Wroclaw Department — Polish Sociological Association

The Wrocław Branch of the Polish Sociological Association was established in 1963. It reached around 60 members in the years 1968-1970; the number oscillating between 50 and 85 members over years. The Branch was initially organised by sociologists employed at the Sociology Research Unit (Katedra) at the University of Wrocław. The core event in the first 20 years of the existence of the Wrocław Branch was the organisation of the 7th Congress of Polish Sociologists in 17-20.09.1986. In 1988 the Branch started its continuous cooperation with the newly established Institute of Sociology at the University of Wrocław. During over 40 years of its history, the Branch organised and co-organised over 300 lectures and over 30 conferences. In the early years, the most important fields of its activity included sociological theory, the sociology of culture, urban and rural sociology and the sociology of work and industry. In the 1990s and 2000s, these traditional fields of interests were supplemented by the sociology of system transformation and communication studies and, more recently, by the sociology of education, the military sociology and the sociology of borderlands.

One of the important aspects of the Branch’s activity in 2000s was its cooperation with the sociology students’ clubs and associations, including the involvement in the organisation of students’ "The Days of Sociologists" as well as the engagement of students in the organisation of conferences. The main direction of the most recent development of the Branch – to be continued in the next years – relies on strengthening international cooperation and exchange by the organisation of international conferences, workshops and lectures. In 2010 and 2011 three major international conferences were organised by our Branch (“Social Agency: theoretical and methodological challenges of the 21st century humanist sociology”; “Negotiating capitalism in Central and Eastern Europe? Chances and barriers to trade union renewal in a comparative perspective” and “Polish Neighbourhoods: Lenkija, Litwa, Polska, Lietuva”) attended by the leading international scholars in the field of sociological theory and industrial relations. Our goal is to serve the local community of sociology students and scholars by providing an user-friendly venue to present original research of local and international scope, as well as by promoting their professional interests and offering tools to cope with new challenges in the increasingly competitive world of academia. In order to disseminate and popularise the research carried out by the Wrocław’s sociologists, we began in autumn 2011 to organise cyclical meetings of sociologists, invited disputants and the general public in the “Cafe Literatka” in Wrocław. The meetings attracted significant interest, with 50-70 people attending them every month.