Current activities of the Lodz Department of PSA
The functioning of the Lodz Department is concentrated on organizing different kinds of meetings and scientific sessions on various subjects.
There are quite a few Sections of the PSA which have their roots in Lodz, or the members of Lodz Departments are engaged in the boards of the Sections. These Sections are: Methodology of Social Research, Qualitative Sociology and Symbolic Interactionism, Sociology of Sport, Biographical Research, Sociology of Disability, Sociology of Body, Sociology of Gender, Sociology of Migration, Sociology of Art, Rural and Agricultural Sociology, Social Work.
The Lodz Department of the PSA is trying to continue good traditions started in the past: young sociology graduates who are awarded the prize for the best sociological M.A. thesis in the Jan and Krystyna Lutyńscy competition are invited to present their thesis during the Department’s meetings; meetings dedicated to creators of sociology in Lodz are organized; also sessions dedicated to important events in the history of academy in Lodz are organized (e.g., session about the students’ strike in 1981).
Apart from these special events, the Lodz Department of the PSA organises cyclical scientific meetings (at least once a month) which have different forms: discussions about books authored by sociologists from Lodz and from other sociological centres; presentations by laureates of the Stanisław Ossowski Award; discussion panels about important sociological issues (e.g., ethics of social research, immigration; interviews/talks with Authors who wrote influential books for sociological thought.
According to the data summing up the activity of the Departments, the Lodz Department of the PSA was placed among the three most active departments of the PSA. At the end of 2020 there were 93 members of the Lodz Department.
The Lodz Department of the PSA is open for cooperation with all of the Sections of the PSA, with some of them we already co-organise the scientific sessions and discussions.
The Lodz Department of the PSA cooperates closely with the Institute of Sociology, University of Lodz, and sometimes also cooperates with city institutions (e.g., the Museum of Modern Art, the Marek Edelman Dialogue Centre – jointly meetings).
Current political situation forced the board of the Lodz Department of the PSA and some of the members of the Lodz Department to issue a statement expressing our strong disapproval of Polish Constitutional Tribunal decision made on 22nd October 2020. The statement was supported by over 120 representants of the Lodz sociological community. [link: https://pts.org.pl/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Stanowisko-lodzkiego-srodowiska-socjologicznego_27.10.2020.pdf]
Members of the board elected for 2018-2020 term
- Andrzej Rostocki – president
- Sylwia Męcfal – vice-president
- Anna Kacperczyk – secretary
- Jakub Stempień – tresurer
- Agnieszka Golczyńska-Grondas – member of the board
- Krystyna Dzwonkowska-Godula – member of the board
- Wojciech Woźniak – member of the board
- Krystyna Lutyńska [+] – honourable member of the board
Komisja Rewizyjna (Audit Committee)
- Jakub Niedbalski – president
- Aneta Krzewińska
- Agnieszka Kretek-Kamińska
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oddziallodzkipts (in Polish)
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lodz Department of the Polish Sociological Association (PSA) was officially established on 15th February 1960. However at least 10 sociologists from Łódź (the employees of the Institute of Sociology at the University of Lodz and at the same time members of the editorial board of the Sociological Review [Przegląd Socjologiczny]) were already members of the Sociological Section of the Polish Philosophical Association.
This Section was formed as a result of an initiative by professor Stanisław Ossowski in 1956, when the communist authorities allowed Sociology back into Polish Universities. The sociologists from Łódź were encouraged to join the Sociological Section and the Lodz Department of PSA, by professor Józef Chałasiński who had already been one of the establishers of the Polish Sociological Association and a member of the central board of PSA before the II World War (since 1931).
The Lodz Department of PSA was formed by the creators of the Lodz sociological centre: professors Józef Chałasiński and Jan Szczepański together with their eldest students: Antonina Kłoskowska, Jan Lutyński, Wacław Piotrowski, Zygmunt Gostkowski and Jolanta Kulpińska.
However, among the first members – creators of the Sociological Section, and the Lodz Department of the PSA, were also: Krystyna Chałasińska, Krystyna Lutyńska, Renata Szwarc, Andrzej Borucki, Tadeusz Miller (statistics analyst), Ija Lazari Pawłowska (philosopher), Aleksander Kamiński (social pedagogue). The first organizational meeting of the Lodz Department of the PSA took place on 23rd February 1960. Professor Jan Szczepański was chosen to be the first president of the Lodz Department and 5 people became members of the board: Antonina Kłoskowska, Jan Lutyński, Wacław Piotrowski, Zygmunt Gostkowski, Jolanta Kulpińska.
The first scientific meeting took place on 25th February 1960 with a presentation by Jan Szczepański “The social status of intellectualist in industrial societies”.
From the very beginning the main activity of the Lodz Department of the PSA was the organization of scientific meetings. The meetings had a different character depending on the time period.
The first period – let us call it the academic period – papers were most often presented by professors or experienced sociologists. All the members of the Lodz Department participated in those meetings as they were very important scientific events. Sometimes guests were invited from other Polish cities/centres, but also from abroad, even from Western European countries (in the times of political laxity), which obviously was of a great importance for the participants in those days. In the 1960’s the meetings took place at the Institute of Sociology in Uniwersytecka 3 Street, and after the Institute was moved to the Faculty of Economics and Sociology – at the new address of the Institute in Rewolucji 1905 Street.
In the 1970’s, when the Department of Industrial Sociology was established in the Institute of Sociology, many sociology graduates started working in the Industry, as so called ‘factory sociologists’. The Lodz Department of the PSA started organizing meetings with so called ‘people of practice’ i.e. engineers, clerks from the Urban National Council [Miejska Rada Narodowa], doctors and artists. The meetings were then attended not only by sociologists, but also by the ‘people from the city’. One of the members of the Lodz Department of the PSA, Andrzej Gniazdowski, started ‘Forum’, whose main goal was the development of social analysis departments in different factories. In this second period the Lodz Department was involved a lot in the ‘social practice’ and was closely tied with the city of Łódź.
Only in the 80’s, when the great social and political transformation was starting in Poland and the whole of the PSA was deeply interested in general/common problems (e.g. the PSA was fighting with censorship), also the Lodz Department of the PSA started inviting sociologists and activists from the opposition to the meetings. A lot of people (also from outside the University of Lodz) attended the speeches made by the guests from Warsaw: Jadwiga Staniszkis, Stefan Nowak, Jan Strzelecki, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, Ryszard Kapuściński, Andrzej Rychard, and by one of the locals: Jan Lutyński.
The Security Service (Służba Bezpieczeństwa) made a lot of complaints about those meetings. Many officers visited the president of the Lodz Department of the PSA (Jolanta Kulpińska) to show their disapproval.
In those days, from 9th to 12th September 1981 the VI Polish Sociological Congress took place in Łódź. The main topic of the discussion was: ‘Polish sociology and the social problems in the country’.
It was without doubt the most important event in the history of the Lodz Department of the PSA. The Congress was taking place during a particular and meaningful moment of the history – at the same time in Gdańsk there was the Solidarity Congress and some of the sociologists came to Łódź travelling straight from Gdańsk. Antoni Sułek wrote about the VI Polish Sociological Congress stating that it was the first Congress after World War II with the programme filled with topics without political constraints and which exposed the ‘true face’ of the situation thanks to sociological interpretation. The Congress included speeches e.g. about the current strikes (J. Kulpińska), the Solidarity movement (J.Staniszkis), dogmatic authoritarianism (J. Lutyński) and many other topics. The atmosphere at the Congress was splendid, although the media ignored the event completely and it was difficult to even get a loaf of bread in Łódź at that time.
After the Congress the communist authorities did not allow the publication of any materials/papers presented at the Congress. They were published much later, in 2007, in one of the issues of Przegląd Socjologiczny.
During the martial law period the functioning of the Lodz Department of the PSA was suspended.
Apart from being active in the Lodz Department of the PSA the members from Łódź were always involved in the work of the PSA in general. They were chosen as the central board members: in the 50’s: J. Chałasiński, J. Szczepański, A. Kłoskowska, J. Lutyński. They had different functions e.g., J. Szczepański, J. Lutyński, J. Kulpińska were vice-presidents of the PSA and in 1993 A. Kłoskowska was chosen to be the president of the PSA.
Some of the Lodz Department members have been involved in the central board of the PSA for a long time: K. Lutyńska, W.A. Rostocki, and at present K.T. Konecki (currently the president of the PSA, elected in 2020 for the second term). Many members had and still have different functions in the organs of the PSA: the Auditing Comitee, the Arbitration Comitee and others. They are also members of the jury in the S. Ossowski competition (for the best sociological book), the F. Znaniecki competition (for the best M.A. thesis) and the competition for the best translation of a sociological work.
[The history of the Lodz Department of the PSA was written in 2011 by prof. Krystyna Lutyńska]