Current research projects

» Think locally, act globally: Polish farmers in the global world of sustainability and resilience

This project has received funding from the National Centre of Science

Director of the project: prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Gorlach
Team members: settlement of the competition for the positions will be conducted
Project duration: 2016-2021

Description: The title of the project has been purposively formulated in a tricky way. At the first glance its first part, i.e. "think globally, act locally" might suggest the mistake in using this particular statement, used mainly by ecologists trying to reflect the nature and the logic of the contemporary globalized world. That means that whatever might be done in a particular place, region and/or community should be treated as a particular mutation of some global problems, characterizing various societies scattered all over the world. In this particular project we want to present the entirely opposite type of thinking about globalized society. Our message might be stated as follows: "think locally, act globally". The justification of such an argument might require an analysis of the more complex mechanism of global society functioning and development. Such a mechanism clearly shows the need of participation of local people, organizations and resource in extra-local/global networks. Therefore we make an attempt to analyze the functioning of family farms in Poland including their regional diversifications as parts of some extra-local networks. The study under the project frame will allow us to grasp wholesome perspective on the changes in functioning of rural areas and agriculture, yet it is not confined to farm owners/operators. Our project is one of its kind of analysis of deep analysis of processes occurring in rural areas in Poland. Its results will allow to critically evaluate consequences of the EU accession, evaluate to condition of sustainability in the context of Polish agriculture, and to lay foundations for international comparative study in the area of combined approaches in social and agricultural sciences.

The project will be carried out on:

1) Analysis of relations between family household and farm, especially the issue of ownership and tenancy of land, on farm work performed by particular family members, neighbour work under the system of rural community mutual help, hired workers, off-farm jobs taken by family members.

2) Construction of social portraits of persons who are farm operators: their relations with formal owners of farmlands. Moreover, we will focus on their identities, their self-perceptions of their social positions compared to other people running businesses, as well as their decision-making processes, including sources and types of knowledge, factors taken into consideration and the general goal of farm operation, the "ideal type" of family farm as well as their attitudes towards external financial resources that might be used in farm operation.

3) Analysis of class diversity among farm operators with reference to Weber's and Bourdieu's theories. Identification of three main class fractions inside the farm operators` community: the positively privileged, the middle, and the negatively privileged ones. Analysis of their lifestyles, dominant identities, strategies of farming, and any pro- or anticapitalist type of class consciousness.

4) Analysis of formation of farmers' interest representation system. Study of current relations between the state and farmers' groups that have taken on a form of institutionalized cooperation between the main interest groups and other interest organizations.

5) Study whether Polish family farmers fit sustainability profile. Exploration of "sustainability mindset" on the level of particular farms that translates into a more economically viable, socially just, and environmentally sound farm system in Poland.

6) Analysis of attitudes toward IT, popularity of such technologies in farming, relations between farming strategies and technologies employed.

7) Analysis of institutional and legal framework for food safety and security, consciousness, knowledge and attitudes of farmers in this regard.

» GENERA – Gender Equality Network in European Research Area

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 665637.

Director of the project: dr Paulina Sekuła
Team members: dr Paula Pustułka, Ewa Krzaklewska, Justyna Struzik
Project duration: 2015-2018

Description: GENERA is a project aiming at continuing, monitoring and improving the Gender Equality Plans of Research Institutions and Organizations specifically in the physics research field. These three actions will be performed by a Consortium of 12 beneficiary partner research performing and research funding organizations, and a number of associate partners and observers. The GENERA Consortium includes a considerable representation of women physicists active in their careers at different levels and will engage with further women physicists active in various Institutions to benchmark and monitor the effectiveness of already active and previously proposed measures and the ones which will be proposed by the Consortium. The end goal is to propose and create organizational structures allowing physics research in Europe to benefit from the greater presence of talented women at all levels, and which can open up more opportunities for women to create successful careers in physics research and in related fields. While the end goal will focus on the research world, GENERA will look into the origin of the problem by creating liaisons with schools and proposing suitable programs to foster the field from early stages and to propose measures that can be adopted by middle and high schools. Another major goal of GENERA is to contribute to overcome the under-representation of women in physics research which is long-standing and persistent even if the prevailing cultures adopt the assumption of being ‘gender neutral'. Still these assumptions did not produce the desired effect of increasing female representation in the physics research field. GENERA will focus on the implementation by European research organization of Gender Equality Plans customized to circumstances and needs of the physics research community. The customised Gender Equality Plans involve systematic examination of all decision-making processes to identify any possible sources of gender bias in the research organisations active in physics and related fields.

Project partners: Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron A Research Centre of the Helmholtz Association (DESY), Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), Netherlands, Karlsruhe Institut of Technology (KIT), Germany, Portia Ltd, United Kingdom, National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), Italy, Max Planck Gesellschaft (MPG), Germany, JOANNEUM RESEARCH, Austria, University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, National Research Council (CNR), Italy, Horia Hulubei National Institute for R&D in Physics and Nuclear Engineering (IFIN-HH). Romania, National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), France. 

» Differences and boundaries in the process of creating neighbourhood communities in large cities. A socio-spatial study

This project has received funding from the National Centre of Science

Director of the project: dr Marta Smagacz-Poziemska
Team members: dr hab. Andrzej Bukowski, dr Marta Smagacz-Poziemska, dr Karol Kurnicki, dr Marcjanna Nóżka.
Project duration: 2015-2018

Description: The main objective of the project is to develop a conception explaining the mechanisms of establishment and reproduction of urban territorial communities at the level of the estate. The starting point in the project is the assertion – deduced from our empirical studies – that the concepts of "self-organisation" of local communities, social differentiation and spatial processes, which occupy a major place in urban sociology, sociology of local communities and sociology of space, are not sufficient to explain the models ofsocio-spatial relations by which territorial communities (in the project: estates) form, reproduce and change. The weakness of these conceptions lies in their substantial understanding of the differences (and similarities) – in terms of permanent characteristics of social position (socio-economic status, lifestyle, or social capital). To form our conception, we will refer to the theories of Pierre Bourdieu and to Fredrik Barth's concept of social boundaries, used in relational anthropology, including the category of difference as a factor organising social life, as well as relational theories of space, especially as conceived by Doreen Massey. The planned field work will allow us to verify and elaborate the main theoretical premise and develop a methodology of empirical research on urban communities in our proposed theoretical paradigm.

» Sustainable finance for sustainable agriculture and fisheries

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

Director of the project: dr hab. Piotr Nowak
Team members: prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Gorlach, dr hab. Piotr Nowak, dr Anna Witowska-Jastrzębiec, mgr Adam Dąbrowski
Project duration: 2015-2018

Description: SUFISA aims to identify practices and policies that support the sustainability of primary producers in a context of complex policy requirements, market imperfections and globalization. Knowledge on market conditions and other driving forces exists, but in a fragmented way: relevant producer groups and regions have not yet been analyzed or framework conditions and driving forces have changed in the mean time. Moreover, little information is available on cross-linkages between various drivers and future opportunities and threats will need to be integrated for an encompassing analysis. The work of the SUFISA project will be based on a close cooperation with stakeholders of the industry, policy makers and representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations. The combination of theoretical approaches and multi-actor involvement will be the precondition for the identification of practices and policies aiming at addressing market failures hindering farmers and fishermen to function sustainably. Objectives The aim of SUFISA is to identify sustainable practices and policies in the agricultural, fish and food sectors that support the sustainability of primary producers in a context of multi-dimensional policy requirements, market imperfections and globalisation.

The five specific objectives of SUFISA are:

To construct a conceptual framework that links market imperfections and policy requirements to primary producers' strategies and performance;
To investigate the nature of market imperfections, policy requirements and their implications for specific commodity sectors and regions;
To analyse the impact of market imperfections and policy requirements on the efficiency and performance of primary producers;
To identify sustainable practices and policies in the agricultural, fish and food sectors that support the sustainability of primary producers and develop future scenarios aimed at countering the identified market imperfections;
To carry out work in a transdisciplinary way using a multi-actor approach, that is, to actively engage a broad spectrum of relevant stakeholders from the beginning of the project in order to optimise both the relevance of the work carried out and its dissemination and uptake by stakeholders.

SUFISA aims to exploit new and emerging research opportunities that address social, environmental and economic challenges. Therefore, the research contributes to building a European Knowledge Based Bio-Economy, bringing together science, industry and stakeholders. . The interaction between science, industry and stakeholders is inherent to the proposed methodology, whereby (1) the structure of the Consortium allows interdisciplinary scientific debate, (2) an External Expert Advisory Board guarantees structured and interactive communication with the sector and other stakeholders and (3) the case studies guarantee the involvement and relevance of the research at the European and local level.

Consortium: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Division of Bioeonomics, Belgium; University of Pisa, Italy; University of Gloucestershire, UK; Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, France; Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Italy; University of Hasselt, Belgium; Nodbinajums Baltic Studies Centre, Latvia; Universidade de Evora, Portugal; Aahrus Universitet, Denmark; Agricultural University of Athens, Greece; Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde, Germany; Jagiellonian University, Poland; University of Belgrade, Serbia.

» Doing family in transnational context. Demographic choices, welfare adaptations, school integration and every-day life of Polish families living in Polish-Norwegian transnationality

The project has received funding from the National Centre for Research and Development within the framework of the Polish-Norwegian Research Programme
Director of the project: Prof. dr hab. Krystyna Slany
Team members: Dr Magdalena Ślusarczyk, Justyna Struzik, Stella Strzemecka, Paula Pustułka, Ewa Krzaklewska
Project partners: Center for International Relations, Agderforskning (Agder Research), NOVA - Norskinstitutt for forskningomoppvekst, velferdogaldring (Norwegian Social Research)
Project duration: July 2013 - June 2016

Description: The proposed project responds to the 'Social sciences and bilateral relations' area of the core call, focusing on the issues of migration. The study analyses population flow between Poland and Norway, contextualized in the broader discourse of intra-European labour mobility and the specific field of transnational family studies. The recent intensification of human mobility between Poland and Norway, as well as the problems encountered by the migrants and institutions serve as a rationale for this project, justifying the need for the development of a recommendable action plan to improve the bilateral relations. A vast array of quantitative (survey, statistical analysis) and qualitative (biographic/in-depth interviews, sociometry, focus groups and visual tools) research methods will be used across the project, which will further benefit from extensive data-sharing and findings-exchange between the research teams. Multi-level involvement of stake-holders concerned with consequences of migration is planned, as migrant family members, teachers, social workers and institutions will be approached and examined in two geographical locations. The project is driven by the desire to get tangible results in a form of policy recommendations, as well as enrich the scientific/scholarly and public/community knowledge about Polish-Norwegian migration. This will be achieved through multi-sited interdisciplinary empirical social research, and subsequent educational, dissemination- and promotion-related activities (workshops, conferences). The consortium running the TRANSFAM project consists of specialists in their respective fields, which ensures timely and expertly fulfillment of the aforementioned objectives. In conclusion, it should be stressed that the subject matter of the project is a field that demands urgent exploration as a basis for the envisioned evidence-driven policy-building.

» Gender equality and quality of life - how gender equality can contribute to development in Europe. A study of Poland and Norway

The project has received funding from the National Centre for Research and Development within the framework of the Polish-Norwegian Research Programme
Director of the project: prof. dr hab. Krystyna Slany
Team members: dr hab. Beata Kowalska, dr Marta Warat, mgr Ewa Krzaklewska, mgr Anna Ratecka, mgr Aleksandra Migalska
Project partners: Center for Gender Research at the University of Oslo (STK), The Institute of Health and Society at the University of Oslo (HELSAM), Chair of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine Jagiellonian University Medical College
Project duration: 2013-2016

Description:Main goal of the project ‘Gender Equality and Quality of Life' (GEQ) is to investigate gender equality (GE) and the benefits it has for quality of life and social development. The lack of progress in fostering GE in Europe and particularly in Poland calls for new framing of gender equality in order to construct effective policies to overcome this impasse. Our bottom-up approach to GE focuses on the cultural and institutional contexts of individual lives and struggles for a satisfactory and healthy life in relation to gender equality. Project methods involve survey research in Poland, backed up by secondary data analysis, policy analysis and qualitative research in both countries. Expanding on a Norwegian method of measuring GE we will conduct the first comprehensive study in Poland that is centrally focused on GE. The survey research will include seven dimensions related to gender equality: attitudes and norms, practices, resource distribution, identity, life course experiences, quality of life and social development. All these dimensions will be studied over the life course in different areas, including work, family, political participation, decision-making and violence. The findings will map existing inequalities, highlight the structural, cultural and institutional determinants of GE and identify the conditions that foster positive impact of GE on the quality of life and social development. The project represents a major step towards methodological progress concerning measurement of GE, making the project unique on the European scale. The outcomes will include frontline expert research-capacity building in Poland and Norway, inputs and guidelines for further research and development, and new research evidence. The new GE framework will be a stimulus for a new, more comprehensive and effective gender mainstreaming strategy in Poland and in Norway.

» Public Discourse in Poland and Religion. Models of Legitimation in the Debates on Biopolitics between 2004-2014.

This project has received funding from the National Centre of Science

Director of the project: prof. dr hab. Irena Borowik
Team members: prof. dr hab. Irena Borowik, dr Agnieszka Dyczewska, dr Katarzyna Zielińska, dr Marcin Zwierżdżyński, mgr Joanna Mleczko, mgr Inga Koralewska.
Project duration: 2015-2017

Description: The objective of the project is to understand the meaning of religion in the public sphere in Poland by discovering the role played by references to religion in legitimations of discourse on the thorny issues related to biopolitics. Each discourse, construed as a space for construction of meanings, requires specific models of legitimation, meaning ways of explaining and justifying the socially created order. This is also the case with biopolitics, i.e. the space of diverse discourses on corporeality, sexuality and the limits of life and death. The planned research aims firstly to identify and analyse the models of legitimation used in this field by various discourse communities, secondly to learn what role references to religion play in justifying the positions taken in such fundamental issues, and thirdly to answer the question of what the distribution of support in society is for various models of legitimation. The main research hypothesis of the project is that references to religion considerably diversify the models of legitimation used in discourses and the social opinion on them.

» Tracing Memory: Strategies of Remembering Jewish Culture in Galicia

The project has received funding from the National Science Centre.

Director of the project: Dr hab. Jacek Nowak
Team members: A. Niedźwieńska, S. Kapralski, D. Niedźwiedzki, A. Dziuban
Project duration: September 2013 – August 2016.

Description: The fact that Poles forget about the Jewish culture is an example of the social process of selecting memories from the past. Our project creates an opportunity to examine how memory is created on the local level. To our research we have selected inhabitants of small towns in Southwest Poland. The region of former Galicia used to be very diverse and Jews and their culture were deeply inscribed in the identity of local communities. The study involves two fundamental issues of social sciences: the functioning of collective memory and the process of remembering the Jewish culture. The emphasis is placed primarily on the identification of the mechanism of forgetting. Our assumption is that the memories about Jewish culture carried by the oldest generation of Poles have become blurred and do not get included in the identity narratives of the younger generations. We are testing the hypothesis about removing the memory of Jewish culture by the younger generations from the process of their collective identity construction. We study the processes of intergenerational transmission and the mechanisms of interference and weakening of the traces of memory. Additionally, we are interested in ways how the carriers of the memory of Jewish culture are used in the building of local symbolic domains.

» The media as the space of deliberation: an analysis of public discourse patterns based on the key issues of power industry: construction of nuclear power plants, shale gas extraction, and the use of wind power in Poland

The project has received funding from the National Science Centre.
Director of the project: Dr Aleksandra Wagner
Team members: Dr Maria Światkiewicz-Mośny, Dr Rafał Garpiel
Project duration: 2 August 2012 - 1 August 2015

Description: The main goal of the planned research is to analyse the patterns of social discourse on the key problems of power industry in the Polish mass-media (radio, television, and press) and the Internet. The specific goals will be presented on three levels:

1) On theoretical level:

a) Theoretical reflection on the functions of the media in social participation context

b) Identifying the ideological and pragmatic premises that form the basis of the Polish and international regulations which have impact on the media activity, and the self-control regulations: voluntarily adopted ethical codes, good practices, etc.

c) Working out a model of the knowledge-power-interests relationship, which shapes the public discourse in the identified discourse fields as well as between them and estimating its possibile consequences for the social participation processes.

2) On methodological level

a) adaptation of the existing discourse analysis methods (CAD, semiotic analysis, situational analysis) to evaluate the communication space of the media as a sphere of social deliberation

b) pointing to the chances and limitations of the psychometric model in making public opinion part of decision-making process with regard to nuclear issues (Sohn et al. 2001)

3) On empirical level: we have formulated both the descriptive goal (functional and dynamic description) and the explanatory goal:

a) detailed analysis of argumentative strategies, their determining factors and causes in a specified area of social life as well as the identification of communication participants

b) critical analysis of the existing power relations in the public sphere, reconstruction of the ways in which the public discourse is approptiated by the interest groups

c) analysis of the ways in which knowledge is used to legitimize one's own interests and delegitimize other groups' interests.


See also