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The Emotional Climate in Poland in the 80s: A New Perspective on the Social History of The Polish People’s Republic

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In this article we address a research problem bordering on sociology and history – the emotional climate in Poland in the 80s in the light of personal documents. We will describe the most important problems connected with the chosen perspective – we intend to apply the achievements of the history of emotions and the sociology of emotions. We will then present the theory of emotional climate by Joseph de Rivera and an untypical source that we are going to use: letters intercepted by censors. Finally we will present a sample of what can be understood from those letters about the emotional climate.


Sociology of Emotions, History of Emotions

“When Catherine Lutz and Geofrey M. White published an article entitled The Anthropology of Emotions in 1986 summing up the last decade of anthropological studies of emotions, the cited works, including mostly by American anthropologists, amounted to 194. Meanwhile, in 1970 the anthropology of emotions was still ‘virtually unknown’ (Reddy in Levy 2001: 34). Nowadays studying emotions, feelings, passions and mental states is conducted by interdisciplinary research facilities such as ‘The Center for the History of Emotions’ in The Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Berlin) or so called research cluster ‘Languages of Emotions’ in Freie Universität Berlin, employing, among others, cultural and social anthropologists. Since 2009, in cooperation with The International Society for Research on Emotion, established in 1984, an interdisciplinary quarterly magazine Emotion Review has been published. (Straczuk, Rajter 2011: 7–8).”

The words above were written by the author of the Polish issue of an anthology of the most important Western texts on social studies of emotions. Their monumental Emotions in culture [Emocje w kulturze], along with other books and magazines present on the Polish market (Czerner, Nieroba 2011; Binder, Palska, Pawlik 2009, Kultura i Społeczeństwo [Culture and Society] 1–2/2006, Societas/Communitas 2/2012 et al.) allow Polish researchers to professionally approach the plane of social emotions, as they are provided with inspiring theories and valuable research tools.

Reflection on the social character of emotions is present in the works of the classical sociological authors: Leon Petrażycki, Georg Simmel, Norbert Elias, Max Weber, Emil Durkheim, Erving Goffman, Harold Garfinkel, Florian Znaniecki, Stanisław Ossowski, but does not constitute a systematic main subject. Since the 1970s there has been a development of the sociology of emotions: a subdiscipline considering emotions to be a key component of social life. Works of authors such as Arlie Hochshild (1983) are a breakthrough leading to the development of a new way of talking about emotions and liberating the subject from the dominance of psychology.

What are the assumptions of the sociology of emotions? First of all the fact that emotions constitute the central element of human experience. Social institutions such as family, church and authority gain power thanks to the emotional engagement of people. Emotions have the power to create bonds and structures. They are social by nature and are evoked by stimuli of a symbolical character. The interactive course of emotions is also a social event. Emotions have structural conditioning, they are connected with the learning process, they can be passed on in a society, differ based on gender, age, education, social class or layer, affiliation with subcultures. They are connected with fulfilling social roles: the actor is expected to show emotions adequate to the models of his or her role.

Social and cultural factors can be found in emotion-triggering elements, the motivational function of emotions, the expression of emotions. The apparent spontaneity of our emotions is usually the cultural form of what was imprinted in us during the process of socialization and what was practiced by us numerous times. The phenomenon of social control can refer to the emotional plane, as emotions can be a tool of inclusion and exclusion, also in the relations between groups.

The culture of emotions is composed of “a set of concepts of what people are supposed to feel in different situations. Components of this culture are the emotional ideologies concerning the adequate attitudes, feelings and emotional reactions in the basic areas of activity” (Turner, Stets 2009: 51). Therefore, the culture encourages us to “manage the emotions” and to do emotion work (Hochschild 1983) to fit its requirements. The emotion work is most visible when the rules of a culture go against our personal beliefs, which is perfectly fitting to researching life in non-democratic systems.

Facilitating the perspective of the sociology of emotions leads to a conflict between the vision of the emotional and the rational human being. The sociology of emotions should not be perceived as an approach competitive to the theories dominating up to now in sociology, such as the theories of rational choice, interest, functional theory, exchange theory... (Pawlik 2012) Human activity can rarely be explained in just one way, it is often surprising, irrational, violent, it can defy reason – therefore the sociology of emotions can explain what is otherwise unexplainable. It can also describe “typical” behaviors showing aspects that are not visible from other perspectives.

Studying emotions can go back to the past, as changes in the content of emotional experiences have a historical character and are a reflection of broader social, cultural and economical changes. The history of emotions develops on a larger scale similarly to the sociology of emotions – from the 1970s. Historians look for emotions in the past to capture the emotional styles characteristic for a given epoch, as seen in the documents. Peter and Carol Stearns (1985), among others, postulate that historians use the theories and notions worked out in this field by social scientists. The area of study for historians can be both individual and collective emotional experiences, as well as the aforementioned culture of emotions. The works of Jean Delumeau or Carlo Ginzburg inspire not only monographs of various aspects of emotional life of the previous centuries, but also interesting theoretical proposals (Reddy 1997, 1999; Rosenwein 2010). The history of emotions is beginning to enter Polish science as well.1 It is worth mentioning that despite the difficulties resulting from temporal distance, historians of emotions focus more on the periods of time more distant than the second half of the 20th century, even though it would seem that a contemporary researcher would be more able to understand the emotions of people living in the 1980s than in The Middle Ages.2 Yet it is hard to present the historiographic output in the scope of social studies of emotions in The Polish People’s Republic.3

Meanwhile, the 1980s in Poland are a very interesting period for a historian and a sociologist of emotions. People experienced unusually strong emotions in the face of important political events and a dynamic situation. At the same time the discourse concerning these emotions was almost absent in the public space. For instance, there was no advertisement market using emotions as the basic element of communication and persuasion; formalized (and censored) state media did not operate like the contemporary tabloids or gossip websites which use emotions for profit. Nowadays every message is “dripping” with emotions, but earlier their expression was regulated by different norms and was permitted mostly in the private space. Moreover, the specificity of social life did not encourage untamed honesty.4 This is why the search for traces of emotions of Poles in the 1980s leads to a specific source: personal documents. However, let us first examine the theory of Joseph de Rivera, which is critical for our research.


Emotional Climate

The as yet unwritten emotional history of People’s Poland would show how political events influence human emotions. Poles were on an emotional rollercoaster after World War II; periods of social optimism and hope were intertwined with weeks of mass depression, the nose-diving of moods. The events of Polish October in 1956 contributed to publicly manifested enthusiasm. Ten years later the feeling of discouragement and dissatisfaction got the better of everybody.

The existing social order generates a specific system of experiences for individuals living within its scope. This system may be called the emotional climate.5 This specific type of emotional habits and reflexes influences human behavior, actions and social interactions; it is in turn influenced by the content of culture and the character of the political and economic regime. A socialist government and an inadequate economy created a specific climate. Narojek determined its most important features to be as follows: the importance of private strategies, informal actions, creating “warm” relations between people and “cold” on the line citizen-state.6 Joseph de Rivera defines emotional climate in a similar manner. It is a category helpful in describing the state of a society, exceeding the individual plane of people’s experiences and showing deeper and more permanent social processes, as it is not possible to check the climate of short outbursts of collective emotions.7

De Rivera distinguished a few types of climate. The Climate of Fear was described in reference to the dictatorships of South America: Argentina, Chile and El Salvador, where the recurring waves of violence were used to obtain and retain power by the military. Fear causes the bonds to weaken, it fosters atomization, increases distrust. People avoid voicing their opinions in a climate of fear. A long-lasting lack of the sense of security may interfere with the moral compass, lead to gradual acceptance of the world-view imposed by the regime, submission, decrease of a tendency for nonconformist behaviors. Its opposition is the Climate of Security which makes people trust each other and eagerly engage in social activities.

The Climate of Insecurity can be observed when people cannot predict what will happen in the immediate future: political or economic. They do not know if their money will retain its value, if there will be products in the shops and therefore which strategies they should adopt.

The Climate of Trust (or optimism) and its antonym: distrust, a dominating sense of pessimism, are treated by the contemporary economy as an important economic indicator. The economy thrives in a climate of trust, conflicts between groups lose significance, optimism among individuals increases along with the tendency to show individual initiative (also towards shopping).

The Climate of Dissatisfaction is created on the basis of relative deprivation: people see the discrepancies between the level of their aspirations and the level of their actual realization and at the same time feel that they have a right to possess what they want. Some level of deprivation is socially acceptable. However, in some situations the differences between the “aspiration curve” and the “needs satisfaction curve” is perceived as unfair. It provokes a feeling of frustration that is reflected by collective defiance and aggressive behaviors. The Climate of Hostility can be defined as another level of the climate of dissatisfaction, when a strong sense of frustration is aimed towards other groups, often ethnic.

The last two types of climate: The Climate of Solidarity and The Climate of Hope. The former is mentioned when “people feel as being a part of something bigger than themselves”. In such a situation they are able to sacrifice themselves for the common good and feel proud of the sacrifice made in its name. Upholding such a climate for more than a few years may require unity in face of a threat, usually external. The Climate of Hope is characterized by a high level of expectations for the future.

The typology presented above is not exclusive. We should rather discuss mixed climates with a given dominant. Differentiation of contemporary societies presents a problem to the research: some groups may feel satisfaction while other are frustrated. These distinct features may stem from local specificity (regions at risk of unemployment). We should also consider the cultural boundaries of a given country and historical experiences of its inhabitants. De Rivera points to emotional culture being superior to the category of climate.


Source Materials

The Centre for Public Opinion Research has monitored the level of optimism in Poland since the 1960s. However, the quantitative research is not able to precisely describe collective emotions. This is why we have to refer to other types of sources to recreate the emotional history of the People’s Republic of Poland. One of those sources are the reports of the Bureau “W” [Biuro “W”] based on the monitoring of the private correspondence of Poles.

Private letters had been read since the end of 1944, when the Military Department of Censorship within the Department of Public Safety was created. In April 1955 the Committee for Public Safety created Bureau “W” which was in twenty years transformed through administrative reform into “W” Departments in 38 voivodships. Under martial law, Bureau “W” was transformed into the Main Office of Censorship. Besides being used for typical operational objectives, the letters were used to analyze public mood. Those deemed interesting by the censors were cited and later gathered in special reports. It is hard to recognize this as a representative source, even considering the considerable amount of correspondence processed in this manner. Those are, however, private letters written without awareness of the interference of censorship, so we can assume them to be a more authentic sample of human emotions than, e.g. letters sent to the press or to the radio.

Most of the information of Bureau “W” was destroyed. It was possible to find only reports from the voivodship Offices of Censorship from Biała Podlaska and Wałbrzych. From the second half of the 1980s the whole collection of information with extracts from the letters attached therein has survived. The first reports are from January 1987 and the last – from April 1989.8


Climates of the 1980s – a chronological review

Political fear became a base of the system of power in the People’s Republic of Poland. It influenced people’s behavior, encouraged passive acceptance and non-participation in public life. “Government by fear” weakened medium level bonds as the importance of family and friends grew. Having a group of friends increased the sense of security in both the psychological and very “practical” aspects of life.9 People trusted their family and friends, relations with others were burdened by distrust. The authorities were especially untrustworthy; they could, at any given moment and without public consultation: change the currency, introduce price rises, impose new regulations making people’s lives harder. It was also easy to lose access to scarce goods, and a secure position in the hierarchy. This is why the importance of “deals” and “buddy system” grew, as they gave a sense of security and control over reality.10

However, not every aspect of life in People’s Republic of Poland should be perceived through the prism of fear. It was heavily noticeable in 1944–1947 and it peaked during the Stalinist times. It softened during the Polish thaw to remain mostly only in the memory of society after October 1956. The fear redoubled during the first months of martial law.11 13th December 1981 came as a shock. The tanks, fears and a vision of the leaders of “Solidarity” either murdered or exiled to Russia made people terrified. When the news of the first victims, miners from the “Wujek” mine became known to the public, fear and terror reached their peak levels. The highest level of fear lingered until the end of December. When it turned out that the people warming themselves around braziers were “ours”, and not Russians dressed in Polish uniforms, and when the repression turned out to be relatively moderate, both appeasement and anger appeared.

The opinions of people sympathizing with “Solidarity” were expressed in a more blatant manner. Martial law deepened the gap between the supporters of the regime and its opponents, it created a wall which seemed insuperable. The pronoun “them” became a common way of addressing the authorities. A letter from Ząbkowice Śląskie (21.12):

[...] pigs, scumbags, scoundrels, thugs, murderers, Gestapo officers or even worse, but I have no other words – how can a Pole kill a Pole in their own motherland? But those are the reds, and they can cook up all the worst things a mind can create.12

The general mood was heated at that moment and the memory of the underground army’s actions in the cities of Spain, Germany and Italy was still fresh. Ideas of terrorist actions against the regime united small groups of youths in Wrocław and Warsaw. A writer from Police, a town in Pomerania, sent a recipe for a bomb to his friend:

In Belfast they plant bombs, for example. Just in case, here is a recipe: sulfur 30 % – sublimated sulfur, carbon 30 % – gastric afflictions /in a pharmacy/, nitrate 40 % – or “Condy’s crystals”. That is all from me from now. In the next letter, if you wish, I can give you a detailed description of the technological process of making home-made moonshine. The equipment has to be lifted from a school.13

“War fear” significantly weakened the inclination to non-conformist behavior which arose in 1980–1981. This is why the Solidarity underground did not manage to carry out an all-out Poland-wide strike. After the brutal pacification of demonstrations by the militia on 3rd May and 31st August 1982, people grew less eager to manifest their views in the streets. Parents wrote to their daughter:

Małgosia, we heard that there was unrest in Lublin again. Remember, don’t get involved in anything, don’t let anybody talk you into anything, use your own judgment. Our and your aim is for you to finish your studies. Let this goal be imperative in your every action.14

On the other hand, the sense of danger lead to accepting the vision of conflict imposed by the regime. The first Poland‑wide opinion poll on martial law conducted by The Centre of Public Opinion Research in February 1982 showed that 69 % of the interviewees recognized the decision to introduce martial law to be justified and 20 % – to be unjustified.15 In subsequent polls, as pointed out by the sociologist Antoni Sułek, there was a rapid decline in the amount of people admitting former affiliation with Solidarity.16

To some Poles the introduction of martial law was a relief as it ended the period of uncertainty connected with the strikes and the tormenting question: “Will they come or not?” Some presented authoritarian views: respect for the authority, idealization of order, hostility towards any “troublemakers”. According to Seymour Martin Lipset, one of the factors predestining lower classes to authoritarian rules is a relative lack of economic and psychological security.16

Jan from Terespol wrote:

I am full of appreciation for WRON and the leader general. He introduced long awaited peace and order. This is the end for anarchists and the enemies of socialism.18

The beginning of 1982 came with the rapid impoverishment of Poles. 1st February brought the highest single increase of prices in the history of the Polish People’s Republic: food prices rose by 241 %, heating and power prices by 171 %. Ration cards for meat were introduced on 28th February. Immediate repression (fear, job loss) affected a relatively small part of society during the period of martial law, but everybody felt the burden of price rises.

A letter by a retiree from Wałbrzych:

I think our government has gone mad, because prices for anything available were increased by 250 – 400 % or even more. And our pension remained at 4800 PLN for two sick people. What can we buy in this situation? I am supposed to like and support our government which simply makes me die of starvation and poverty.

In spring 1982 the supply slightly improved, people were able to buy cheese, butter and eggs.19 But there still was not enough of some things – domestic appliances, furniture, curtains, toilet paper, household chemicals, clothes. Uncertainty connected with the supply, “will they make it available it or not”, whetted the atmosphere of panic, one of the most important symptoms of the emotional climate of that time.

The climate of uncertainty made people employ various strategies. They mostly stored things. They stockpiled of soap, toilet paper, flour and sugar in cupboards and basements. Cautious homemakers made jam and preserves; they pickled cucumbers, paprika, mushrooms. Big Soviet freezers became popular, as they could store meat. People hoarded gold and foreign currency “for a rainy day”. To get scarce goods and also secure “equitable” care in hospitals and “buddy systems”, networks and contacts were strengthened.

People depended on their families above all. Their members were sent as scouts to scour the area or to stand in line and get scarce goods. Retreat to the family realm also stemmed from the fact that the outside world after the 13th December became, if not hostile, at least uncongenial. At the beginning of martial law military commissioners appeared in workplaces and imposed often absurd norms of work discipline. Workplaces were reorganized, there were staff reshufflings, Solidarity activists were laid off. Increases in prices meant that work ceased to have material benefits, and its other benefits faded in an atmosphere of suspicion and no prospects.

After a few years, the fear gradually decreased. The communist government did not use the most drastic methods, those so eagerly practiced by military regimes in South America: they did not go as far as mass genocide, did not kidnap children or employ torture. Poland also did not experience intervention by the USSR. After martial law was introduced, there was no mass emigration of the elites, as was previously the case in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Poles did not feel abandoned like their neighbors did in 1956 and 1968 – they had their Pope. Moreover, a new generation of youth entered public life in the 1980s and had their own ways of rebelling20. People were gradually coming to terms with the situation. The authorities became ridiculous. The fear was defused by laughter. A sense of grotesque paranoia appeared. Simultaneously, the authorities gradually stopped using force in situations that would be previously resolved with violence. A man from Głogów wrote in August 1988:

On Sunday 31.07 we went to Holy Mass, after which a group of 30 people was formed and marched from one church to another through the streets of Głogów. During the march people sang “Boże coś Polskę...” [translator’s note: a religious and nationalist song], “Ojczyzno Ma” [tn: a patriotic song] and, while passing the barracks of the Polish Army, “Legiony” [tn: “We Are the First Brigade” – a soldiers’ song]. On one of the streets the march was photographed by a tourist from West Germany and the participants of the march raised their hands showing victory signs. We were all surprised that the Citizens’ Militia did not intervene. People were interested in the march, they stopped in the streets and watched it from their windows.21

From the mid-1980s the sense of fear was replaced by a pervasive sense of absurdity.22 A similar state was observed in Poland by the end of Gomułka’s term of office. However, by the end of Jaruzelski’s term of office the sense of absurdity spread, and had a much wider scope, causing the whole system to be treated as unnatural and absurd. It can be said that a new climate was born: a mixture of boredom, absurdity and despair.

This climate was shaped as an effect of everyday experience. First of all: boredom and a feeling of no sense in doing one’s job. Correspondents pointed to bad work organization and hidden unemployment, i.e. hiring anybody. The letters cited below were written in January 1987.

I started a new job on the 1st. Now I sit in an office and I’m an inspector of trade. I know nothing about it. For now I’m just sitting around and getting bored.
I have perfect conditions to think about pleasant things and write a letter at work. My ladies are not here because either they or their children are sick. I already had time to gossip, put on make-up and, most importantly, take out papers to keep up appearances.23

The authors of the letters have a “better”, specialized office job and higher job qualifications (secondary or higher education). “Those were the qualities which, on one hand, fostered a higher level of aspirations and on the other – expanded the scope of entanglement and dependence on the statecontrolled system of institutions, combining the individuals’ beginning of independent life with the period of the deepest crisis. (...) A disproportion between aspirations involving a vision of normal life with the possibilities of realizing their aspirations as offered by the system was especially noticeable for this category of people”.24

Aside from the already well described hardships of the economy of scarcity (queues, shortage of essential supplies),25 inflation proved to be onerous. Constantly rising prices crushed dreams of financial stability, a fair standard of living, a happy retirement. It made work lose its previous meaning. Especially when comparing one’s income with the earnings of workers in the private sector or those who worked in capitalist countries even for a short time. Hundreds of letters describe how Poles were fed up with inflation and how they lost hope for an improvement in the situation. An example form June 1988 (Zielona Góra):

When will we be able to finally live like normal people in other countries? We only get rising prices, the worst of which are the unofficial ones nobody talks about. Since February some products have gotten more expensive a few times already. There is no chance for a better living situation.26

This devouring sense of absurdity stemmed from the omnipresent People’s Republic of Poland’s coarseness as well. The clash of civilization collapse with the western world’s information technology revolution was painful. This feeling was perfectly conveyed by the author of one of the letters (Kędzierzyn-Koźle, mid-January 1987):

I am heartbroken and I see no point in doing anything. Our firm is making financial losses and the facility I work at is in a deplorable technical state. People generally do not do their job, there are incidents like theft, drinking at work. This is the way our socialist reality looks. To recap, we can say that the situation in our kolkhoz is a miniature image of what is happening in our country. One gets a sense that everything goes on because of some momentum with no control.27

An atmosphere of discontent had been mounting in Poland since the end of 1987, which was later manifested in strikes beginning in the middle of the next year. However, from Autumn 1988 the letters started to show the first signs of optimism. An improvement in the emotional climate was caused by information from the Soviet Union about perestroika. Some hopes were connected with the new government of Mieczysław F. Rakowski and the fact that the authorities gave permission for a television debate between Lech Wałęsa and Alfred Miodowicz, the chairman of the regime’s trade unions OPZZ [All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions].

Evolution towards a more optimistic climate caused people to organize themselves on political, educational and cultural fronts. Therefore the genesis of the Big Change in 1989 resulted from the change in people’s feelings and mind-sets: decline of social fear, anger and rage caused by the prolonged crisis and hope that change was possible.



Researching emotions in a historical perspective is subject to high risk. It is so primarily because of the specificity of the research – on one hand, emotions are something intangible that cannot always be recorded. On the other hand, they more strictly require proper recognition of the context in which they should be interpreted than “cold facts”. There are numerous difficulties: because of the fact that this subject was for many years exclusive to psychology and social psychology, historians find themselves having trouble with terminology and naming the object of the study. There is still a shortage of proper tools, even when considering the most recent history. When we facilitate the method of biographical interviews, oral history, emotions from the old days are recreated in retrospect and therefore they may not be well remembered, or distorted, hidden from the researcher and rationalized, especially when it comes to sensitive subjects.

Studying the existing materials, including personal documents such as letters written by authors not suspecting that anybody other than the addressee would read them, seems to be a safer choice. However, those letters are not a simple “stream of consciousness”. They are an act of communication, contact with another human being, to whom the sender may also not wish to reveal all their emotions. A social contract is important as well: standards for writing letters, describing experiences, an accepted level of unveiling of oneself, as well as the self-awareness of the writer – all these factors condition the effect of studying emotions on the basis of letters. One has to read them carefully, as the subject of emotions often appears in passing and is not necessarily an autonomous subject. An ability to transfer an individual perspective into the collective one and to generalize without simplifying is important as well.

It is worth making this effort not only to understand an earlier era. We often forget that emotions make for a very important component of collective memory (Kaźmierska 2011), and even if their actual causes have been long gone they – in a transformed shape – still influence our collective life. The aforementioned fear, discontent, boredom, sense of absurdity and the emptiness in the public sphere did not disappear from the collective consciousness in 1989. We still observe it in the fact that a great number of Poles retreated from the public life into private, family life. Currently diagnosed problems of Polish society: a low level of social trust, reluctance to build civil society, inclination to aggression and “hate speech” present mostly in Internet discourse, and even low turnout at the elections are deeply rooted in emotions. Some researchers have already use the tools of psychoanalysis to decipher hidden patterns of passing down traumas and psychological scripts (Leder 2014). The authors of this article believe that by understanding the emotions of Poles from the 1980s, we will be able to better understand contemporary Poland.


Marta Cobel-Tokarska. Works at the Sociology of Culture Department at the Academy of Special Education. She is interested in the idea of Central Europe (its representation in literature, culture and accounts of travellers) and the social history of the Polish People’s Republic. Her book “Bezludna wyspa, nora, grób. Wojenne kryjówki Żydów w okupowanej Polsce” (“Desert Island, Burrow, Grave. Hiding Places of Jews in Occupied Poland during the War”), was awarded the KLIO Prize for the best historical monograph of 2013 and was nominated for the Historical Award of the weekly magazine “Polityka.”

Marcin Zaremba. Historian and sociologist, lecturer at the Institute of History of the University of Warsaw. Research interests: the social history of the Polish People’s Republic of Poland. His recent publications include: “Wielka Trwoga. Polska 1944–1947. Ludowa reakcja na kryzys” (“The Great Fear. Poland of 1944–1947. The People’s Reaction to Crisis”). He is a regular contributor to the weekly magazine “Polityka,” to “Newsweek” and “Tygodnik Powszechny.”



1 e.g. The Polish Academy of Sciences and University of Warsaw support a series of conferences entitled Uczucia i emocje w refleksji nauk historycznych [Feelings and emotions in reflection of historical science] (

2 See also e.g.: Andrzej Wyrobisz, “Wielki strach w Wenecji i we Florencji w XV wieku i jego możliwe przyczyny,” Przegląd Historyczny 4 (2004), pp. 457–466; Zbigniew M. Osiński, Lęk w kulturze społeczeństwa polskiego w XVI–XVII wieku (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo DiG, 2009); Michał Tymowski, “Strach i odwaga w czasie pierwszych europejskich do Afrykiw XV w.,” Przegląd Historyczny 3 (2006), pp. 333–346; Artur Markowski, “Lęki i dylematy rodziny żydowskiej w strefie osiedlenia w połowie XIX w. – przykład Nowogródka,” Przegląd Historyczny 4 (2012), pp. 775–798.

3 Anna Giza-Poleszczuk, “Trywialność ludzkich niedoli w socjalistycznym welfare state,” in Winicjusz Narojek (ed.), Jednostka wobec sytemu. Antropologia trwania i zmiany (Warsaw: IFiS PAN, 1996), p. 149.

4 See Janine Wedel, Prywatna Polska (Warsaw: Trio, 2007).

5 Winicjusz Narojek, “Klimat stosunków międzyludzkich (Analiza antropologiczna),” Studia Socjologiczne 3 (1977), pp. 179–196.

6 Winicjusz Narojek, Socjalistyczne “welfare state” (Warsaw: PWN, 1991).

7 Joseph de Rivera, “Emotional Climate: Social Structure and Emotional Dynamics,” International Review of Studies on Emotion 2 (1992), pp. 197–218.

8Finding an incorrectly catalogued file in the archives of Institute of National Remembrance verges on the impossible. It was found by Professor Andrzej Paczkowski, for which I would like to thank him sincerely.

9 Stefan Nowak, “System wartości społeczeństwa polskiego,” Studia Socjologiczne 4 (1979), p. 158.

10 Ibid., p. 159.

11 For more information see: Andrzej Paczkowski, Wojna polsko-jaruzelska. Stan wojenny w Polsce 13 XII 1981 – 22 VII 1983 (Warsaw: Prószyński, 2006); Ireneusz Krzemiński, „Mniejsze zło czy zamordowanie polskich nadziei? Społeczne skutki wprowadzenia stanu wojennego,” in Paweł Piotrowski (ed.), Wokół “mniejszego zła”. Stan wojenny w Polsce (Wrocław: IPN, 2010).

12 Archiwum Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej Wr 052/28, k. 49, 28 XII 1981 r.

13 AIPN Wr 052/27, k. 101, Informacja nr 12/82, Wałbrzych, 29 III 1982 r.

14 AIPN Lu 0179/275 t. 10, k. 73, 17 V 1982 r., a descriptive information including the whole of information connected with the functioning of Voivodship’s Office of Censorship in Biała Podlaska.

15 Antoni Sułek, Ogród metodologii socjologicznej (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar, 2002), p. 69.

16 Antoni Sułek, Sondaż polski (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo IFiS PAN, 2001) pp. 128–131.

17 Seymour Martin Lipset, Homo politicus. Społeczne podstawy polityki (Warsaw: PWN, 1995), p. 119.

18 A document catalogued /AIPN Lu 0179/275 t. 10, k. 41, 25 I 1982/, a problematic piece of information including all the information connected with the functioning of the Voivodship Office of Censorship in Biała Podlaska.

19 On everyday life under martial law: Wojciech Markiewicz, “Kartki, oporniki, bimber,” Polityka December 22/29, 2001.

20 More on the subject: Marek Wierzbicki, Ostatni bunt. Młodzieżowa opozycja polityczna u schyłku PRL 1980–1990. Fakty, konteksty, interpretacje, IPN (Lublin-Warsaw: ISP PAN, 2013).

21 A document catalogued /AIPN 0449/54 t. 4, k. 86, 18 VIII 1988/, a collection of interesting commentaries and opinions, an attachment to information on attitudes and moods created on the basis of documents of “W”.

22 Mirosława Marody, Długi finał (Warsaw: WSiP, 1995), p. 54; Mirosława Marody, Jednostka w systemie..., (Warsaw: WSiP, 1995), pp. 221–226.

23 AIPN 0449/54 t. 4, k. 360–363/, a collection of characteristic statements noted down during monitoring of “W” from 2nd to 17th January 1987, an addendum to information on social attitudes and moods.

24 Mirosława Marody, Długi finał, p. 55.

25 See also: Małgorzata Mazurek, Społeczeństwo kolejki. O doświadczeniach niedoboru 1945–1989 (Warsaw: Trio, 2010); Jacek Kurczewski (ed.), Umowa o kartki, (Warsaw: Trio, 2004).

26 A document catalogued /AIPN 0449/54 t. 4, k. 97./, a collection of interesting commentaries and opinions, an attachment to information on attitudes and moods created on the basis of documents of “W”.

27 AIPN 0449/54 t. 4, k. 345/, a collection of characteristic statements noted down during monitoring of “W” from 19th to 31st January 1987, an addendum to information on social attitudes and moods.


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