Critical Sociology in Poland and its Public Function
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Marie Curie-Skłodowska University
Publication date: 2015-09-30
Polish Sociological Review 2015;191(3):381–400
The text describes how the public task of the social sciences could be linked with the practice of critical sociology. Recently, interesting changes have occurred which extend this prospect. In the last years, aside from critical analyses of changing social conditions, there have also been auto-reflections on the social entanglement of knowledge about the transformation. Critical analysis of the public function of scientific diagnoses and the engagement of sociologists is the result of earlier thinking about the model of imitative modernization. The source of the latter’s domination can be sought in the social characteristics of Eastern Europe; the basis is recognition of the area’s historical peripheralness and long-lasting economic backwardness. The growing interest in critical sociology in Poland not only broadens the interpretative palette, but above all raises questions about the originality of interpretations: that is, it addresses the mechanism of import or local creation in the interpretation of social phenomena in the post-communist sphere.