The Origin, Objectives, and Current Status of the Polish Sociological Association’s Section for Health and Medical Sociology
The scientific and institutional foundations for the rise and development of the sociology of health, illness and medicine were created in Poland by Prof. dr hab. Magdalena Sokołowska (1922-1989) – a nurse, physician, and sociologist, the founder and first Chairman of the Section of Medical Sociology. She belonged to the first generation of founders of medical sociology, who were primarily focused on the problems of health systems and medical institutions, and who conducted research to be applied in medicine (sociology in medicine). Many of her considerations and analyses were oriented towards the times to come, thereby having inspired a number of analytical trends developed in the contemporary Polish medical sociology (inter alia those concerned with sociological aspects of health, social health inequalities, “subjective social reality” referring to health and illness, etc.).
Magdalena Sokołowska was a full professor at the Polish Academy of Science Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Vice-Chairman of the International Sociological Association (ISA) (1978-1982). She was also the first President of the European Society of Medical Sociology (E.S.M.S., now European Society for Health and Medical Sociology, E.S.H.M.S.), and because of her scholarly and organizational achievements she is regarded as one of the co-founders of world-wide medical sociology.
The model of medical sociology developed by Magdalena Sokołowska was characterized from the beginning by careful preservation of strong ties with general sociology. It was on her initiative that the Polish Sociological Association’s Section of Medical Sociology was established in 1964, and in 1965 Poland’s first scientific sociomedical institution (Medical Sociology Unit) was set up at the Polish Academy of Science, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology. From its beginning, the task of the Section of Medical Sociology was to integrate the emerging sociomedical circles in Poland, to popularize the achievements of the subdiscipline and build its strong position among particular sociologies.
The post of Chairman of the Section was occupied by the following: Magdalena Sokołowska (1964-1979), Anna Titkow (1979-2001) and Włodzimierz Piątkowski (2001-2013) and Michał Skrzypek (from 2013 onwards).
As of 31 Dec 2016 the Section for Health and Medical Sociology has 71 members (data by the Polish Sociological Association Board Office).
The present ‘bookmark’ of the Polish Sociological Association’s Section for Health and Medical Sociology will serve as a platform that will inform about the Section’s initiatives and activities (scientific conferences, training, publications, etc), its current status, and about scientific projects proposed by the sociomedical milieu, implemented under the auspices of the Section for Health and Medical Sociology. We will also document important elements of the achievements of the Polish sociomedical circles by placing bibliographical information on books in medical sociology published in Poland, both authored or edited by representatives of our sociomedical circles, and on monographic issues of scientific journals under review, which are entirely devoted to sociomedical problems (we plan to inform about publications appearing from 2013). You are kindly requested to send information on this kind of initiatives to the Section’s email address.
The Board of the Polish Sociological Association’s Section for Health and Medical Sociology for 2013-2015 (election in January 2013 ):
Dr Hab. (Humanities) Michał Skrzypek – Chairman
Dr (Humanities) Zofia Słońska – Vice Chairman
Dr (Humanities) Katarzyna Kowal – Secretary
The Section Board operates as a collective body, implementing the statutory objectives of the Polish Sociological Association regarding the sociology of health, illness and medicine as a sociological subdiscipline. In order to improve the organization of the work of the Board, its members declared they would implement the following specific tasks:
Michał Skrzypek – coordination of the work of the Board and the Section, scientific matters, external correspondence, external representation of the Section, editing of the Section’s “bookmark” on the Association’s Web page
Zofia Słońska – scientific matters, international contacts
Katarzyna Kowal – updating of the list of Section members in cooperation with the Polish Sociological Association Board Office, Internet correspondence of the Section Board with the Section members, servicing of the Section’s e-mail address, external correspondence
Proposals for cooperation and requests to extend the Section’s support over scientific initiatives in the field of the sociology of health, illness and medicine should be submitted to the Chairman at the Section’s e-mail address.
Mailing address: Dr Hab. Michał Skrzypek, Chairman,
Polish Sociological Association’s Section for Health and Medical Sociology, Department of Clinical Dietetics, Medical University of Lublin, Chodźki St. 1, room 161, 20-093 Lublin, Poland
Planned and implemented initiatives of the Polish Sociological Association’s Section for Health and Medical Sociology (since 2013):
On the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Polish Sociological Society’s Medical Sociology Section, the Section Board, in cooperation with the Polish Academy of Sciences Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, decided to hold a Jubilee Session “50 YEARS OF MEDICAL SOCIOLOGY IN POLAND – RESEARCH TRENDS, MOST IMPORTANT ACHIEVEMENTS , AND PROSPECTS OF DEVELOPMENT”.
Our intention was to commemorate the jubilee, present the achievements of medical sociology in Poland, and to reflect on the prospects of further development of the subdiscipline. Session was held on 30 May 2014 (Friday) at the seat of the Polish Academy of Sciences Institute of Philosophy and Sociology in the Staszic Palace, the Round Table Room (Sala Okrągłego Stołu) at Nowy Świat Street 72, Warsaw, Poland. The chairperson of the Symposium’s Scientific Committee was Professor Dr Habil. Antonina Ostrowska (Polish Academy of Sciences Institute of Philosophy and Sociology). The Organizing Committee consisted of Dr Habil. Michał Skrzypek, Professor of KUL as Chairperson, Dr Zofia Słońska and Dr Katarzyna Kowal. Programme of the conference is available on the Polish version of our website.
Like in the previous years, on the initiative of the Chairman of the Board of the Polish Sociological Association’s Section of Health and Medical Sociology (Dr Hab. Michał Skrzypek) in cooperation with Professor Antonina Ostrowska (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences) the thematic session devoted to sociomedical problems entitled “On applications of sociology in medicine and public health – accomplishments, neglected areas, perspectives of development” was held as part of the 16th Sociological Congress in Gdańsk (14 September 2016).
Monographs and monographic issues of journals in medical sociology published in Poland (since 2013):
- WŁODZIMIERZ PIĄTKOWSKI (ed.). Zdrowie i choroba w badaniach socjologicznych prowadzonych na Uniwersytecie Medycznym w Lublinie 1995-2013 (Health and Illness in Sociological Studies Carried Out in Medical University in Lublin 1995-2013). Lublin: Uniwersytet Medyczny w Lublinie, 2013; pp. 214 (ISBN: 978-83-62606-40-5)
2. MICHAŁ SKRZYPEK (ed.). Socjologia medycyny w multidyscyplinarnych badaniach humanizujących biomedycynę (Medical Sociology in Multidisciplinary Studies Humanizing Biomedicine). Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL, 2013; pp. 338. (ISBN: 978-83-7702-573-4) (table of contents in English to be downloaded)
- BEATA TOBIASZ-ADAMCZYK (ed.), Od socjologii medycyny do socjologii żywienia. (From medical sociology to sociology of nutrition). Kraków: Wydawn. UJ, 2013; pp. 234 (ISBN: 978-83-233-3556-6).
- MAŁGORZATA SYNOWIEC-PIŁAT, ALICJA ŁASKA-FORMEJSTER (ed.), Społeczne konteksty chorób przewlekłych. Wybrane zagadnienia (Social Contexts of Chronic Illnesses. Selected Issues), Łódź: Wyd. Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, 2013; pp. 223. (ISBN 978-83-7525-974-2) (table of contents in Polish to be downloaded here)
5. MAŁGORZATA SYNOWIEC-PIŁAT, ALICJA ŁASKA-FORMEJSTER (ed.), Biologiczny wymiar życia populacji a jego socjologiczne interpretacje (Biological Dimension of Population’s Life and Its Sociological Interpretations), Łódź: Wyd. Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, 2013; pp. 209. (ISBN 978-83-7525-973-5) (table of contents in Polish to be downloaded here)
- ALICJA ŁASKA-FORMEJSTER, MAŁGORZATA SYNOWIEC-PIŁAT (eds.), Medycyna, biopolityka, bioetyka w zmedykalizowanym społeczeństwie (Medicine, Biopolitics, Bioethics in a Medicalized Society). Sociomedical thematic issue of the periodical “Acta Universitatis Lodzensis, Folia Sociologica”, 2013, vol. 45, Łódź: Wyd. Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, 2013; ss. 210 (ISSN 0208-600X) (table of contents in Polish and English to be downloaded here)
- MICHAŁ SKRZYPEK (ed.), Fundamentals of Interdisciplinarity in Health Sciences. The Cognitive Identity of Disciplines that Study the Sociocultural Dimension of Health and Illness (Original title: Podstawy interdyscyplinarności w naukach o zdrowiu. Poznawcza tożsamość dyscyplin badających socjokulturowy wymiar zdrowia i choroby), Wydawnictwo KUL, Lublin 2014, pp. 380 (ISBN: 978-83-7702-896-4); (table of contents in English to be downloaded HERE)
Scientific initiatives implemented under the auspices of the Polish Sociological Association’s Section for Health and Medical Sociology (since 2013):
The 6th National Interdisciplinary Conference of Students and Young Scientists “Changes of Modernity: Body, Health, Work in Humanistic and Medical Discourse”, organized by the Łódź Medical University’s Sociology Department and the PANOPTICUM Research Workshop of Medical University Sociology Students , will be held under the scientific auspices of Polish Sociological Association’s Section for Health and Medical Sociology. The Conference will take place in Łódź on 17 October 2014.
The 5th National Conference of Sociology Students “Medicine, the Media, Work in the Society of Liquid Modernity”, organized by the Łódź Medical University’s Sociology Department and the PANOPTICUM Research Workshop of Medical University Sociology Students , was held under the scientific auspices of Polish Sociological Association’s Medical Sociology Section. The Conference took place in Łódź on 18 October 2013.
1. Table of contents: MICHAŁ SKRZYPEK (ed.). Socjologia medycyny w multidyscyplinarnych badaniach humanizujących biomedycynę (Medical Sociology in Multidiscipilinary Studies Humanizing Biomedicine). Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL, 2013.
The Board of the Section kindly informs that in accordance with the resolution no. 10 of the Main Board of the Polish Sociological Association of 28 February 2014 the name of our Section was changed on the motion of the Board of the Medical Sociology Section into the “Section for Health and Medical Sociology”. The change reflects the scope of research activities of many Colleagues in the sociomedical community, who investigate the problems of health and health promotion, and it is in keeping with the European and world trends in the research field of our subdiscipline, which emphasize the importance of studies on the social aspects of health. (the resolution in Polish to be downloaded here)
You are invited to participate in The II National Scientific and Instructional Conference „Sociology of Medicine – health promotion – aging”, which will take place on 20 – 21 March, 2015 in Wrocław. The conference is organized by The Department of Humanistic Medical Sciences of the Medical University in Wroclaw, The Faculty of Anthropology of the Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, and The Polish Anthropological Society. President of the Organizing Committee: Małgorzata Synowiec-Piłat, Ph.D. More information can be found HERE.