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