In sociological analysis of crisis in Poland during the 1980s the author distinguishes 3 phases of the conflict: the period prior to 1980 (latent development of conflicting interests and aspirations), years 1980-1981 (the outbreak of the conflict and open articulation of interests) and the period that started with the introduction of martial law (an attempt of settling the conflict by eliminating one of its sides). Studying the dynamics of the conflict the author pays attention to the shift from dissatisfaction by the distribution system to the dissatisfaction with the efficiency of the economic system, on the one hand, and to the shift from anger directed at powerful elite to the critique of the methods of coming into power and limitations for authentic political participation, on the other. Conflict has evolved from a conflict of interests of particular groups into the global conflict involving the whole society. Moreover, beside the resistance to the system the crises brought about the grass root program of reforms. Although deprivation theory party explains the dynamics of the Polish conflict, the latter also possesses several unique features (e.g. high non-conformism of the working class; low level of adaptive reactions to conflict). The author suggests considering factors that might influence the unique course of the conflict in Poland and speculates on the potential means of overcoming conflict that could account for these unique features.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.