Polish Sociology in the Face of Social and Political Changes of the 20th Century


The author of this essay deals with the specif‌icity of sociology in Poland, reaching for the book of Antoni Sułek A Mirror on the High Road. Chapters from the History of Social Research in Poland (2019). Chapters of this book taken as a set constitute a review of the key issues that Polish sociologists strived to tackle in the 20th century. For approximately half of the book (6 chapters) Sułek focuses on issues of Polish sociology from the mid-1950s to the turn of the 1990s: the f‌irst is the change of theoretical and methodological paradigms in Polish sociology in the second half of the 20th century; the second is the successes of Polish sociology, but also its weaknesses — the author devoted much space to the theoretical limitations that prevented sociologists from predicting the formation of Solidarity in 1980. The third topic is the historical analysis of surveys conducted in the last decade of communism — their reliability as well as social and political functions. Finally, Sułek’s vision of socially-involved sociology appears. The strength of such sociology lies in its methodology, with which specific phenomena can be correctly def‌ined, impartially analysed, and systematically investigated. And this in turn enables evidence-based debate and policy.

Słowa kluczowe

historia socjologii w Polsce; metodologia badań społecznych; teoria socjologiczna; socjologia zaangażowana; relacje między polską i amerykańską socjologią; transformacja społeczna w Polsce

Bucholc, Marta. 2016. Sociology in Poland. To Be Continued? London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gostkowski, Zygmunt. 1959. “Popular interest in the municipal elections in Lodz, Poland.” Public Opinion Quarterly 23: 371–381.

Jahoda, Marie, Paul F. Lazarsfeld, Hans Zeisel. 1933. Die Arbeitlosen von Marienthal. Ein soziographischer Versuch über die Wirkungen langandauernder Arbeitslosigkeit. Leipzig: Hirzel; Polish edition: Bezrobotni Marienthalu [transl. Robert Marszałek; scientific edition and final commentary by Antoni Sulek]. Oficyna Naukowa, Warszawa 2007.

Nowak, Stefan. 1991. „Zamiast wstępu” & „Studenci Warszawy 1958–1978 — uwagi o problematyce i metodzie”. In: Stefan Nowak (ed.). Studenci Warszawy. Studium długofalowych przemian postaw i wartości. Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego.

Pamiętniki. 1933. Pamiętniki bezrobotnych. 1–57 [foreword by Ludwik Krzywicki], Warszawa: Instytut Gospodarstwa Społecznego.

Pawełczyńska, Anna. 1960. „Z pracy Ośrodka Badania Opinii Publicznej przy Polskim Radio i TV.” Kultura i Społeczeństwo 4: 188–201.

Sułek, Antoni. 2001. Sondaż polski. Przygarść rozpraw o badaniach ankietowych. Warszawa: IFiS PAN.

Sułek, Antoni. 2002. Ogród metodologii socjologicznej. Warszawa: Scholar.

Sułek, Antoni. 2011. Obrazy z życia socjologii w Polsce. Warszawa: Oficyna Naukowa.

Sułek, Antoni. 2019. A Mirror on the High Road. Chapters from the History of Social Research in Poland. Berlin: Peter Lang.

Opublikowane : 2019-12-27

Kwiatkowski, P. T., & Weber, J. (2019). Polish Sociology in the Face of Social and Political Changes of the 20th Century. Kultura I Społeczeństwo, 63(4), 193-201. https://doi.org/10.35757/KiS.2019.63.4.10

Piotr T. Kwiatkowski 
SWPS University, Warsaw  Polska
Jonathan Weber