ABSTRACT

This chapter highlights the operation of legal and civic consciousness on both social and individual levels. It argues that the relationship between culture and individual consciousness can be understood by exploring the psychological patterns and mechanisms of individual and social interactions. It develops the theory of “social representations” (László 1999) used in the 2010 survey, an approach that concentrates on the process by which previously unknown concepts become elements of daily cultural life after moving through various channels of social communication in a given community. It also offers an extensive literature review and a brief history of the study of legal consciousness in Hungary - both prior to and after the regime change of 1990 - and situates itself in the context of the international research in the field.