It could be argued that the social environment we live in consists of a wide spectrum of communities exerting their impact upon us. Various groups themselves, as well as their agency, influence both the process of socialization and contribute to changes in one's personality. Out of numerous social groups which influence us, associations play a particularly important role. The authoress classifies various types of associations and also defines the very concept of 'association' on the basis of criteria expressed in legislation as well as in the Polish Constitution. She refers to the definitions suggested by pedagogues and sociologists, yet ultimately assumes that associations are understood as internally organized social groups which are permanent in nature and whose members voluntarily and democratically aim at achieving assumed targets. The activity of the groups is based on regulations specified in the statutes of particular associations. The association as a social group should satisfy specific needs and contribute to the development of the personality of its members. The authoress formulates a thesis according to which the very existence of associations is of significant importance and that the influence they exert on their members as well on the entire society is enormous. Associations perform a paramount role in adult education and hence contribute to the process of life-long studying, promote continuous education and make people aware of the need to enhance their qualifications on the permanent basis as well as of the resulting benefits. However, in conclusion, she observes that the existence of associations as such is not sufficient if we want to talk about a mature and developed civil society. Hence there is a need to encourage the involvement of citizens in public issues, which in turn could create an opportunity for developing a civil society in Poland and grant non governmental organizations both appropriate significance and subjectivity.
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”.