In 2018 we celebrated the centenary of the publication of The Polish Peasant in Europe and America (1918–1920) by William Isaac Thomas and Florian Znaniecki. For decades that followed its issuing, this ground-breaking monograph became a basic point of reference for qualitative research of biographical and social processes. It was the first complex study on migration, social disorganization, changing attitudes and values discussed from the individual/biographical perspective through analysing biographical data.
To celebrate the anniversary, we propose to revisit the ideas elaborated in the classical study by Thomas and Znaniecki as well as to revisit the empirical materials (autobiography, letters) initially analysed in The Polish Peasant.
The articles in the current issue of Przegląd Socjologiczny are grouped into three thematic sections, each focusing on various issues raised in The Polish Peasant. The first section with articles by Janusz Mucha and Catherine Delcroix is devoted to historical and contemporary reflection on the processes of emigration. The second section includes articles by Katarzyna Waniek, Maggie O’Neill, and a joint paper by Marek Nowak and Piotr Luczys. These address the problems in the methodology applied in The Polish Peasant from the perspective of contemporary
research techniques and the “translation” of the analytical categories used at that time of the initial writing into the language of contemporary sociology. The final part includes two texts by Jacek Kubera and a joint paper by Victoria
Semenova and Elena Rozhdestvenskaya offering a more reflective overview of research traditions in Poland and Russia inspired by Florian Znaniecki’s sociology.
The book review by Marcin Gońda comments on Contemporary migrations in the humanistic coefficient perspective. Florian Znaniecki’s thought in today’s social science research, an important volume edited by Jacek Kubera and Łukasz Skoczylas