While the end of socialism brought dramatic short-term changes, which have been extensively studied, this conference will focus on the less dramatic, but more long-term “second-generation change” occurring today. After the rapid, ad hoc adjustments of str uctures and mentalities in the 90's, new structures are now being enforced (most clearly in the new EU countries) and a younger generation with no background in the socialist order claims its place. Thus, as the consequences of the break with the past bec ome more entrenched, their expression becomes subtler, as slow transformations of mentalities and a gradual emergence of new social practices incorporate the past in a multitude of ways. To grasp these changes, the conference will focus on the tension bet ween freedom and uncertainty in the postsocialist world. Freedom is a legitimizing buzzword of the postsocialist transition and a term with various local meanings across the region. It is a term full of contradictions, used for various purposes by various actors. Uncertainty, in contrast, figures in transition ideologies only as a remnant of a past, which the transition will obviate. Yet, for individuals, groups and nations, uncertainty remains a pervasive everyday reality, and it is on this everyday expe rience that the conference will focus. Thus, freedom and uncertainty are opposed in ideology, but coexist in the lives of people, who desire “freedom” (empowerment, security, wealth) in the midst of pervasive (economic, political, demographic) “uncertaint y”. Together these terms delineate a novel analytical prism through which the subtle effects of second-generation change in East / Central Europe may be observed.