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  • Adamski, Władysław
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  • Doktór, Tadeusz
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  • Hałas, Elżbieta
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  • Kempny, Marian
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  • Kolarska-Bobińska, Lena
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  • Krzemiński , Ireneusz
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  • Kubiak, Hieronim
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  • Kurczewski , Jacek
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  • Kwaśniewicz, Władysław
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  • Łukasiewicz, Piotr
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  • Melchior, Małgorzata
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  • Mendras, Henri
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  • Mokrzycki, Edmund
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  • Nowicka, Ewa
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  • Raciborski, Jacek
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  • Rykowski, Zbigniew W.
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  • Siemieńska, Renata
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  • Skotnicka-Illasiewicz, Elżbieta
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  • Sokołowska, Magdalena
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  • Staniszkis, Jadwiga
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  • Szawiel, Tadeusz
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  • Tarkowska, Elżbieta
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  • Turner, Jonathan H.
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  • Wasilewski, Jacek
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  • Wesołowski, Włodzimierz
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  • Woroniecka, Grażyna
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Sociology - Poland  1 (Note1: We would like to express our gratitude to Krzysztof Pietrowicz for his help in collecting the data for the CD-ROM.)

Janusz Mucha and Paweł Załęcki

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1. Analysis of the pre-1989 situation

[1]  Polish sociology was already a very well organized academic discipline at the end of the 1920s, thanks above all to Florian Znaniecki. Jan Stanisław Bystroń, Ludwik Krzywicki and Leon Petrażycki should also be mentioned in this context. Of these, only Krzywicki could be called a Marxist. Sociology has been functioning and developing its institutional structure established by Znaniecki until today, albeit with one interruption during World War II and another during the Stalinist period of 1948-1956. At the end of the 1980s, MA programs in sociology were offered by all but two (Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin and the Gdańsk University) of the universities existing at that time (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, the Warsaw University, Jagiellonian University in Cracow, the Catholic University of Lublin, the University of Łódź, Silesian University in Katowice, Nicholas Copernicus University in Toruń, Szczecin University, Wrocław University) as well as by the Academy for Social Sciences (Akademia Nauk Społecznych - ANS), a private school run by the ruling Communist Party (Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza - Polish United Workers’ Party).

[2]  During the socialist period, public opinion surveys were already being conducted. The Center for Public Opinion Research (Ośrodek Badania Opinii Publicznej - OBOP) was established in 1958 at the state-controlled Committee on Radio and Television in Warsaw. It was very active until the mid-1960s and later during the "First Solidarity" period of 1980-81. The Communist Party’s Institute for Basic Problems of Marxism-Leninism (Instytut Podstawowych Problemów Marksizmu-Leninizmu - IPPM-L) had its own survey center in Warsaw between 1974 and 1982. Also in Warsaw, the Public Opinion Research Center (Centrum Badania Opinii Społecznej - CBOS) was established in 1982 during the martial law period as a governmental agency. In Cracow, the Center for Media Research (Ośrodek Badań Prasoznawczych - OBP) was established in 1957 as a branch of the Party-owned media umbrella organization Workers Publishing Cooperative PRASA (Robotnicza Spółdzielnia Wydawnicza PRASA). The political authorities completely controlled the research topics, research procedures and dissemination of findings of all those centers. Many books were published based on empirical research of Polish society. However, no really important synthesis summarizing those findings was published in Poland before 1990.

[3]  Translations of classic sociological works were published during this whole period. The most important initiative was taken in 1968, when the Polish Scientific Publishers began the edition of the new series "Sociological Library" (Znaniecki founded the old series before the war). About 30 volumes have been published so far, from Durkheim to Merton. Important sociological books, including translations, came out in other presses like Czytelnik and Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczny (PIW) as well.

[4]  Sociologists maintained international contacts as wide as possible. The Ford Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies, among others, made these contacts possible. Thanks to them, dozens of scholars spent one year or more in the US after 1956. Cooperation with sociologists from other socialist countries was strictly regulated on the governmental level until the mid-1980s. Poles participated regularly, although in small numbers, in the ISA Congresses. A larger number of Polish sociologists took part in the Varna (Bulgaria) Congress in 1970. Some Poles were the International Sociological Association’s officers: Jan Szczepański was president (1966-1970), Stanisław Ossowski vice-president (1959-1962), and Magdalena Sokołowska vice-president (1978-1982).

[5]  The Polish Sociological Association (Polskie Towarzystwo Socjologiczne - PTS), established in 1957, was an island of independent and democratic organization of scholarly activity during the whole socialist period. But the Communist authorities always carefully controlled the programs of its congresses. The decision to held a congress or not was also in the hands of political authorities.

[6]  During the socialist period everything, including sociology, was subordinated to the political authorities. Many sociologists belonged to the Communist Party (but the proportion was smaller than in other social sciences). Real Party control over sociology decreased, however, after 1980.

[7]  The overrepresentation of Marxism was institutionally enforced. Many works on Marxism were published in an apologetic, rather than critical Marxist spirit. Theoretical research as well as large empirical research projects were politically and financially supported above all (though not solely) when they were carried out in the Marxist framework. Scholars who participated in international sociological debates were supported more willingly if they analyzed other theories in the Marxist spirit, and foreign books in the field of macro-sociology were published with Marxist introductions. Political and ideological control over sociology was particularly severe outside the main academic centers in Warsaw and Cracow, where it ceased to function at the beginning of the 1980s despite martial law. In practice, however, even before 1980, Polish sociology was multiparadigmatic when seen from the point of view of theory and methodology. Many scholars who did not want to be identified with Marxism had been developing the "humanistic sociology" (in the Florian Znaniecki and in the Stanisław Ossowski traditions) or general methodology of social sciences.

[8]  Censorship was very harmful for sociological research and publications. Its important consequence was the absence of some topics, like the political organization of society. Due to censorship, publication of translations of Western macro-sociological books was limited to those which did not "jeopardize" socialism in Poland nor question the positive international role of the Soviet Union. However, since 1976, Poland saw what was called "second circulation" of underground publications, which were easily available in academic circles. After the declaration of martial law in December 1981, sociological books and articles appeared in this circulation, one way to evade censorship.

2. Redefinition of the discipline since 1990

[9]  Many aspects of the transformations that began in 1989 have been widely discussed in the literature. Within a few years, a new, free society emerged. This new society became a precondition and a subject for research for a free sociology.

[10]  The historical and political criteria used by today’s mainstream sociological community in accepting or not accepting sociologists who were active participants of the Polish public life of the pre-1989 period are not very clear. Many sociologists who were active in the Communist Party until its dissolution in 1990 and who were better or worse academic teachers of a more or less apologetic Marxism continue to be very active in the discipline’s public life. Almost none of them continues his/her former Marxist interests. In their research programs and university lectures, many of them stress the virtues of economic liberalism and of the "social teaching" of the Roman Catholic Church. Only exceptionally do they belong to the post-Communist party - Alliance of Democratic Left (Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej). Nowadays some have strong political connections with post-Solidarity, right-wing political parties. Some senior professors of sociology, once strongly tied to the Communist Party apparatus, today carry out very interesting and fruitful analyzes of the processes of political democratization in Poland. They deal well with democracy and in democracy. They are democratically elected to central sociological institutions. They put forward successful initiatives, important for the sociological community. Basically, there is no strong resistance to this phenomenon among scholars who were connected with the democratic opposition before 1989. The only case of the active institutional de-Communization of sociology was the liquidation of the Institute for Basic Problems of Marxism-Leninism and of the Academy for Social Sciences - institutions belonging to the Communist Party which employed many sociologists (but many more economists and political scientists).

[11]  This lack of any deep "de-Communization" of sociology, however, worried some scholars who considered it an aspect of a more general failure to settle up with the socialist past. In 1989, the influential right-wing daily Życie (The Life) published a discussion of this problem lasting one week. It seems that the full "de-Communization" will come only with inevitable generational transition. However, some scholars still express opinions that the lack of de-Communization of sociology endangers democracy in Poland. There is no censorship in Poland - regarding either research projects or publications.

[12]  A new way of research financing was introduced. The main source of funds is the State Committee for Scientific Research (Komitet Badań Naukowych - KBN). Another thing is that state funds are extremely limited and there are no Polish private funds for research yet; salaries of scholars are very low; universities have a very small amount of money for foreign books, etc. The functioning of the KBN is based on anonymous competitions for research (candidates do not know the names of their reviewers), publication and conference grants. The competition procedures are overt in the sense that the applicants receive post factum all reviews and, if not funded, can improve their project before the next deadline. All of this is a new phenomenon in Poland, but has been accepted by the academic community. Foreign foundations, like the Research Support Scheme of the Central European University (funded by the Soros Foundation) or the Friedrich Ebert Foundation provide research and publication grants in the field of sociology as well. It seems to us that, so far, the interests of foreign foundations are similar to the intellectual interests of Polish sociologists.

[13]  Polish scholars participate much more often than before in international research programs. The internal life of academia has been democratized. Officers of the universities, including their institutes, as well as of the research institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Polska Akademia Nauk - PAN) are democratically elected now. Since the mid-1990s, competitions have been organized for the positions of editors-in-chief of Studia Socjologiczne (Sociological Studies) (published by both the Committee on Sociology (Komitet Socjologii) and the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (Instytut Filozofii i Socjologii - IFiS) of the PAN) and of The Polish Sociological Review (published by the Polish Sociological Association). Editors of other sociological periodicals are still being appointed without a competition.

[14]  After 1989, the number of sociological books on the market grew rapidly. Many new publishing houses specializing in social sciences emerged, for instance Nomos in Cracow, which concentrates on translations and original books in the field of religion; Zysk in Poznań, which concentrates on translations of foreign textbooks; the Oficyna Naukowa in Warsaw, which publishes the "Encyclopedia of Sociology", among other books, and the Scholar in Warsaw, which concentrates on the field of politics. The dominant position on the market is held by IFiS Publishers, which belongs to the largest sociological institution in Poland, the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the PAN. In general, there are so many publishing houses in Poland that it is difficult to keep track of new books. This makes the Bibliographical Information Bulletin of the Polish Sociological Association, which comes out four times a year, very helpful. Sociologists publish their articles in the front-line periodicals mentioned above, but also, for instance, in Przegląd Polonijny (Polonia Review) and Przegląd Zachodni (Western Review), which are interested in the field of ethnicity, in Nomos, which is interested in religion studies, in some monthlies of general interest like Odra (The Odra), and in highly respected Roman Catholic monthlies like Znak (Sign) and Więź (The Bond).

[15]  Important new publishing initiatives appeared after 1989. The most significant is the "Encyclopedia of Sociology". The first works, commissioned by the Committee on Sociology, were undertaken by a team led by Władysław Kwaśniewicz in 1991; the first of four volumes came out in 1998, the third in 2000. The Committee on Sociology also initiated other research and publishing enterprises that addressed European integration and the morality of Polish society. We will return to them in due course.

[16]  The Polish Scientific Publishers (Wydawnictwo Naukowe - PWN) continues to publish the "Sociological Library" series but many sociological books that are very significant at the turn of the century are still unavailable in Polish.

[17]  One can observe both continuity and change in the Polish sociological establishment. The Executive Council of the Polish Sociological Association did not become relatively younger until the mid-1990s. Its members are in their forties and fifties. More than half of the membership of the Committee on Sociology of the Academy are persons of more than 55 years of age. An "Interlocking directorates" phenomenon is visible if one takes into account the above mentioned Executive Council, the Committee, and the editorial boards of the leading periodicals. During the plenary sessions of the Congress of Polish Sociology in Rzeszów in September 2000, non of the organizers or speakers were below 50 years of age, and most of them were older than 55.

[18]  At the end of the 1990s, altogether, about 11 thousand people majored in sociology on the BA and MA levels in both public and private schools.  2 (Note2: The particular project of which this report is a part does not cover teaching so we will not comment on the quality of education in the field of sociology in public and in private schools.) No single public or market opinion research center was in the state’s hands. The old centers were privatized (in various ways) and many new, private centers emerged. Most of them were established by the scholars who had worked at the universities or at the academy of sciences.

3. Core theoretical and methodological orientations

[19]  When analyzing Polish sociological production of the last decade, particularly in comparison with former decades, one can have the impression of a retreat from "theory as such" and from the general methodology of the social sciences. However, it is necessary to mention books on the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu (e.g., Jacyno, 1997); on interpretative sociology (e.g., Piotrowski, 1998); on the concept of the definition of situation (see Manterys, 2000); on microstructural sociology, which stresses new trends in exchange theory (e.g., Sozański, Szmatka and Kempny, 1993); on new trends in the sociology of knowledge (Zybertowicz, 1995); and on the role of theorizing in sociology (Misztal, 2000). Moreover, many empirical studies have been inspired by theory. We mean here particularly: a) the "grounded theory" and, more generally, interpretative sociology in its applications as a background for qualitative social research (e.g. Wyka, 1993; Konecki, 2000) and many studies based on the biographical method (e.g. Czyżewski, Piotrowski and Rokuszewska-Pawełek, 1996 and a special issue of Kultura i Społeczeństwo (Culture and Society) 4/1995 entitled "Biography and national identity"); b) neo-institutionalism and its applications to the analysis of the systemic transformation (which we will return to in due course); c) rational choice theory (see the special issues of Studia Socjologiczne 3/1998 and 1-2/2000); d) theories of social change as a background for the analysis of systemic transformation (e.g. Rychard, 1993, Wnuk-Lipiński, 1996); e) postmodernism in the analysis of culture change (e.g. Kempny, Kapciak and Łodziński, 1997 and numerous influential translations of books authored by Zygmunt Bauman). These theoretical currents often overlapped when applied to the analysis of empirical material.

[20]  Retreat from Marxism is very visible. Since the early 1980s, Marxism has ceased to be an important theoretical issue for sociologists educated in major academic centers. No single ideology which could become a framework for sociological interpretations of the world has replaced it, but it seems that many sociologists are adherents of theoretical liberalism. The Marxist themes, like economic aspects of political and cultural phenomena, class structure and new class-building processes, group interests and their contradictions, class conflicts, are present in sociological discourse.

[21]  Many Polish sociologists are interested in the methodology of empirical research, both qualitative (including the analysis of biography and narrative interviews) and quantitative (particularly of surveys). Scholars are increasingly interested in the ethical aspects of research methods. The Research Committee on Methodology at the Polish Sociological Association and the Section of Methodology of Sociological Research of the Institute of Sociology at Warsaw University have systematically organized national methodological conferences. Books on various methods were published and discussed (e.g. Sułek, 1990; Lutyńska, 1993; Domański, Lutyńska and Rostocki, 1999; Konecki, 2000). Special issues of Kultura i Społeczeństwo were published on "Methods of sociological research and contemporary times" (1/1990), "Methods of sociological research in the times of transformation" (3/1993) and "The emergence of public opinion research in Poland" (4/1999). A textbook for SPSS package has been published (Górniak and Wachnicki, 2000). Focus group interviews came to Poland quite late, but soon became very popular. The ASK, a periodical devoted to methodology of social sciences, has been published since 1995.

4. Thematic orientation and funding

[22]  In this article, we present only the research results on the new, post-1989 problems, presented in books or in special issues of major sociological periodicals.

[23]  Since 1989, sociologists have studied the socioeconomic transformation in Poland. Several components of this broad research area are important. The first is the analysis of changes in the economy in the domestic societal and international context, done with the application of neo-institutionalist theory (e.g. Rychard, 1993; Jakóbik, 1997; Morawski, 1998). The second is the analysis of privatization of state-owned enterprises as well as of the advantages and disadvantages of this process (Jarosz, 1993), and later the analysis of relations between new foreign owners and Polish workers (Jarosz, 1997). The attitudes and new social roles of individual workers, of trade union and employee self-government activists during this process were also studied (e.g. Gąciarz and Pańków, 1997). Privatization of the Polish economy means not only selling out already existing state-owned companies to private (Polish and foreign) investors, but also the emergence of new, mostly small, private firms (Reszke, 1998). The third sociological issue connected to economy was industrial relations in the new circumstances of a free market and democracy, both in still existing state-own enterprises as well as in companies sold to foreign investors, and in small private firms. The new role of trade unions in all kinds of enterprises was being studied (Kozek and Kupińska, 1998; Gieorgica, 1998). The fourth important research problem in this general area was the new style of consumption (Sikorska, 1998).

[24]  Systemic transformation has brought not only generally positive but also obviously negative social consequences, like "old" (originating in socialism but growing fast after 1989) and "new" poverty, joblessness, organized crime, and corruption. A cooperative network of three research centers dealing with poverty should be mentioned. The Institute of Sociology of Silesian University in Katowice studied, from the very beginning of the transformation, the psychological aspects of poverty as well as the poverty in "old industrial areas", particularly in the Silesia region, which is known for its old and inefficient mining and metallurgy industries. Scholars from Katowice also studied unemployed youth and its problems (e.g. Wódz, 1993). The Institute of Sociology of the University of Łódź concentrated on poverty in big cities. This approach was historical and comparative in several senses. The "old" poverty was distinguished from the "new" one; the Polish big city poverty was presented against the background of poverty in Western European big cities; and finally two Polish big cities, Katowice and Łódź, were compared. Relations between poverty and gender and between poverty and unemployment were also studied (e.g. Warzywoda-Kruszyńska and Grotowska-Leder, 1996). The third research center, the Section of Theory of the Culture of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the PAN, studied, above all, the historical aspects (transmission of poverty) and cultural aspects of poverty (the so-called "culture of poverty"), particularly in the rural settlements of the former state-owned farms, which were liquidated in the early 1990s. This research was conducted on the basis of biographical interviews and oral histories of families (findings were published in Tarkowska, 2000; see also the special issue of Kultura i Społeczeństwo 2/1998 on "Poverty and Suffering", where articles written by scholars coming from all three centers were published).

[25]  Joblessness is a serious problem characteristic of market economies and came to Poland in the early 1990s. It has been fluctuating, but throughout the decade has always exceeded 10%. At the end of the decade it reached 16% of the labor force. Sociologists analyzed this phenomenon from the very beginning of the transformations. Already in 1993, a tentative summary of first findings was published. This was a many-sided study that addressed the particular traits of Polish unemployment (but without directly comparing it with this phenomenon abroad), the everyday life of the unemployed, the central and regional bureaucracy’s attitudes toward jobless people, as well as a comparison of unemployment in rural areas, small towns, and big cities (Borowicz and Łapińska-Tyszka, 1993). In the early 1990s, another large project was carried out. It concentrated on seven towns and cities in eastern and southern Poland. In this study, joblessness was considered not only as an economic and structural, but also as a moral phenomenon. The author analyzed the everyday values of the unemployed, individual and collective effects of joblessness, attitudes of the unemployed toward work, and their expectations about a potential new job (Mariański 1994).

[26]  There are several interesting sociological works on new, post-1989 forms of delinquency, like organized crime, drug-related crime, and Internet-related crime. The problem of corruption should be stressed as well, since international agencies like Transparency International (Antoni Kamiński, a sociology professor, is very active in its Polish branch), say corruption is very widespread in Poland (e.g. Siemaszko, 2000; see also a special issue of Więź 9/1998).

[27]  Sociologists studied the dynamics of class structure in the 1990s. Most scholars abandoned the old stratification approach, which was dominant in the previous decades, but did not help to reveal the sources of social tensions and conflicts. Various research teams have been involved in this new kind of analysis of new social reality, but not all interesting findings have been published in book form.

[28]  With the privatization of the old economy and with the founding of more than one million small private firms, the social structure has changed significantly. The relative social position of the working class has deteriorated while a new category of the unemployed and a new business class has emerged. Some problems connected with these class-building processes were analyzed in the literature mentioned above. In this section, another issue will be put forward. From the beginning of the transformations, many scholars and politicians have agreed that a democratic market society needs a large and strong middle class. The question arose of whether Polish society has already met this "functional requirement" and what the character of this middle class is or should be. Two important books and one special issue of a periodical were published on this topic in the mid-1990s. The first book, by Henryk Domański (1994), put Poland in an international perspective. The author analyzed the role of the "old" and "new" middle class in stable Western democratic market societies. He also discussed the question which groups could be called middle classes in the Poland of the 1990s, why they could be called that, to what extent these groups had crystallized, and to what extent they were characterized by a specific ethos or class culture. The second book is a collection edited by Jacek Kurczewski and Iwona Jakubowska-Branicka (1994). It was devoted above all to the "old" (socialist period) and "new" (post-1989) private entrepreneurs. The problem the book addressed is whether a new ethos of this business class has emerged and what its everyday life patterns, career ideals, and attitudes toward law and morality are. Kultura i Społeczeństwo published a special issue 1/1994 devoted to the same problems and titled "Classes in contemporary Poland". The third major participant in the class debate in the mid-1990s, besides Domański and Kurczewski, was Edmund Mokrzycki (Bryant and Mokrzycki, 1995). Discussion did not wane in 1995, but diminished during the next few years. At the end of the decade, though, a special issue of The Polish Sociological Review (2/2000) came out that contained an international discussion of Domański’s article on the existence of classes in Poland. It seems to us that discussion on middle class was the only important public debate within sociology during the 1990s.

[29]  In the context of class analysis, a research project on social structure and personality under conditions of systemic change should be mentioned. The Polish part of this international program, inspired and led by Melvin L. Kohn of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, dealt with the relationships between position in the social structure and personality characteristics, intergenerational transmission of values and life orientations, the impact of psychological resources on status attainment, and support for and aversion to systemic change (see Słomczyński, Janicka, Mach and Zaborowski 1996; 1999).

[30]  Since 1989, teams of scholars of various political biographies belonging to different generations carried out intensive studies of the world of Polish politics and its various aspects. In the early 1990s, a study was carried out linking the legitimization problems of the previous and the new political leaderships. It concentrated on the relationships between those who hold political power and those who were subordinated to them at the very beginning holders of political power and their subordinates at the very beginning of the decade. The scholars were interested in the subjective aspects of these political power relations. The study is an important contribution to the analysis of the de-legitimization of the old pre-1989 authorities and the legitimization of the new ones (Ziółkowski, Pawłowska and Drozdowski, 1994).

[31]  Political parties were an important subject for sociologists. Parties are a completely new phenomenon in Poland, since, understood in the Western democratic sense, they did not existed before 1989. When the so-called "post-Solidarity" political parties were being constructed at the beginning of the decade, Mirosława Grabowska and Tadeusz Szawiel followed the process. They analyzed the congresses of parties important at that time, but significantly transformed later: the Center Alliance, the Democratic Union, and the Liberal-Democratic Congress (1998). Other teams studied political parties in local milieus. An interesting example of such findings is a collection edited by Hieronim Kubiak (1997) that presented eight political parties active in Cracow in 1996 and 1997. The party system did not change again until the end of the 1990s. The whole decade of the functioning of political parties in Poland was summarized by a team of scholars led by Hieronim Kubiak and Jerzy J. Wiatr (2000). They compared activities of parties, on the one hand, and of NGOs and social movements, on the other; presented transformations of the right-wing and left-wing parties during the decade; analyzed women’s participation in Polish party politics and the problem of party leadership’s attitudes towards Polish "reason of the state".

[32]  Poland’s first systematic sociological studies of the economic and political elites were conducted at the end of the previous decade. During the 1990s, they became very popular. Some research projects were international in character (Szelenyi, Treiman and Wnuk-Lipiński, 1995). This comparative research presented the economic, cultural and political elites’ role in the systemic transformations. The project sought to answer the question how the two models - of the circulation of elites and of the reproduction of elites - explained the situation in Poland, Russia and Hungary in the early 1990s. Most Polish studies on elites concentrated, however, on members of parliament. These projects were also initiated at the end of the former political era, when the last parliament of socialist Poland was introducing systemic transformations (Wasilewski and Wesołowski, 1992). In the late 1990s, Janina Frentzel-Zagórska and Jacek Wasilewski published a collection (2000) that presents the findings of another international comparative study. Poland was analyzed along with other Central and Eastern European countries, but theoretical aspects were also important. The authors asked how contemporary sociological elite theory could be applied to the analysis of the region and how the empirical data from this region could improve general theory.

[33]  Election research is the third area of political sociology in which Polish scholars were very active from the first days of the transformations. A team led by Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, Piotr Łukasiewicz and Zbigniew W. Rykowski (1990) analyzed the dramatic parliamentary elections of 1989, which ended the political era of socialism. The next important election, which occurred shortly after in 1990, made Lech Wałęsa the president of Poland. A team led by Mirosława Grabowska and Ireneusz Krzemiński (1991) studied this event. In this qualitative research, scholars analyzed the activities of the candidates’ electoral committees, their campaign methods, the candidates’ political preferences, and the "electoral geography". In the same year, Jacek Raciborski published a collection of comparative studies showing the emergence of representative democracy and political elections in Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries immediately after the break with socialism (1991). The next book by Raciborski is equally important. Published six years later (1997), it summarized the Polish political transformation, analyzed on the basis of view of consecutive election results. The author presented the Polish parliamentary elections of 1989,1991 and 1993; the presidential elections of 1990 and 1995; and the local elections of 1990 and 1994. We find in this book an analysis of the electoral campaigns, their results, their "political geography", the ideological orientations in Polish society, their consequences for the declared electoral behavior, the influence of the Roman Catholic Church on the political behavior of Poles, and electoral absenteeism and its determinants. Two years later, other scholars published an analysis of the important elections of 1997, obviously not yet known to Raciborski when he was writing the book mentioned above. Based on the Polish General Electoral Survey, they described Polish society’s differentiation into a political right and left, the economic and axiological determinants of electoral behavior, the relationship between religiosity and electoral behavior, and the psychological characteristics of the electorates of the major political parties (Markowski, 1999).

[34]  Another area of study is the public sphere outside pure politics. A large project was devoted to the functioning of the legal system in Poland during the whole decade of the decomposition of the socialist system and of the building of civil society (Kojder, Łojko, Staśkiewicz and Turska, 1989-1993). A second program concerned the social images of law in the consciousness of such significant groups as businesspeople, journalists, and members of parliament, but also of a representative sample of Polish society (Turska, Łojko, Cywiński and Kojder, 1999). Since the spring of 1989, a civil society has been developing in Poland. At that time, the main actors in the public arena were the regional Citizens’ Committees, a broad anti-Communist social grass-roots movement supporting the central Citizens’ Committee around the Chairman of the Solidarity Trade Union, Lech Wałęsa. Sociologists studied these committees, their origins, transformations, institutionalization, relations with local political elites, and political culture (Borkowski and Bukowski, 1993). Barbara Lewenstein, for instance, studied local participation in public life in the form of rural and urban councils. She interviewed members of local Citizens’ Committees in some villages and in Warsaw and later members of the formal councils that emerged after the local elections (see 1999). The ecological movement also became an important actor in the public sphere and was the subject of sociological investigations (see mainly Gliński, 1996). Many important articles on the emergence of civil society in Poland and its various aspects and problems came out in synthesizing collections, published since the mid-1990s (see Bryant and Mokrzyski, 1995; Domański and Rychard, 1997; Domański, Ostrowska and Rychard, 2000).

[35]  Gender research is a new phenomenon in Poland. There are two empirical research centers in Warsaw dealing with gender. The first, at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the PAN, studies social inequalities between men and women within the socio-economic realm, particularly in the job market (Domański, 1992). Other problems have also been addressed: differences between boys and girls in socialization patterns; double standards in the judicial system; sex and procreation seen from the vantage point of women; and the abortion issue as seen by women (Titkow and Domański, 1995). In the second center, at Warsaw University, Renata Siemieńska led the Interdisciplinary Team Studying Social Problems of Gender and Women. She was interested mostly in political aspects of gender research. In one of her important works, electoral behavior of Poles (elections of 1991, 1993, and 1995) was compared to this kind of behavior in stable democracies. The accent was put on gender as a factor differentiating the electorate (1997). In another study, a broader participation of women in Polish politics was presented (2000).

[36]  From the very beginning of the great transformations, Polish sociologists have studied the role of culture in social change. Two collections are particularly interesting. In the first, edited by Aldona Jawłowska, Marian Kempny and Elżbieta Tarkowska (1993), the authors expressed their lack of confidence in what they considered the generally accepted view that economics and politics had been the main instigators of systemic change. They wanted to put the Polish transformations into the perspective of cultural processes changing the whole Western world. Essays published in this volume were devoted to such issues as: unavoidable influence of cultural traditions of "real socialism" on the attitudes and behavior of Poles after the transformation; cultural chaos after the breakdown of the old system; and the erosion of the old Marxist ideology and attempts to construct new ideologies and a new sacrum. The authors suggested basing social research on recent sociological and anthropological theory of culture. The second collection came out ten years after the beginning of the systemic change (Sztompka, 1999). Interestingly, the diagnosis of the state of Polish sociology was similar to the diagnosis presented above: cultural aspects of changes that took place after 1989 were not stressed enough. Economic, political and legal changes, as well as changes in behavior and attitudes, were merely manifestations of deep civilizational undercurrents that are very difficult to measure: patterns, rules, norms, values, schemes, codes, forms of discourse, and intellectual habits. According to their editors, both books were only tentative diagnoses, since the emergence of the new, post-communist reality was still an ongoing process.

[37]  We have already mentioned public discourse in this text. Its analysis has been conducted since the end of the last decade. The new situation resulted in new ideological debates, new kinds of mental and political correctness, and new types of cultural exclusions. Three important collections were published in the 1990s in which those debates, as well as topics that were excluded from debate, were analyzed based on the theory of public discourse, interpretative sociology, and ritual theory (Czyżewski, Dunin and Piotrowski, 1991; Lewenstein and Pawlik, 1994; Czyżewski, Kowalski and Piotrowski, 1997).

[38]  Religiosity is an important subject in Poland. Since 1989, the institutional role of the Roman-Catholic Church is stronger, but on the other hand, many completely new religious phenomena have emerged. They have been connected with Polish society’s openness toward the West and the Far East, but also with an increasing sense of insecurity and fear. Many articles on those topics came out in periodicals like Nomos, Przegląd Religioznawczy (Review of Religious Studies), Znak, Więź, but only a small number of books have appeared up to now. The authors refer to various theoretical traditions. A kind of summary of the simultaneous processes of institutionalization and privatization of religion can be found in a collection From the Church of the People to the Church of the Choice. The title draws upon traditional concepts in the sociology of religion. In this volume, the authors present analyses of the institutional Roman-Catholic Church in Poland in the process of transformations; of the religiosity of Poles compared with religiosity in stable democracies; of the religiosity of Polish youth; of the social role of the clergy in the new social situation; of the faithful who do not go to church; and finally a presentation of one of the religious minorities, the Jehovah Witnesses (Borowik and Zdaniewicz, 1996). The problem of the institutionalization of and individualization of religion was also discussed in a book authored by Irena Borowik published one year later. Sociologists have also studied religious phenomena new in Poland, including the New Age movement and the "sects". An important summary of their findings is presented in a "dictionary" of new religious and para-religious movements prepared by Tadeusz Doktór (1999). A collection edited by Marian Kempny and Grażyna Woroniecka (1999) also summarizes the debates on religion as an important aspect of culture in the globalizing world, including Poland.

[39]  Since the end of the 1980s, Polish scholars have systematically studied the country’s ethnic composition. The democratization of the 1990s meant a great revival of the already stable and institutionalized ethnic minorities, which altogether constituted about 5% of the total population of Poland. Despite their demographic marginality, they became a very interesting topic for scholars. The largest minority is the Belarussian group, which traditionally lives in the northeastern corner of Poland, close to the border with the Republic of Belarus and with Lithuania. Empirical research was initially devoted to the social and cultural situation of Polish Belarussians, but was then expanded to the analysis of the whole cultural area on both sides of the Polish-Belarussian border (Sadowski, 1995). The second such group is the Ukrainians. Until the end of World War II, they lived in the southeastern corner of Poland (in its post-war shape) at the border with the Republic of the Ukraine, but since the forced resettlement of 1947, they have been dispersed throughout northern and western Poland. Empirical research on Polish Ukrainians was conducted by several academic centers. One trend will be mentioned here: Grzegorz Babiński, in his last works, described not only the Ukrainians as a Polish ethnic minority, but also Polish-Ukrainian social and cultural relations on both sides of the border (e.g. 1997).

[40]  There is one large but "new" ethnic minority in Poland, the Germans. It is new in the sense that, until 1989, the Communist authorities had denied the very fact of its existence, so there was no possibility to do any research. This minority lives above all in the southwestern part of Poland. Several academic centers are located in this area, and all of them systematically studied this group under the new political conditions (e.g. Kurcz, 1995). Polish border areas were analyzed in a systematic way at regular conferences held in Zielona Góra in western Poland (e.g. Gołdyka, 1999).

[41]  The Jewish minority constituted about 9% of the population of pre-war Poland. Due to the Holocaust and subsequent waves of partly voluntary and partly forced emigration after the war, only several thousand Jews live in Poland now. Poles’ attitudes toward this group are also a new research topic (e.g. Krzemiński, 1996).

[42]  At the end of the 1990s, a number of books discussing all the ethnic minorities that live in Poland became available (see, e.g. Szczepański, 1997; Chałupczak and Browarek, 1998). Also, several special issues of Kultura i Społeczeństwo were devoted to this subject. Individual research projects, collections devoted to individual minorities, and collections overviewing the whole ethnic field have been theoretically conceptualized in various ways. We have already mentioned the border regions studies, which transcend problems of individual minorities. In the 1990s, however, most of the studies were conceptualized in terms of the strengthening of ethnic identity under new social and political conditions and in terms of relations between "us" and "strangers". These projects were a continuation of the programs initiated at the end of the last decade and were inspired both by Małgorzata Melchior and by Ewa Nowicka. During the 1990s, another approach emerged, a research program on cultural relations as seen from the vantage point of minority groups. Problems of cultural domination and of Polish culture as a foreign culture were addressed. Several volumes by the same research team were published (see, e.g. Mucha, 1999).

[43]  In the late 1980s, the first Polish research projects on foreigners were initiated. At that time, almost all foreigners were students from the so-called Third World. After 1989, Poland became, in a sense, an immigration country. In the early 1990s, some fears were expressed that hundreds of thousands of refugees from the former Soviet Union would stop in Poland on their way to the rich countries of Western Europe. This has not happened up to now, but asylum seekers and refugees actually do come to Poland, and immigration has become a subject of sociological and psychological analyses (e.g. Grzymała-Moszczyńska and Nowicka, 1998). Sociological and demographic aspects of immigration are also investigated by the Migration Research Center at the Institute of Social Studies of Warsaw University, led by Marek Okólski.

[44]  In the second half of the 1990s, some syntheses of the research findings were published. Scholars from the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the PAN</sp