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Contemporary Migrations in the Humanistic Coefficient Perspective

Florian Znaniecki’s Thought in Today’s Social Science Research

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Edited By Jacek Kubera and Łukasz Skoczylas

This book presents contributions from migration sociologists inspired by Florian Znaniecki’s theory and the results of his studies to conduct their own research in countries like Austria, China, Greece and Poland. The authors evaluate today’s migration phenomena with reference to a coherent theoretical system. The book can be used as a manual presenting the tools for examining the migration experience from many angles: a sense of national identity (ethnic and civic), family ties, the importance of the social environment in the process of an individual’s integration with the society or an evolution of entire social systems within which the migrants operate.

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Introduction

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Nearly a hundred years ago, William I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki published The Polish Peasant in Europe and America (1918–1920), a book of cardinal importance to the sociology of migration. It was also a milestone in the development of the Chicago School in sociology because the authors had collected qualitative empirical material among migrants on an unprecedented scale (personal documents, letters, autobiographies) and suggested innovative solutions in the realm of social theory (a scheme of the course of international migrations).

The main goal of publishing Contemporary Migrations in the Humanistic Coefficient Perspective is to present the potential of The Polish Peasant and other works of F. Znaniecki for contemporary research into migration processes.

More than ever before international migrations pose a challenge to social research not only because as a political subject they give rise to ongoing controversy in the United States, France, Poland or China. As scholars we are looking for new theoretical and methodological tools which help us to identify the experience of migration in a specific cultural and religious, social and economic as well as legal and political contexts. At the same time we want our research to allow for generalizations and to contribute to the development of social theory. On the one hand, we are aware of the diversity of migration experiences. On the other hand, we realize the need of building models and schemes that would allow for comparing various types of migrations and, in consequence, their better...

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