PSR 1(209)2020




Historical Re-enactment in Poland:

Between Faithfulness to History and the Imperative of Spectacularity

The article is the result of a research project devoted to Polish historical re-enactment groups which are becoming very popular and influential and can be seen as a part of the multi-sensory culture of the event.

During ethnographic research, we raised the issue of the commercialisation of historical re-enactment and the alleged educational value of the related activities, deliberating whether it was possible to reconcile faithfulness to history with the demands of commercial events, the passion with the pursuit of profit, and teaching with entertainment. The research included the evaluational dimension and questions on the role of re-enactment in the cultural policy of the country. The findings indicated that the movement was ambiguous and multidimensional and that numerous answers existed to the question about the re-enactors’ motivations essentially because the groups are divided into hobbyist re-enactors and commercial re-enactors. We found that re-enactment was effective in instilling historical knowledge, although not into the spectators, but into the re-enactors themselves. Re-enactment events usually failed to stimulate the spectators’ interest in history. A considerable majority of these events remained intellectually passive, which caused any educational effect to be momentary and superficial.

Keywords: historical re-enactment, heritage tourism, living history, educational effectiveness, multi-sensory culture of event.





The Impact of the Refugee Crisis

on Polish Perception of the European Union

This paper investigates the effects of the migration crisis of 2015 on Polish attitudes to the European Union. Superficially, there seems to have been no significant impact: even though the migration crisis resulted in hitherto unprecedented tensions between Poland and the EU, as well as a robust anti-immigrant turn in Polish public opinion, this crisis had little or no effect on the standard survey gauges of EU favorability in Poland. However, based on a comparison between the results of pre- and post-crisis Eurobarometer surveys (EB82.3 and EB87.3), our analysis demonstrates that while the overall perception of the EU became only slightly less favorable between 2014 and 2017, a substantial shift in the structure of public opinion did occur. Concerns over immigration were not associated with perception of the EU before the crisis but became dominant predictors after 2015.

Keywords: migration crisis, EU perception, Poland, Eurobarometer, Structural Equation Modelling, GLM Univariate ANCOVA.




Traditional vs. Modern Art:

The Status and Network Antecedents of Visual Art Preferences

Sociologists traditionally focus on the power of socio-economic variables as drivers of aesthetic tastes and cultural practices, leaving other important factors outside the purview of analysis. As a remedy, this article makes use of recent progress at the intersection of the sociology of culture and network theory to show that individual interest in and preferences for art are also embedded in social relationships of a different kind. Data from a specially designed survey on personal networks and cultural tastes in Polish society is analyzed. Cultural taste is measured in detail by presenting respondents with ten color illustrations depicting different styles of visual art. These ten evaluations are then reduced to two significant dimensions (traditional vs. more modern art). The regressions analyses show distinct relations of network characteristics (such as heterogeneity, type of contacts, density, or associational membership) with the type of art preferred. The findings are interpreted in terms of social influence and affinity between cultural orientations (e.g., openness) and the manners in which social ties are developed and maintained. Additionally, the article sheds light on distinction patterns by arguing that status is claimed through specific (modern) preferences.

Keywords: visual art, preferences, social networks, status, social capital, position generator.




Internet Discussions of Uncertainties and Risks of Contraceptive Pills

in the Czech Republic

The article deals with social discussions concerning the risks and benefits of using combined oral contraceptive pills (COCP). The discussions reflect sociological theories of risk, loss of trust in biomedicine, and active lay participation in health choices. The main goal of the qualitative content analysis of six internet discussions from 2006 to 2015 is to identify how former, current, and future users of COCP in the Czech Republic deal with the risks and benefits of this method, the possible alternatives being considered, and how information from these internet discussions influences the choice of method. The main narratives showing reflection of risk in internet discussions about hormonal contraceptives were called: Weighing the risk of taking or not taking COCP, Risk of side effects when using COCP, Risk of “post-pill syndrome,” Sharing information and experience.

Keywords: hormonal contraceptives, COCP, internet discussions, risk, lay health beliefs.





Moral Outrage and the Fight for the Reputation

of Children with Intellectual Disabilities

Qualitative Content Analysis of Posts Below an Interview with Parents 

of a Woman with Down Syndrome 

The aim of the paper is to identify the causes of moral outrage expressed in the comments published below the interview with parents of an adult woman with Down syndrome who are also co-founders and co-runners of a “Bardziej Kochani” [“Loved more”] Association for parents of persons with Down syndrome. A qualitative analysis of the content of posts was carried out due to the status of the author of the comment (person related to the environment of people with disabilities or not). The article analyses status of emotions in sociology and discusses the perceived roles of the interviewees, especially their assumed responsibility as role models. Main causes of moral outrage emerging from the comments are presented: the way of talking about disability and people with disabilities, issues related to integration in education. Linguistic differences resulting from the status of comments’ authors were also indicated.

Keywords: internet forum, intellectual disability, qualitative content analysis, moral outrage, emotions and sociology.




The Trajectory of Suffering—Parents of Children

with Intellectual Disability on the Future

The aim of the research was to characterize the situation of intellectually disabled individuals and their families, with special stress on parents’ doubts and dilemmas which grow as their disabled children mature and enter adulthood. The subject of the study was to analyze the processual character of transformations related to bringing up children with intellectual disabilities that take place in generational families, in particular, those which are related to transformations on the level of parents’ perceptions, role, and identity. These notions were reconstructed on the basis of the personal experiences of parents of disabled children. The theoretical basis of the research was the concept of a trajectory of suffering, and the applied methodology was the grounded theory methodology.

Keywords: parents, children, disability, trajectory, qualitative research.




Dynamic Press Discourses of School Meal Reform in Poland:

from Expertise Implementation to Resistance and Rejection 

The implementation of school meal reform in Poland in 2015 has been withdrawn in because of vast social resistance. The analyses of press discourse in daily newspapers reveals how the critics and resistance has been shaped. The use of content analysis and critical discourse analysis helps to identify how power relations and ideologies connected to the anti-junk-food law has been contested and redefined. The changes were manifested by abandoning healthist framing in favour of construction of new discursive worlds. In the discourse of resistance,cultural food symbols such as hunger and satiety, the ceremonial nature and pleasure of eating, economic freedom and consumer freedom were employed, and the status of taste in consumption among children was highlighted.Historical and cultural context has given the basis for such redefining and provided cultural meanings for undermining expert narrative, which has been reform’s rationale and hegemonising frame.

Keywords: school meal reform, consumption among children, public health policy, social resistance, press discourse, food education.