POLISH SOCIOLOGY AND THE POLISH SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION ANNO DOMINI 2007
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This paper is a somewhat enlarged version of the Presidential Address given during the 13th Polish Congress of Sociology by the President of the Polish Sociological Association (Zielona Góra 13 - 15 of September 2007). The paper succinctly focuses on selected, yet central to Polish sociologists' and the Polish Sociological Association's, problems. Thus, the recent dynamic institutional development of Polish sociology brought about the spread of new tendencies. For example, the observed decline of the educational minimum students have to acquire before graduating as well as the change of profile of sociology alumni can both be attributed to the above-mentioned development. Ethical problems are likewise plaguing sociologists. These can be discerned in the instances of plagiarism and diploma papers made to order. Furthermore, the analysis of the fields of research interests of Polish sociologist indicates that some fundamental social issues are under-studied. At the same time it is often the case that sociologists' personal and political attitudes exert influence on their choice of research topics, the modes of analysis employed and even the conclusions arrived at. Polish sociology is, therefore, less and less visible on the international arena. The above-mentioned critical comments notwithstanding, the paper commends on the post-1989 achievements of Polish sociology. Also, it provides arguments against the attacks unconscientiously launched by some journalists. The paper contends that sociologists were often successful in identifying and diagnosing the most pressing problems of the transformation period in Poland. The paper is also arguing against the alleged need to settle up with Polish sociologist involved with the previous political system. The apolitical nature of the Polish Sociological Association is asserted in the text, too. Next the increasing involvement of Polish sociology in the broadcasted analysis of current political and social issues is presented. Then the paper critically assesses the depreciating image of sociology resulting from sociologists-commentators' presence in the media as well as the spread of the 'public opinion researcheology' phenomenon. Both these forms of sociology's participation in the media are guilty of simplifying and distorting the scientific nature of sociological analysis thus downgrading the prestige of sociology as well as decreasing the level of sociological insight of the society at large. As far as politics is concerned, understanding of social issues based on in-depth apolitical sociological research is neither taken into account by state institutions nor does it attract the interest of politicians. These developments have been caused by the fact that political strife rather than mission-inspired and visionary effort to work for the common good has come to dominate political life.
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