A collection titled ‘Narratives of Political and Economic Transition, 1995’ has been published in the QDA. The collection includes 73 transcripts of qualitative interviews conducted in 1995 with selected respondents from the ongoing study which is known as the Polish Panel Survey, POLPAN (as well as two pilot interview transcripts). The interviews were conducted by Dr. Denise Powers, who was a doctoral student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at that time. Based on those interviews, she defended her doctoral thesis titled ‘The Psychological Basis of Democratic Transitions: Self and Politics in Poland.’ The interviews were conducted in Polish and anonymized before being included in the QDA’s resources.
On March 22nd, the third Oral History Seminar took place at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFiS PAN). The event was co-organized by the QDA, the Polish Oral History Association and the Faculty of Culture and Arts of the University of Warsaw. The focus of the analysis were interview transcripts from Professor Antonina Kłoskowska’s collection titled ‘National Cultures at the Grass-root Level,’ deposited in the Qualitative Data Archive at IFiS PAN (this study served as the basis for a book with the same title, published in Polish in 1996 and in English in 2001). Two accounts analyzed during the meeting were conducted in 1992 in villages located in eastern Poland, near the Belarusian border. Prof. Izabella Bukraba-Rylska, who conducted the interviews, agreed to revisit her materials after 30 years and participated in the seminar. The discussion during the meeting covered the factual layer of the interviews, methodological issues (related to the applied tool, as well as the transition from empirical material to scientific text), and changes occurring over time in the approach to archiving research materials.
A new dataset titled ‘Resolutions of Tripartite Commission for Socio-Economic Affairs in Poland (2001–2015). Classification of resolutions from the social dialogue’s effectiveness point of view,’ authored by Dr. Dariusz Szklarczyk from the AGH University of Krakow, has been published in the QDA. The dataset includes resolutions developed during the activities of the Tripartite Commission for Socio-Economic Affairs in Poland from 2001 to 2015, along with their categorization using the ‘associational participation scale’ (Talos & Kittel 2001). The aim of the study was to define and evaluate the effectiveness of the Tripartite Commission’s actions in the context of assessing the effectiveness of social dialogue at the national level in Poland.
On February 22nd, the meeting of the pilot series titled Oral History Seminars took place at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFiS PAN). The event was co-organized by the QDA, the Polish Oral History Association and the Faculty of Culture and Arts of the University of Warsaw. This time the participants analyzed an interview from Dr. Maria Buko’s ongoing project, which focuses on the children of German concentration camp prisoners. The account was filled with difficult emotions, so the discussion dedicated a lot of attention to ethical issues and the necessity of caring not only for the well-being of the interviewees but also for the interviewers themselves.
The Qualitative Data Archive (QDA), together with the Polish Oral History Association and the Faculty of Culture and Arts of the University of Warsaw, is organizing a pilot series of Oral History Seminars. These workshop-style meetings are dedicated to the analysis of interviews conducted within the field of oral history, both those stored in archives and completely new ones recorded as part of ongoing projects. The main initiator is Dr. Jakub Gałęziowski from the University of Warsaw. The meetings are patronized by the journal Wrocławski Rocznik Historii Mówionej (Wrocław Yearbook of Oral History).
On January 25th, the first meeting of the new series took place at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFiS PAN). The first part was devoted to presenting the idea of the seminars and discussing how to implement it. In the second part, the participants jointly analyzed an interview conducted by Dr. Jakub Gałęziowski as part of the currently ongoing project “A Breach in the System: The ‘Polonia Firms’ 1976-1994”. The meeting was attended by 23 participants representing over a dozen institutions, including academic units, archives, and NGOs.
The upcoming meeting dates are February 22nd, March 22nd, April 26th, and May 24th. The seminars will take place at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. To join the mailing list and receive materials for the upcoming meetings, please contact the organizers at email@example.com.
From the side of the QDA, Dr. Piotr Filipkowski and Dr. Danuta Życzyńska-Ciołek are involved in the project.
On December 7, 2022, Ms. Marianna Czabator started an internship in the QDA. Her task involves preparing one of the qualitative datasets created at IFIS PAN for release at the Archive. We are happy for this collaboration!
On November 25–26, 2022 the Young Sociologists Forum was held at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. During this event, members of the QDA team – Dr. Danuta Życzyńska-Ciołek and Maciej Melon – presented a paper on the archiving and sharing of social research data. They also introduced the audience to the functioning of the Social Data Repository.
In November 2022, the QDA team co-organized a series of three seminars under a common title ‘Biographical Sociology and Oral History in Poland (Review of Good Neighbor Relationships)’.
Oral history and sociological biographical research are close to each other. In the Polish context, this neighborliness is particularly intense – one can even speak of an intersection, or even a partial overlap, between the two approaches and research practices. Oral history researchers are eager to use the theoretical and methodological background of biographical sociology. Sociologists are active in oral history research and documentation projects.
This intensive collaboration, however, does not invalidate important questions about the similarities and differences between these – intrinsically heterogeneous – ways of recording, analyzing and interpreting the individual and collective experiences of our interlocutors, interviewees, or witnesses to history.
We believe it is a good time to bring together practitioners and theorists of sociological biographical research and oral history to update and re-discuss some of these questions. We have arranged the issues for discussion into three groups, choosing the category of experience (biographical, social, historical, but also research experience) as central to both approaches, though not necessarily defined in the same way.
Panel I – November 10, 2022, Łódź
Biographical sociology: theory – method – practice. What actually happens, between the meeting with the person and the scientific text?
Panelists: Professor Adam Mrozowicki, Professor Katarzyna Waniek, Professor Agnieszka Golczyńska-Grondas, Professor Mariusz Granosik, Dr. Jerzy Stachowiak
Panel II – November 16, 2022, Warszawa
The category of experience in sociology and oral history. What does biographical sociology speak about, and what does oral history speak about?
Panelists: Professor Kaja Kaźmierska, Dr. Jakub Gałęziowski, Dr. Andrzej Czyżewski, Dr. Anna Wylegała, Dr. Dominik Czapigo, Dr. Danuta Życzyńska-Ciołek (moderator)
Panel III – November 23, 2022, Wrocław
Oral history: practice – method – theory. What kind of past does oral history re/construct and why?
Panelists: Professor Marta Kurkowska-Budzan, Professor Dobrochna Kałwa, Dr. Piotr Filipkowski, Dr. Marcin Stasiak, Dr. Marcin Jarząbek, Dr. Katarzyna Bock-Matuszyk
Organizers: The Depot History Centre, The ‘Remembrance and Future’ Center, Polish Oral History Association, Wrocław Yearbook of Oral History, Polish Sociological Association, Center for Biographical Research and Oral History of the University of Łódź, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (in particular: the Qualitative Data Archive).
Organizing Committee: Piotr Filipkowski, Ewa Maj, Katarzyna Waniek, Danuta Życzyńska-Ciołek
On October 20, 2022, Maciej Melon presented the Qualitative Data Archive to the participants of the third edition of the Data Steward School, organized by Visnea company.
In the first part of the meeting, Maciej Melon presented the history of the Archive and outlined its current tasks related to the preservation of the cultural heritage of social sciences, data reinterpretation and research revisits. He also pointed to the transparency of methods and tools used by researchers, which the Archive promotes.
The second part was more of a workshop, describing the Archive’s tasks related to the day-to-day work on archiving and making research data available. There was considerable discussion on issues and concerns, such as the impact of anonymisation on the subsequent usability of data or the tension between making data open and protecting the rights of those being interviewed. There were also technical questions, related to file formats or the types of licences used in QDA.
We are grateful for the invitation and the opportunity to share our experiences!
A new dataset entitled “Communicational Aspects of the Social Dissent over the Evaluation of the Polish Systemic Transition and Democracy: A Preliminary Study on the Discursive Awareness of the Symbolic Elites” has been published in the QDA. The author of the dataset is Dr. Magdalena Nowicka-Franczak. The dataset contains 21 transcriptions of interviews with journalists, columnists, and public intellectuals, who work or cooperate with nationwide opinion-making media. The study, conducted in 2021, aimed at analyzing a discursive awareness of media symbolic elites, that is, their beliefs on how public discourse influences social reality, competence to distinguish discourse constructs from empirical reality, and readiness to critically assess their discourse. The study was conducted under (Polish) National Science Center grant 2020/04/X/HS6/00110.