Open Access

Do Praguers differ from Czechs? Selected topics of recent intergroup antagonism attempts


Due to the recent attempts to divide Czech society based on the antagonism between Prague and the countryside, this study researches some of the aspects of this division—basic human values and the national identity of the inhabitants of Prague. These very basic level sources of the antagonism are researched via a combination of ISSP (National identity III module) and ESS (Round 8) surveys and two focus groups with Prague inhabitants. The results show that there are no real, or wrongly interpreted, differences between Praguers and people in the countryside with respect to both basic human values and Czech national identity. Regarding the basic human values of the two groups, only the conservation value dimension is stronger outside Prague. However, this value dimension is inherently ambiguous because its value of security is stronger within Prague, which is in contrast to values of conformity and tradition that are stronger outside Prague. In addition to this, conservation is still the stronger dimension within Prague compared with the openness to change value dimension. Praguers are rather compelled to be open and they are capable of adapting, even if their values are more conservative. The same values prevail among people within and outside Prague, which has been confirmed in the focus groups. There are also more similarities between the two groups in their national identities, e.g., when they are less nationalistic than patriotic. Both groups are of similar strength for patriotism and nationalism. The sources of national pride among the two groups are very similar and Praguers are those who can be labeled as being prouder in a few of the aspects of the Czech nation. The division between Praguers and non-Praguers seems to be rather artificial and based on inaccurate perceptions and/or interpretations.