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 Polish version of 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 2016-2018 (election in January 2016 ):
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