Poland after 20 Years of Freedom

Conference – Poland after 20 Years of Freedom
Date: 22 – 23 May 2009 (Friday – Saturday)
Conference Site: Main Auditorium in Old University Library (Fri. 22 May, 8.30 – 18:20)
Senate Hall and Golden Hall (Sat. 23 May, 9.15 – 18.30)
Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28 Street

Conference program

22 May 2009 Friday: Main Auditorium in Old University Library
8:30 – 9:15 – Registration
9:15 – Conference Opening: dr.hab. Sławomir Łodziński, Director of Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw
9:20 – Welcome Address: honorary patron of the conference, His Magnificence Deputy Rector of University of Warsaw prof. Włodzimierz Lengauer
9:25 – Welcome Address: honorary patron of the conference, Deputy Senate Speaker prof. Marek Ziółkowski

Session I: 9:30 – 13:45
Institutions: What Have We Built?
Moderator: prof. Mirosława Marody
9:30 – prof. Adam Przeworski (New York University) – keynote speaker
Self-government of the People in Our Times
10:15 – dr hab. Mirosława Grabowska: Political Parties: Engines or Brakes of the Democratic System in Poland?
10:35 – prof. Wiesława Kozek: Social Reconstruction of the Labour Market
10:55 – 11:40 Discussion
11:40 – 12:00 – Break
12:00 – dr Cezary Trutkowski: Transformation of Local Communities: the Social Dimension of Decentralisation
12:20 – dr hab. Anna Giza-Poleszczuk: The Third Sector, Public Institutions and Home-Made Civil Society
12:40 – prof. Jacek Raciborski: Democratic Citizenship: Problem of Institutionalisation
13:00 – 13:45 – Discussion

13:45 – 15:15 Lunch (Old Library Hall)

Session II: Friday15:15-18:20
Society: How Have We Changed?
Moderator: prof. Antoni Sułek
15:15 – prof. Kazimierz Frieske: In the Shade: Social Marginality
15:35 – dr Maciej Gdula: Polish Class System and Its Transformations
15:55 – 16:40 Discussion
16:40 – 17:00 Break
17:00 – prof. Izabella Bukraba-Rylska: Polish Countryside and Peasantry
17: 20 – dr hab. Małgorzata Jacyno: The Spirit of Polish Capitalism
17:40 – 18:20 Discussion

Evening: 18:30 – cocktail (Old Library Hall)

Saturday: Senate Hall, Kazimierzowski Palace
Session III: 9:15 – 11:45
Processes: What Have We Experienced?
Moderator: dr Andrzej Waśkiewicz
9:15 – prof. Patrick Michel (Senior Research Fellow CNRS): Religion and Relationship to Pluralism in Poland since the End of Communism
9:45 – dr Sławomir Mandes: Catholic Church and the Process of Modernisation
10:05 – 10:20 – Break
10:20 – prof. Paweł Śpiewak: The Past Which Refuses To Be Forgotten
10:40 – dr Joanna Wawrzyniak: History and Memory: Social Frames of Modern History
11:00 – 11:45 – Discussion

11:45 – 12:30 – Lunch

Session IV: 12:30 – 16:00
Identities: Who Are We?
Moderator: prof. Krzysztof Koseła
12:30 – prof. Chris Hann (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle): Does Ethnic Cleansing Work? The case of twentieth century Poland
13:00 – dr Michał Łuczewski: How You Become, Who You Have Always Been. Post-Communist National Identity
13:20 – prof. Ireneusz Krzemiński: Polish National Identity, Anti-Semitism and Attitude to Others
13:40 – prof. Ewa Nowicka: Strangers Among Us
14:00 – 14:20 – Break
14:20 – dr Lech Nijakowski: Symbolic Revendication After Round Table Agreements. The Process of Discoursive Reproduction of National and Ethnic Minorities 1989-2009
14:40 – prof. Renata Siemieńska: Gender Transformation in Poland: Sources and Consequences (Cross-cultural Perspective)
15:00 – prof. Aleksandra Jasińska-Kania: The Dynamics of Value Change in Poland in European Context: Results of European Values Study 1990 – 1999 – 2008
15:20 – 16:00 – Discussion

Session V: 16:15 – 18:30
Session of Doctoral Students of Institute of Sociology
A. Senate Hall, Kazimierzowski Palace

Moderator: dr Marta Bucholc
16:15 – Marianna Zieleńska: What Constitutes „Good Administration”? – Models of Public Administration in Polish Public Discourse Between 1990 and 2004
16:30 – Katarzyna Andrejuk: Polish Regulations Concerning Refugees and People Seeking Asylum – Practical Dimension of Application of the Law
16:45 – Piotr Chmielarz: Doctrine, Institution, an Individual; Transformation of Polish Armed Forces After 1989
17:00 – Łukasz Raciborski: Changes in Health Care and the Social-Economic System in Poland
17.15 – 17.30 Break
17:30 – Jan Dzierzgowski: Civic Competence in Contemporary Poland as Prerequisite for Democratic Participation
17:45 – Victoria Dunaeva: The Role of Cultural Institutions in the Creation of Civil Society During the Process of Transformation (Comparative Analysis of the Cultural Institutions in Poland and Russia)
18:00 – Grzegorz Brzozowski: New Religious Experience – Outside Institutions – Toward the Making of the Citizen?
18:15 – Ewelina Kuźmicz: The Working Poor in Poland: is a New Social Stratum Emerging?

B. Golden Hall, Kazimierzowski Palace
Moderator:
dr Sławomir Mandes
16:15 – Karolina Wigura: Declarations of Forgiveness and Repentance in Politics as a New Public Institution in Poland after 1989
16:30 – Joanna Erbel: The Struggle for City Space – the Struggle Against Social Exclusion
16:45 – Agata Urbanik: The New and the Old Elderness. Changes in the Identities of Elderly Women as an Illustration of Cultural Transformation After 1989
17:00 – Agata Dembek: The Picture of the Professional Individual Based on the Analysis of Personality Development Training Market
17.15 – 17.30 Break
17:30 – Magdalena Smak-Wójcicka: The Role of Catholic Schools in the Formation of Catholic Identity in Poland
17:45 – Katarzyna Perdzyńska: Lesbian and Gay Identity and the Polish Transformation
18:00 – Sylwia Urbańska: Parenting, the Home Territory, and Social Change: Construction of Maternal Absence in Biographical Narrations of Migrants
18:15 – Marcin Darmas: System Transformation in Movies – a Sociological Analysis of the Heroes of the New Reality

Abstracts

Session I: 8:30 – 13:45
Mirosława Grabowska: Political Parties: Engines or Brakes of the Democratic System in Poland?

Political parties are historical creations, shaped in multiple ways by socio-political context. Political parties in Poland after 1989 were created at a particular point in the history of the development of these organisations, and in a given condition of the society. They do not have the same history and tradition as parties in Western Europe. They are latecomers in the family of political parties in democratic systems, which gives rise to specific consequences for their condition.
Political parties are conditioned by the law. In Poland after 1989, they were created in systemic and legal instability.
Finally, political parties are also conditioned by their social image. In Poland after 1989, and in contemporary democracies in general, their image is not good. The analysis concerns these three groups of factors, and the ways in which they determined the shape and functioning of political parties in Poland.

Wiesława Kozek: Social Reconstruction of the Labour Market

Social reconstruction of the labour market is considered in categories of bottom-up institutionalisation. The emergence of the labour market is interpreted in categories of reconstructed institution. This is based on the historical background of institutionalisation: the a priori acceptance of the market and unemployment in the 1980s. The analysis concerns three pillars of institutionalisation: the cognitive, i.e. the growing understanding of market mechanisms; the normative, i.e. the growing legitimisation of the mechanisms of the market and unemployment; the regulatory, i.e. the emergence of distinct roles related to the labour market, their monitoring and sanctioning. Labour market is discussed as ideology against the background of actual market values.

Cezary Trutkowski: Transformation of Local Communities: the Social Dimension of Decentralisation

In countries of the former Eastern block, the pace of de-centralisation depended on the political will and decisions made by the central government. The paradox of the situation consisted in the fact that central authorities had to self-limit themselves and decrease their influence on particular areas of life in order to reform the system and make it compatible with European standards. The necessity for such actions has not been fully accepted in all countries. In Poland, unlike in many other countries, the implementation of this reform entailed a change in the conception of the state and state power, in addition to the administrative dimension. According to the principle of subsidiarity, as a result of the reform, the state was to retain only those competences which the local self-government could not manage by itself. The development of self-government was supposed to empower local communities to decide by themselves about their own matters. A very important issue in the process of transformation was the co-responsibility of citizens for the development of local community and transformation of local environment.
In my presentation, I want to analyse the interrelation between the institutional transformations on the local level and the social development of local communities. I will use available data to present differences between Poland and other countries of the Eastern block.

Anna Giza-Poleszczuk: Third Sector, Public Institutions and the Home-Made Civil Society

In considerations of the civil society, pessimistic tone dominates. The third sector, in spite of the multitude of associations, foundations and other forms of group activity, is considered to be financially precarious and unstable. The state of the civil society is also evaluated negatively, which is substantiated by the low level of generalised trust measured in surveys. These opinions come from the dominating normative framework of thinking and they do not lead to recognising the real barriers to the development of civil society or the genuine potential of human action. The results of a research of three territorial communities, conducted by the Institute of Sociology and commissioned by Klon/Jawor association, make it possible to identify the main barriers to development of strong, autonomous communities. Firstly, legal and actual conditions of the activity of NGOs are a barrier. These activities must fit into pre-defined “tasks” specified by local government, or into the logic of operation of European funds.
Secondly, there are not channels of expression and articulation of spontaneous social initiatives of different groups and communities. These initiatives are not even noticed by institutions, including those in the third sector. Consequently, actions oriented towards the common good remain “home-made”, without institutionalisation or the scale effect.
Thirdly, community is not seen as a subject. Understanding “society” as an aggregate of individuals makes it hard to notice local communities and their needs, for instance, the need for safe and functional public space. The adjective “social” accompanies the noun “problem”, and consequently communities are seen through the lens of “problems”, rather not in categories of resources of human action, or in categories of needs. The problem is not that people in Poland are passive, and that the third sector is weak. It lies in the culture of needs assessment, and in the culture of communication in the triangle: community – public institutions – organisations of the third sector.

Jacek Raciborski: Democratic Citizenship: Problem of Institutionalisation

The foundation of democracy requires the start of two processes: designing the institutions of the democratic state and their formal implementation, and citizens acting in a manner consistent with and required by this order. From the sociological perspective, institutions become their real selves when they regulate human actions. There is no mature democracy, as Witold Morawski (1998) insightfully wrote, without the transformation of the individual into the citizen.
The citizen is a member of the political community (presently, the state). Citizenship is a legal status, and at the same time a social role, one of the roles of an acting subject. Similarly, civic identity occurs among other identities.
The citizen acts on the state directly or indirectly, through the institutions of the civil society. We suggest differentiating: type A – political civil society constituted by citizens communicating and associating in order to obtain beneficial allocation of some goods from the state; type B – autonomous civil society as a sphere of private interests, where individuals voluntarily associate and co-operate in order to effectively, independently satisfy their various needs.
The salient difference between type A and B is the difference in the role of law and the scope of exercise of civil rights. In civil society of type B, the associating individuals act as “defective” citizens because their sphere of freedom was determined by the state and legal regulations “from the outside”. In case of civil society of type A, the associated citizen enjoys and exercises his/her rights in full, in particular the political right to influence the state and articulate demands. He or she associates in order to increase the strength of pressure on the state. In competition with other organised citizens, he or she takes part in creating law. In the society of type A, legal norms are treated as negotiable, and stable only temporarily.

Session II: 15:15 – 18:50
Kazimierz Frieske: In the Shade: Social Marginality

The key thesis of the paper is the contestation of the way of thinking about social exclusion dominant in current discussions and rules of aggregation of empirical data, which links this phenomenon to income situation, both wealth and poverty. While recognising that the income situation of individuals and social groups delineates the possibility to pass the entry barrier to key social institutions and modifies the mechanisms of social control, to which both the rich and the poor are sensitive, we would like to show that social marginalisation is not only the problem of inclusivity of contemporary societies, but also, perhaps most importantly, the problem of the emergence of individual and group identities, which defectively fit into the institutional order of these societies. We try to argue that the status of the stranger is not necessarily a defect or indeterimination of social statuses, but is also due to atypical mentalities or group cosmologies which emerge as results of atrophy of various mechanisms of social control and socially shared beliefs, which determine the rules of participation in the allocation of socially valued resources.

Maciej Gdula: Polish Class System and Its Transformations

The post-1989 transformation in Poland inevitably affected the social structure. Property transformation, and the reconstruction of the spheres of work and consumption influenced the relations between social classes. These processes will be considered through the lens of changes in the distribution of social income, the dynamics of composition of the class system, the mechanisms of reproduction, and patterns of consumption. The situation in Poland will be compared with the changes in other countries, so as to be seen in the context of broader transformations of capitalist societies.

Izabella Bukraba-Rylska: Polish Countryside and Peasantry

The attempt to summarise the findings about the rural areas during the transformation period has to include a reflection about the view on the countryside which dominates in Polish sociology. The transformation was not accompanied by a change in thinking about it. The modernisation paradigm, according to which the countryside is a backward sector forced to adjust to current trends, still dominates. The theses present in the century-old discussion about the “peasant question” find their culmination in a fashionable thesis about the “end of peasantry”. The presentation of (usually unfavourable) characteristics of rural reality, conducted in terms of various types of “capital”, will be accompanied by a reflection on the validity of applied assumptions. The proposition at the end of the discussion will concern the change in paradigm not only in rural sociology, but in the whole discipline.

Małgorzata Jacyno: The Spirit of Polish Capitalism

New life orientations of the “urban class” fit in the range of choice summed up as departure to “Brussels with a briefcase” or to “India with a backpack”. Membership in the “new middle class”, as follows from the above example, is decided in the last instance by optimism about the possibility to make a decision and its range. The 20 years of Polish “transformation” was a time of discovery of new forms of enslavement – in the “internal world” of an individual, and in intimate relations. In writing the “Protestant Ethic..” Weber was convinced that 20th Century capitalism has to be legitimised by transcendental references. Those who can be referred to as “seeking groups” are sent by therapists to priests, and by priests to therapists. Individual life strategies have to reconcile the contradiction between the expressive and utilitarian model of individualism, and between the modern “model of the depth” and stylistic mobility in such a way as to build a “new house of obligation on the fundament of choice”. Individualisation also has a “technical” dimension and finds its expression and support in new professions, in extending the supply of consumption on offer with new symbolic goods and services, and in the styling of urban space.

Session III: 9:30 – 11:45 (Saturday)
Patrick Michel: Religion and Relationship to Pluralism in Poland since the End of Communism

The purpose will be to grasp religion not as such, but as a sign which, once it is contextualized, appears likely to constitute an remarkable analyzer of the recompositions of the contemporary. Dealing with the evolution of Poland since 1989, and starting with the question “when one talks of religion, what is at stake ?”, we will focus on religion as an indicator and mode of management of the relationship between Polish society and pluralism.

Sławomir Mandes: Catholic Church and the Process of Modernisation

The Catholic Church in the last 20 years participated actively in the modernisation of Poland. Two factors were crucial in deciding that. Firstly, the Catholic Church entered the new reality in 1989 as a key subject in public life. Secondly, the Church was the best-prepared institution to participate in the process of accelerated modernisation. In effect, the Church had a part in shaping the processes of democratisation, transition to market economy, and Europeanization.
In my presentation, I will discuss the directions of Church influence in the areas mentioned above, and I will point to its specificity in comparison with other national Catholic Churches.

Paweł Śpiewak: The Past Which Refuses To Be Forgotten

The period of the last 20 years exposed the past which demands being thought about and answered. This past is revealed by historical studies, analysis of documents, changes in street names, choice of school patrons, newly erected monuments. It is revealed in attitudes which show that it is a part of us. This is indicated by group electoral behaviour and referenda.
Collective memory does not stretch very far back in time, only as far as World War II and post-war Poland. The events of the last 60 years live within memory. We do not remember much about the inter-war period, nor are we interested in it.
Two great areas of memory are most discussed. Firstly, in my short presentation I would like to talk about the memory of the war, and the intensely debated question of Holocaust and post-war anti-Semitism.
The other question is the description of post-war Poland. The attitude to vetting with secret police files and decommunisation, and to Communism, still form the basic axes of political divisions.

Joanna Wawrzyniak: History and Memory: Social Frames of Modern History

In sociological tradition, collective memory and history as science are distinctly divided. The former is the projection of social identity, it maintains group ties, and depends on current conditions. The latter is characterised by objectivity in discovering verifiable facts. The former is guided by emotions, and the latter by cool, critical distance of a scholar. Contemporary criticism of the division proposed by Maurice Halbwachs comes both from changes in social studies caused by the so-called cultural turn, and from the condition of public life, where the clear division into the political and academic sphere became obscured.
In the title of our session, there is a question about processes. During the last 20 years, we have experienced the process of formulation of different interpretations of modern Polish history, and some of them were vitally linked to political life. In my presentation, I will delineate selected interpretations of the years of the so-called communism, which function in contemporary historiography in Poland and abroad. I will attempt to re-create both the basic social categories present in (and absent from) stories about the past presented by different groups of scholars, and social frames of narratives they create. These questions seem important not only for the self-awareness of a narrow group of professionals, but also, considering the role of historians in public life (esp. in politics, media and education), for the broader circle of recipients of historical contents.

Session IV: 12:30 – 16:00
Chris Hann: Does Ethnic Cleansing Work? The case of twentieth century Poland

As a result of genocide and deportations in the 1940s the Polish state, previously home to large numbers of Germans, Jews and east Slavs as well as Poles, became one of the most ethnically homogenous states in Europe. Following the demise of the People’s Republic it is possible to re-assess the costs and benefits of this dramatic change. The paper will do so, first, in general terms (e.g. noting the contrast to the Western Balkans); second, more specifically with respect to the persistence of Lemko and Ukrainian identities; and third, drawing some conclusions for the majority identity, i.e. the changing character of ‘Polishness’.

Michał Łuczewski: How You Become, Who You Have Always Been. Post-Communist National Identity

Based on an ethnographic study in the village of Żmiąca, I would like to show how, during the last 20 years, Polish national identity became (a) moralised (Poles are moral), (b) immortalised (we have always been Polish), and (c) homogenised (Poles are one, uniform nation). In short, our national identity became primordialised. Although these processes are intertwined, I formulate different explanations for each of them.
Firstly, the moralisation of the nation occurred as a result of social mobilisation conducted by the Catholic Church under the banner of the theology of the nation of Stefan Wyszyński and John Paul II. The Catholic Pole became the moral prototype of a Pole. In spite of the criticism of the national-Catholic ideology after 1989, it remains strong.
Secondly, the nation was immortalised due to the competition between he communist state and the Church, which both treated it as obvious that the nation is 1000 years old. After ’89, no social subjects appeared which would try to revise such a vision of history.
Thirdly, the nation was homogenised due to the fact that the anti-communist ideology, represented, for instance, by the Church, could not be articulated before 1989, or it was articulated through allusion, metaphor, or in historical costume. After ’89, this ideology was not elaborated, and there appeared no actors on the political scene (national and local), who could effectively propagate it. In consequence, the generation of grandchildren presents the conflict between Polish Communists and Anti-communists as a conflict between Poles and Germans.

Ireneusz Krzemiński: Polish National Identity, Anti-Semitism, and Attitude to Others

The basic thesis is about the link between the national identity as actualised in social consciousness, and hostility to other nations. I attach particular importance to the attitude to Jews and Germans. This is related to the ideological form of national identity, rooted in the national-Catholic ideological tradition of National Democracy. Thesis (2), which is more general, states that, in spite of the innovative, modern and anti-romantic character of national identity proposed by Roman Dmowski, romantic and messianic beliefs form the core of the convictions of the Poles about “Polishness” and “being Polish”. This core develops in two directions: one is to “modernise” Dmowski and create open Polish identity, based on the slogan “for freedom, yours and ours”, anti-xenophobic, anti-anti-Semitic, and aiming to unify with the culture of Western Europe. The other is xenophobic identity, hostile to other nations, fuelled by anti-Semitic (and also anti-German) attitudes. Another thesis (3) states that the attitude to a symbolic Jew (symbolic Jews) constitutes the axis of the currently activated national-Catholic mentality. The glorification of the “Polishness” is manifested here by hostility to any difference, also with regard to cultural and sexual minorities. Catholic traditionalism connected with national consciousness is the essence of an active identity, which is an updated version of the tradition of National Democracy. The last thesis (4) states that, at present, there is no ideological centre which could relate to the anti-anti-Semitic, “open” version of “Polishness” characteristic of the majority of Poles, and which could link together the diverse beliefs inconsistent with, or opposed to, the strongly delineated, national-Catholic identity.

Ewa Nowicka: Strangers Among Us. Foreigners in Poland

The systemic transformation affected consciousness. We expect the great systemic and economic transformations to cause deep changes in social attitudes. We expect that cultural/national identity will change, and with the change in self-identification, the attitudes to others will be modified. However, as research of various types show, the interrelations are more complex. The presentation will focus on reflected strangeness. It will concern the subjective perception of persons different physically or ethnically as strangers, by people who experience such strangeness, or feel that they do. The presentation will be based both on results of surveys, and on qualitative in-depth research.

Lech Nijakowski: Symbolic Revendication After Round Table Agreements. The Process of Discoursive Reproduction of National and Ethnic Minorities 1989-2009

After World War II, Poland became highly homogenous in national composition as compared with the pre-war Republic. This does not mean, however, that all ethnic and national minority groups disappeared. The politics of historical memory and propaganda of the Popular Republic pictured Poland as a country of one, highly homogeneous nation. On the wave of liberalisation which followed the agreement between the Polish United Workers’ Party and the opposition, symbolic revendication was widely articulated. A lot of emotions were generated by demands of minority groups, which wanted formal recognition of their existence, institutionalisation of minority movements, the right to keep and develop ethnic identity, acknowledgement and respect for different life stories and different interpretations of history, the right to erect their own monuments and other symbolic objects, etc. This led to many ethnic conflicts. Symbolic revendication by minorities, including ethnic minorities constituting, according to ethnologists, the Polish nation, entailed the need for re-definition of the Polish identity, and the emancipation of minority communities in various institutional arrangements. The presentation will chart the dynamics of this process in the years 1989-2009.

Renata Siemieńska: Gender Transformation in Poland: Sources and Consequences (Cross-Cultural Perspective)

The identities of men and women, their aspirations and interests, change. Their mutual expectations undergo transformation as well. The transformation observed in Poland corresponds to changes in other countries. At the same time, it has its own specificity, rooted in particulars of history of the last half-century. In effect, the conception of gender and the behaviour of Polish people are inconsistent. These phenomena will be discussed on the basis of the long-term study World Values Survey, and other studies conducted in Poland.

Aleksandra Jasińska-Kania: The Dynamics of Value Change in Poland in European Context: Results of European Values Study 1990 – 1999 – 2008

The value change of the Polish people, documented in three waves of EVS 1990, 1999 and 2008, is characterised by paradoxes and inconsistencies in spheres such as work, family, religion, morality, politics, and national identity. The interpretation of these paradoxes refers to the conception of Stanisław Ossowski: the conflict of disparate scales, one being values acknowledged and celebrated, and the other, values felt and practiced in everyday life. The explanation of the sources of inconsistency and differentiation of values of the Polish society lies in the multidimensionality of changes, their overlap with global civilisational processes, European integration, cultural legacies of the past, and systemic transformation of the past 20 years.

Session V: 16:15 – 18:30
A. Senate Hall

Marianna Zieleńska: What Constitutes „Good Administration”? – Models of Public Administration in Polish Public Discourse Between 1990 and 2004

The presentation will aim at highlighting the contradictory visions about the following matters: 1) How should the system of public administration be constructed?; 2) What should be the role of the official?; 3) Should there be civil service, and who should belong to it?
The conclusions will be based on the analysis of IDIs with authors of reforms or drafts of administrative reforms in the years 1990-1997 and 1997-1999, as well as the analysis of discourse about the reforms in the years 1997/1998 (administrative reform), and 2003/2004 (before EU accession) in selected weeklies and specialised periodicals.

Katarzyna Andrejuk: Polish Regulations Concerning Refugees and People Seeking Asylum – Practical Dimension of Application of the Law

The law currently in force, passed on 13 June, on the protection of foreign citizens on the territory of Poland brings several practical problems. These are: procedure in case of evidently unfounded petitions; stay of enforcement of decision requiring vacation of the territory of Poland; clauses barring granting of refugee status. Tracking these contradictions and interpretations of existing regulations by Polish courts will make it possible to present the points of contention in the immigration policy, and the most controversial issues regarding the adaptation of foreigners.

Piotr Chmielarz: Doctrine, Institution, an Individual; Transformation of Polish Armed Forces After 1989

The aim of the presentation is to outline the recent history and the present state of the Polish Armed Forces as institution. The most important directions of changes of the Armed Forces during the last 20 years are presented. The changes depended on: international conditions; military strategies and conceptions; institutional change; location of the military personnel in the social structure. In conclusion, an attempt is made to link particular elements of the analysis with contemporary events, in particular to the operations conducted by the Polish Armed Forces, and recent decisions regarding conscription for military service.

Łukasz Raciborski: Changes in Health Care and the Social-Economic System in Poland

My aim is, firstly, to track the changing meaning of the concepts “health” and “illness” on the basis of medical literature and patterns of taking care of health in popular culture. Secondly, I would like to show the relation between the model of a human being entailed by such a conception of “health”, and the ideal type of a human being typical for the present economic system. Consequently, I am trying to prove that the spread of such patterns of care for health, encouraged also by defective functioning of healthcare system, is a means of socialising the Polish people into the post-1989 socio-economic system.

Jan Dzierzgowski: Civic Competence in Contemporary Poland as Prerequisite for Democratic Participation

The main question is: what kind of competence and skills are necessary for active participation in Polish public life.
Institutional barriers known to Polish sociologists make it necessary for individuals or groups who want to articulate their voice in the public sphere to have different types of competence. After 1989, what skills were necessary for the Polish people who wanted to influence public decisions? Were they related to formal, or informal activities? How important are the skills related to engaging the third side, for instance, public opinion?

Victoria Dunaeva: The Role of Cultural Institutions in the Creation of Civil Society During the Process of Transformation (Comparative Analysis of the Cultural Institutions in Poland and Russia)

The presentation will focus on the analysis of the role of cultural institutions in the process of emergence of civil society during transformation. The following issues will be discussed:
What value system is promoted during transformation by cultural institutions through cultural education and promotion of activities? What influence do these values have on the formation of civic attitudes? How do cultural institutions help social integration in the conditions of unequal social position? What solutions do cultural institutions find to the conflict of cultural values which appeared as a result of political, economic and social change?

Grzegorz Brzozowski: New Religious Experience – Outside Institutions – Toward the Making of the Citizen?

Religious experience which transcends the institutional framework and its place in the public sphere seem to be a neglected issue in sociological debates. Its examples are the mass events following the death of John Paul II, and the Lednica Meetings held since 1997. I am interested in the character of this experience in relation to the emotional theory of religion of Danièle Hervieu-Léger. Could it become a tool for the formation of citizens and an evidence of deprivatisation of religion, described by Jose Casanova?

Ewelina Kuźmicz: The Working Poor in Poland: is a New Social Stratum Emerging?

The presentation is an attempt to tackle complex changes which have been in progress since the beginning of transformation, to this day. What happens when the sphere of work is intertwined with the sphere of poverty, and the position of an individual in the social structure is not expressed by class membership, but by currently performed, narrowly understood work; through patterns of individual transitions from the educational system to the labour market, between jobs, from unemployment to employment?
The basis for the presentation will be appropriately selected empirical material, and critical analysis of this material in the context of the most important theoretical approaches, which make it possible to answer the question contained in the title.

B. Golden Hall
Karolina Wigura: Declarations of Forgiveness and Repentance in Politics as a New Public Institution in Poland after 1989

After 1989, there was a vast increase in the number of declarations of forgiveness and repentance in Polish politics, related primarily to the war. Particularly important were the meeting of Tadeusz Mazowiecki and Helmut Kohl w Krzyżowa in 1989, repentance for Jedwabne expressed by Aleksander Kwaśniewski in 2001, or the meeting of Lech Kaczyński and Viktor Yushchenko in Pavlokoma in 2005. Besides them, many other significant events could be mentioned. Without exaggeration, one could claim that they are a distinct, important ingredient in creating the modern European identity of the Polish people. Therefore, it seems justified to elicit and present the persuasive and educational role of declarations of forgiveness and repentance in our country after 1989.

Joanna Erbel: The Struggle for City Space – the Struggle Against Social Exclusion

The Polish urban space after 1989 is undergoing dynamic transformation. Modern buildings appear, the area and character of public space changes. This process is accompanied by removal from urban space of social groups who cannot afford to use commercial space. The struggle for presence and conflicts about the composition of urban space are conflicts about the vision of modernisation, about who will have the right to debate the shape of the society. Particularly interesting are locations where different logics (commercial, symbolic, economic, ecological, and aesthetic) clash, becoming a field of confrontation of different group interests.

Agata Urbanik: The New and the Old Elderness. Changes in the Identities of Elderly Women as an Illustration of Cultural Transformation After 1989

The aim of the presentation is the analysis of the identity of Polish women of the baby boom generation using Castells’ concept of project identity. I will show to what extent they “construct new identity, redefine their position in society and, through these actions, attempt to change the entire social structure.” The reflection will concern the changing role of this group of women in domestic setting, their attitude to their own ageing, and to ageing as a project which can be shaped.

Agata Dembek: The Picture of the Professional Individual Based on the Analysis of Personality Development Training Market

The aim of the presentation will be to describe the model of professional subject, which a Polish man or woman is to become in the reality of liberal democracy. It is based on the analysis of the personality development training and workshop market in Poland after 1989. What kind of knowledge and skills are offered? What is expected of the individual – the subject? How (s)he is defined and characterised?

Magdalena Smak-Wójcicka: The Role of Catholic Schools in the Formation of Catholic Identity in Poland

There are grounds to claim that only if religion is rooted in specific social ties and networks, such as family, school, community, will it not be further privatised and internalised. I treat Catholic schools as a laboratory where the post-modern Catholic ethic originates and is reproduced. It stimulates reproduction of identity by shaping appropriate habitus. I will answer the question about the types of ties and models of social integration promoted there. To what extent are alternative worlds formed by Catholics closed enclaves?

Katarzyna Perdzyńska: Lesbian and Gay Identity and the Polish Transformation

The aim of the presentation is to analyze, in what way lesbian and gay identity in post-1989 Poland emerges, or is constructed. Is the process in Poland different than in other countries, and if so, what constitutes its specificity? What is the significance of the minority status of homosexual persons for their identity? Is the emerging/constructed identity (solely) political? What makes the sight of homosexual persons so hard to accept for many Poles? Finally, how is homosexual identity located against the background of other newly formed or exposed identities?

Sylwia Urbańska: Parenting, the Home Territory, and Social Change: Construction of Maternal Absence in Biographical Narrations of Migrants

Economic pressure, migrations and the need for mobility are processes which thoroughly transform the space of home and family. Their effect is the change in perception of presence and absence in family. I will illustrate this thesis by showing how these processes are reflected in individual and group life trajectories of female economic migrants, and in biographical edition of the experience of becoming a long-distance parent. I will attempt to answer the question about whether the new, non-residential type of organisation of maternity can be positively integrated in the personal biographical experience of women.

Marcin Darmas: System Transformation in Movies – a Sociological Analysis of the Heroes of the New Reality

The aim of the presentation is to highlight the characteristic features of the protagonist of the new reality on the basis of selected films made after ’89. Is (s)he a subject of social trauma? Does (s)he fully accept systemic change? How did (s)he adjust to the rules of free market? Did (s)he fully account for his/her communist past?
The presentation will contain, as far as it is possible, a conceptualisation of the pre-transformation protagonist and his/her functions in post-war consciousness. In that way, it will be easier to show what Maria Janion calls the “dusk of symbolic-romantic paradigm”, which in the past built national identity and defended its symbolic sphere.

Program Committee

Dr Marta Bucholc
Dr Sławomir Mandes
Dr Tadeusz Szawiel
Dr Joanna Wawrzyniak
E-mail: sekretariat@is.uw.edu.pl subject: Conference May 22-23

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