The smallest of six major social groups identified by a Czech Radio survey is the so-called class of local ties. These are people on low incomes but boasting other kinds of wealth, including property and strong connections in the localities where they live. Psychiatrist Jana Anna Uhrová is among their ranks.
Jana Anna Uhrová works at a psychiatric clinic in Kroměříž in Moravia. She says she always dreamt of being a doctor dressed in white. However, wearing ordinary clothes makes interactions with patients easier in her branch – though she has no illusions about curing everybody she treats.
“Does one help? It’s kind of speculative. You help a third, you half help another third and the final third you don’t help at all. So in psychiatry you have to reconcile yourself to the fact that you just won’t help everybody. You have to be satisfied with a little.”
She is a member of what a recent major Czech Radio survey identified as the “class of local ties” – one of three groups seen as lower middle class.
People from the class of local ties account for 11.8 percent of the population.
They have above average wealth in terms of property, almost always owning their own homes. They also enjoy social capital in the form of a strong network of contacts.
On the downside, this class are not good with the latest technologies and have relatively low incomes and cultural capital.
Ms. Uhrová says, for instance, that she has no interest in the news.
“It doesn’t really say anything to me. I feel like I can’t really influence anything so… As for the internet, I use it to buy train tickets, or tickets for concerts, for my kids. I also do e-shopping. I don’t use Facebook or anything like that. To me it seems unnatural and also not safe. I’m not happy my sons have Facebook, but I don’t try to stop them. They also play online games; if they didn’t have them, they’d be outcasts. Four kids play together – each in their own homes.”
The psychiatrist and her family don’t usually take foreign holidays.
“We travel around the Czech Republic. We always book a cottage with another family and go on day-trips. Recently we were in the Kokořín area and last year we were in Prachovské skály.”
Ms. Uhrová lives in a house inherited from a grandparent. Her husband, who has a manual job, helped to renovate the building.
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