Social Groups in Polish Society

Social Groups in Polish Society

Social Groups in Polish Society

Social Groups in Polish Society

Excerpt

The subject of this book is the study of social groups in Poland. By a 'group' in its widest sense we mean an aggregate or category of persons having relationships with each other, possessing common qualities or features which sometimes give rise to shared norms and values. We do not claim that social groups are the only or necessarily the most important aspect of social and political change. But we do believe that a fuller appreciation of politics may be afforded by an understanding of the group structure. In the past, studies of East European societies after the Second World War have overwhelmingly concentrated on political groups and processes to the exclusion of the social. We hope that this book will help redress the balance as far as Poland is concerned. We take the view that the study of the formation of social groups is important in its own right as well as providing insight into the political process. The industrialisation process carried out by the Communist élites in the State socialist societies of Eastern Europe has had a momentous impact on the social structure of these countries which we seek to describe and thereby to show the interaction of political and social forces.

The book is arranged in the following way. The first chapter is a general introduction to the changing social, political and economic structure of Poland both before and after the foundation of the People's Republic of Poland. Whereas this chapter is a macro study, the ones which follow are micro studies, each dealing with a particular social group: the working class, the peasantry and the intelligentsia. We have organised the study around social groups, rather than on themes, to facilitate comparative study of these phenomena in the other two countries which comprise this series (Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia). These general social groups have been found to include many sub-groups which have made a complete description impossible. We have, therefore, in addition to a general introduction on . . .

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