On the basis of an analysis of reports - chiefly sociological papers, the authoress is looking for differences and similarities in the characteristic features of the rural community in Poland and in Western Europe. Her search covers three thematic groups: 1. constitutive elements of the rural community (family, family farms); 2. systemic environment (socio-economic system); 3) visions of the rural community's revitalization. The discourse, conducted from the historical perspective, bases on the findings of Wladysław Grabski. The authoress also uses economic and sociological literature which refers indirectly and directly to the achievements of the father of the sociology of the rural community in Poland. She links the model descriptions of the characteristic features of the rural community in Poland and in Western Europe to the dominating trends in sociology and economics, which in this or other way were and are decisive for the shape of discussions concerning rural community. The authoress draws attention to the differences in the interpretation of processes occurring in the rural community in the eastern and western parts of Europe - both in the past and at present when these processes find reflection in the changing role of the rural community in Europe and in the solutions contained in the documents adopted by the European Union.