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From the society of real socialism to a market society: Changes in the value system of the Polish society

Urszula Swadźba

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The article addresses the problem of changes in the system of three basic values in the Polish society: work, family and religion. First, it defines the concept of value and after a short presentation of different theories of value, adopts an adequate definition for the scope of analysis. Then, on the basis of Polish sociologists and their research, it shows the changes in these three values from the end of the 50s up until modern times. These changes are divided into four periods: 1) the end of the 50s and the 60s. 2) the 70s. 3) the 80s. 4) the period of transformation (from the beginning of the 90s). The division is dependent on major political events in Poland, and economic changes that have affected the system of values. In the analysis the empirical studies are included. They were taken by Polish sociologists involved in the system of values, especially work, religion and family. The value of work, in particular declined in the period of real socialism and increased in the nineties. In the conclusion the author builds a model of changes in the system of values of Poles.

Keywords: change – values – work – family – religion – Polish society