Ethnic Composition of Polish Society

Courses in foreign languages at the Faculty

Maria Szmeja prof. AGH

Semester: spring

Key words:

Ethnic Composition of Polish Society (print)

Course description:

The aim of this course is the analysis of ethnic composition of Polish society, past and

present, within the context of the sociology of social structure and stratification, conflict sociology, social and cultural anthropology, as well as anthropology of Central and Eastern Europe. Also will be mentioned some aspects of multicultural societies, prejudice and tolerance.

The topics to be covered are:

1. Why does ethnicity matter? Introduction to the course.
2. The nature of ethnicity. History of nations.
3. Ethnic stratification. Minority status. Ethnic/national identification.
4. Prejudices and discrimination- history and presence.
5. Multicultural societies. Assimilation and pluralism.
6. Central and Eastern Europe and its ethnicity.
7. Ethnic composition of inter-war Polish society.
8. Post-war transformations in ethnic composition of Polish society.
9. Ukrainians in post-war Poland.
10. Byelorussians in post-war Poland.
11. German issue in post-war Poland.
12. Jewish issue in post-war Poland.
13. Small ethnic minorities in post-war Poland.
14. Emigration and immigration in post-war Poland.
15. Conclusions.


  • Ethnicity. Oxford Readers.1996. (ed) John Hutchinson, A.D. Smith. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

  • Fleming Michael, 2003, National Minorities in Post-Communist Poland. Veritas. London

  • Hałas Elżbieta, 2005, Constructing the Identity of a Nation-State. Symbolic Conflict over the Preamble to the Constitution of the Third Republic of Poland. “ Polish Sociological Review” nr 1

  • Marger, Martin N. 2009. Race and Ethnic Relations. American and Global Perspectives. Eight Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

  • The Role of Ethnic Minorities in Border Region. Forms of their Composition. Problems of Development and Political Right. 2003. (ed) Marek Koter, Krystian Heffner. University of Lodz, Silesian Institute. Łódź-Opole

  • Szczepański, Marek S. (ed.). 1997. Ethnic Minorities and Ethnic Majority. Sociological Studies of Ethnic Relations in Poland. Wyd. UŚ. Katowice

Grading system:

I do expect that participants after course could understood of the nature of ethnic issues in modern global society, and particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, with a concentration on Poland. Also, they would Understood  the dynamics of the ethnic composition of post-World War II Polish society, Understood background of the ethnic discrimination.

Routine: Weekly consultations, weekly assignment of readings, examination essay.


to sign up for this course you have to enter