Stefan Nowak Award
In order to commemorate the figure and achievements of Stefan Nowak (1924-1989) and to promote research in fields particularly close to his heart, the Institute of Sociology at Warsaw University established the Prize named after him in 1995, awarded for “achievements in the methodology of social research and for methodologically innovative studies of Polish society”.
Above all others, Stefan Nowak is most suited to be the patron of this award from the Institute of Sociology. Spending his entire adult life at Warsaw Sociology Department, he lived through the entire progression and formation of the political system– from the beginnings of the Polish People’s Republic to its collapse. He was among the first student-enthusiasts of sociology after the war, and a student of Stanislaw Ossowski. At the University of Warsaw, he went through all levels of his academic career, from junior assistant up to membership in the most distinguished academies of science.
Stefan Nowak – through his research, teaching work, activities in the sociological community and his own example – has had a serious impact on the appearance and methodology of sociology in our country. Many sociologists are and feel indebted to him. The establishment of an award in his name is an expression of the awareness of this debt.
To commemorate the figure and achievements of Stefan Nowak (1924-1989) and to promote research in fields particularly close to his heart, in 1995 the Institute of Sociology at Warsaw University established the Prize named after him, awarded for “achievements in the methodology of social research and for methodologically innovative studies of Polish society.”
Stefan Nowak is suited like no one else to be the patron of the award of the Institute of Sociology. He spent his entire adult life at Warsaw Sociology and lived through the entire political system formation – from the beginnings of the Polish People’s Republic to its collapse. He was among the first student-enthusiasts of sociology after the war. He was a student of Stanislaw Ossowski. At the University of Warsaw, he went through all levels of his academic career, from junior assistant to membership in the most distinguished academies of science.
At Warsaw University, he wrote the first modern textbooks on social research methodology in Poland. Through his seminars the methodology of empirical research permeated Poland, and at them one could learn to combine theoretical imagination with reliable methodolgy. Working with Nowak, many sociologists gained scientific formation, and the content or style of his thinking is still present in their work.
Here he realized his empirical research. In 1958, he studied the “social ideology” of Warsaw students, and this was the first academic survey in the post-1956 revival of Polish sociology. In 1961 Nowak conducted research on subjective aspects of social structure, the first such complete study of this field in Poland. Among the results was the important finding that the ideals of socialist egalitarianism had taken hold in society and had become the basis for criticism of reality. In the early 1970s, Nowak studied the intergenerational transmission of values and concluded that there was no “generation gap” in Poland. Stefan Nowak was an outstanding expert on Polish society – not just its stimulus, and his notion of a “social vacuum” as one of the few sociological concepts has become a circulating one.
Stefan Nowak was among the scholars who took seriously the injunction of “disobedience in thinking”, formulated by Ossowski, and extended this beyond the sphere of science. He was an example of independence in public thinking and action, a support for the “unruly” – even when such an attitude was still rarely expressed.
Stefan Nowak – through his research, teaching work, activities in the sociological community and his own example – had a serious impact on the face and workshop of sociology in our country. Many sociologists are and feel indebted to him. The establishment of a prize named after him is an expression of awareness of this debt.
General Regulations of the Stefan Nowak Award:
- The Stefan Nowak Prize is awarded by the Institute of Sociology of the University of Warsaw for achievements in the field of methodology of social sciences and for methodologically innovative research in Polish society.
- The prize may be awarded to a work published in the three years preceding the year in which the Prize is awarded. A series of works may also be awarded, but at least one of these works must have appeared in the three years preceding the year in which the Award is given.
- The Prize for achievements in methodology shall be awarded to domestic authors, and the Prize for the study of Polish society will be awarded to both domestic and foreign authors.
- The Prize is awarded every two years. If the Jury does not award the Prize in a given year, it shall be awarded in the following year.
- The winner of the Prize receives a diploma and a financial award. The award presentation is ceremonial, and the Laureate delivers a lecture dedicated to the memory of Stefan Nowak. The lecture is published in print.
- The Jury consists of three people and is elected every two years by the Council of the Institute of Sociology of the UW. A new Jury will be elected if the Jury does not award the Prize in a given year and it is to be awarded in the following year.
- Interpretation of the Regulations of the Prize rests with the Jury.
Winners of the Stefan Nowak Award
Awarded for achievements in qualitative methodology and innovative qualitative social research crowned with a series of works from l. 1994-2019: Organizational Culture of Japanese Enterprises (1994), Studies in Qualitative Research Methodology (2000), People and Their Animals (2005), numerous articles in “Review of Qualitative Sociology” up to Advances in Contemplative Social Research (2019).
Awarded for research on the “invisible city,” for its conception and leadership.
Awarded for research on the ecology and dynamics of poverty in the big city.
Awarded for initiating and conducting the Polish General Election Study and research on the voting behavior of Poles in the context of a changing political system.
Awarded for contributions to the methodology of computer simulation and mathematical modeling of social processes.
Bogdan W. Mach
Awarded for the book Generation of Historical Hope and Everyday Risk and other works on the impact of political change in Poland on social personality.
Awarded for research and works on the structure of Polish society during systemic change.
Kazimierz M. Słomczyński
Awarded for research on the relationship between an individual’s position in the social structure and his psychological functioning.
Awarded for initiating, conceptualizing and directing the research program Polish General Social Survey, the results of which are contained in the volumes Polish General Social Survey. Structure of cumulative data, 1992-1995.
Awarded for the book Surveys in Poland: a sociological and anthropological perspective.