DC) assessor, specializes in organizational behavior
Kajta, Justyna
Bio
Tak
Permanent employee
Tak
Specialization
sociologist
First and last name
Justyna Kajta
Academic degree or title
Ph.D. / Assistant Professor
Role in the Research Center
{"funkcja-w-centrum0":{"Funkcja":"","\u0141\u0105cznik":"","Nazwa w mianowniku":"Youth Research Center"}}
Discipline
sociology
Position
adiunkt
Role in the Institute
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City
warszawa
Institute
Array
Role in the Faculty
[]
Role in the Department
[]
Ph.D. / Assistant Professor Justyna Kajtasociologist
Kwiatkowska, Agnieszka
Bio
Tak
Permanent employee
Tak
Role in the Faculty
{"funkcja-na-wydziale0":{"Funkcja":"","\u0141\u0105cznik":"","Nazwa w mianowniku":"Faculty of Social Sciences in Warsaw"}}
Role in the Department
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Role in the Institute
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Role in the Research Center
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Specialization
Sociologist and political scientist
Academic degree or title
Ph.D. / Assistant Professor
City
warszawa
Discipline
sociology
Position
adiunkt
First and last name
Agnieszka Kwiatkowska
Faculty
Array
Institute
Array
Ph.D. / Assistant Professor Agnieszka KwiatkowskaSociologist and political scientist
Radzińska, Jowita
Bio
Tak
Permanent employee
Tak
Specialization
sociologist, ethicist, and philosopher
First and last name
Jowita Radzińska
Academic degree or title
Ph.D. / Lecturer
Role in the Research Center
{"funkcja-w-centrum0":{"Funkcja":"","\u0141\u0105cznik":"","Nazwa w mianowniku":"Youth Research Center"}}
Institute
Youth Research Center
Position
wykladowca
City
warszawa
Discipline
sociology
Role in the Faculty
[]
Role in the Department
[]
Role in the Institute
[]
Ph.D. / Lecturer Jowita Radzińskasociologist, ethicist, and philosopher
Sarnowska-Wilczyńska, Justyna
Bio
Tak
Specialization
sociologist, researches transition from adolescence to adulthood
Permanent employee
Tak
First and last name
Justyna Sarnowska-Wilczyńska
Academic degree or title
Ph.D. / Assistant Professor
City
warszawa
Discipline
sociology
Position
adiunkt
Role in the Faculty
{"funkcja-na-wydziale0":{"Funkcja":"Vice-Dean for Educational Affairs","\u0141\u0105cznik":"","Nazwa w mianowniku":"Faculty of Social Sciences in Warsaw"}}
Role in the Department
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Role in the Institute
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Role in the Research Center
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Faculty
Array
Institute
Array
Ph.D. / Assistant Professor Justyna Sarnowska-Wilczyńskasociologist, researches transition from adolescence to adulthood

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