Our Collections

Local Traditions for the Community and for Democracy (Joanna Kurczewska’s research from 1996–1999)

The collection contains materials from research conducted in 1996–1999 as part of the project entitled “Tradition as a way of coping with the new reality: Comparative studies of pattern-setting activities of families and local authorities” [Tradycja jako sposób radzenia sobie z nową rzeczywistością: studia porównawcze działań wzorotwórczych rodzin i autorytetów lokalnych], carried out under the direction of Prof. Joanna Kurczewska at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

The aim of the project was to capture the role of tradition as a constitutive factor for the activation of local communities and to indicate the integrity of relations between the middle-order structures and the quality of democracy and, in consequence, to define the role of various types of local traditions in shaping different elements of civil society in Poland. The research was carried out in three local communities located in different regions of Poland and representing the history of three different powers ruling on the Polish territories: Września (Prussia), Skoczów (Austro-Hungary) and Węgrów (Russia). As part of this research, in-depth individual interviews were conducted with members of families having a different degree of rootedness in the local community, with formal and informal figures of authority treated as “guardians of the local tradition” and with representatives of institutions and associations that played a significant role in the social life of the local community concerned (e.g. local government, local museum, Volunteer Fire Brigade and religious parish). 

The collection consists of 45 transcripts of individual in-depth interviews conducted in three local communities and includes: 30 transcripts of individual in-depth interviews with families with different degrees of rootedness in the local communities under study, 10 transcripts of individual in-depth interviews with local authorities and 5 transcripts of interviews with representatives of selected institutions and local organisations.

Given the need to protect the interviewees’ personal data, archived electronic transcripts of interviews (pdf format) are available in anonymised versions.   

In addition to empirical materials, additional research materials are available, i.e. a project description and a set of research tools used during the study, which contains: 1) questionnaire of a family interview (together with a family memorabilia questionnaire and instructions for describing the circumstances of the interview), 2) questionnaire of an interview with a local figure of authority, and 3) instructions for an interview with representatives of local institutions and organisations.