Mar 29, 2013

State policies and behavior (Berlin)

On contextual grounds, we investigate the long-term impact of socialization in a totalitarian vs. a democratic state on values and attitudes toward doping. We deliberately chose this topic since, under State Plan 14.25, the communist regime of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) systematically administered performance-enhancement drugs to their top-level athletes, in most cases without the athletes’ knowledge or consent. These systematic doping activities were revealed and comprehensively discussed in the German media during the 1990s. Even more than 20 years after the peaceful reunification, we still find significant differences in attitudes toward doping behavior. This demonstrates that state socialization has a long-lasting impact. This long-lasting effect could either manifest itself through direct personal experience—e.g. among those who were active former athletes—or indirectly—through a form of emotional solidarity and justification with the state in which people were raised and socialized. P. 24.
The authors explain:
This paper makes three main contributions: First, it tests and improves upon the standard methodology in the literature that compares East with West German residents to assess the impact of communism. We exploit the city of Berlin as a microcosm of Germany’s division and reunification. Like Germany as a whole, Berlin was divided into four sectors and had a communist and capitalist part. We argue that East Berliners and West Berliners are more similar and comparable than East Germans and West Germans in general. Most importantly, during the 20 years following the peaceful reunification, Berliners were exposed to the same state government, institutions, and local labor market conditions. Likewise, East-West migration within Berlin was much less pronounced that the drastic East-West German migration flows pre and post the erection of the Wall. P. 3.
I find the term "state socialization" confusing, but it just probably means state involvement in social life.  

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