The green island on the sea of recession? Two decades of the Polish transformation in the sociological perspective
The aim of the paper is to keep track of the selected elements of the Polish social reality in the last twenty years that may account for the way in which Poland has dealt with its major civilisation challenge. To achieve this, the authors start with an analysis of the Poles’ attitudes towards transformation. Next, they go on to outlining the major categories of the Polish society as a result of the whole process (economic situation, lifestyle and education were some of the variables included at this point). The authors pay some attention to two extremes that have been visible in Polish cities: gated communities and ghettos of poverty. Yet, it is not only within the cities that the differences emerge; for the past twenty years Poland has had to face its old and new regional divisions, now visible also through the prism of the EU dimension of the centre–periphery dichotomy. To sum up, the authors sketch a general picture of the winners and losers of the Polish transformation.