ISSN online: 2221-1616

Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

Research Article

Кристина К Шафранец , associate of other organizaiton, ,
The social capital of the Polish village (in the context of Poland's integration into the EU).
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2011. Vol. 2. No. 2. P. 200-221

This Article is downloaded: 523 times
Topic: Sociology of village

For citation:
Шафранец К. . The social capital of the Polish village (in the context of Poland's integration into the EU). Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2011. Vol. 2. No. 2. P. 200-221


The process of Poland integration into the European community raises questions about the degree of readiness of society itself to perceive the changes that accompany accession to the EU. The challenges that the rural areas face in Poland are twofold. They include positive and targeted changes contained in the concept of rural development, which includes changes in social and agrarian structures, rural production technologies, the quality of the workforce, the living standards of rural residents, the state of the village infrastructure, and so on. They also imply the willingness of rural communities to effectively use the mechanisms applied in agricultural policy in the process of adapting the agriculture of certain member countries to EU standards. In these processes, an enormous role is played by social capital. The first part of the article is devoted to the analysis of the theories of social capital as the most important indicator of the level of society’s readiness for integration processes. The development of this category, the theoretical traditions underlying it are under study: P. Bourdieu’s concept of cultural structuralism and J. Coleman’s theory of rational choice and social exchange. Transformations of the social capital of Polish village are analyzed in the historical perspective, beginning with the organization of self-administration and mutual assistance of rural residents in the 1960s. The second part presents the results of empirical studies of social resources of the modern Polish village and their interpretation with involvement of categories of social capital. The influence of the European-wide programs on the restoration of social capital, the development with their help of social initiatives (funds, support networks, partnerships, centers of local initiatives) is analyzed. A different typology of social capital is presented, which includes, among others, the capital of social trust, the capital of social activity, the capital associated with civic positions, and innovation capital. The division of capital into the consolidating and the capital of bridging was used. The contradictory nature of the consolidating capital is shown. Various types of leaders of local communities, their role in the development of social capital are explored.


social capital, rural development potential, civic society


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