The article is devoted to the presentation and analysis of the research on the social consequences of uneployment conducted in Poland in 1930s during the Great Depression. The Polish study ran parallel to the classic study of Marienthal near Vienna conducted by Paul Lazarsfeld and his team. Majority of Polish studies of poverty were done, just as their Austrian counterparts, by researchers of the socialdemocratic orientation (Leon Krzywicki and his Institute for Social Economy). Methodology of such research ranged from collection and analysis of autobiographical data, structured and open interviews, mail-in questionnaires, observation, analysis of official data (medical, economic and police records) as well as of household budgets. Some of these methods were used in Poland in social research for the first time. The Polish studies of unemployment provided a multifaceted and deep picture of its social consequences. In particular, just as in Marienthal, they demonstrated a devastating effect unemployment had on the personality of the unemployed - apathy, passivity, and inability to organize. The article also discusses the reception of the Marienthal studies in Polish sociology, for instance by Florian Znaniecki, and presents an attempt to draw theoretical generalizations of its results published in 1938 by a psychologist Tadeusz Tomaszewski.
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