Polish General Social Survey (PGSS) Series

The Polish General Social Survey (PGSS) series was developed by the Institute for Social Studies at the University of Warsaw with core funding from the Committee for Scientific Research (KBN). It is an ongoing program of research to monitor social trends in Poland and was designed with three principal objectives: (1) to provide a systematic, annual measurement of trends (and constants) in the social characteristics and opinions of Polish society, (2) to supply the scientific community (and all interested persons and institutions) with fresh, accurate, and interesting data about Polish society, and (3) to provide data for social researchers for use in international comparative studies, particularly data on the processes of social change in Poland, for cross-referencing with similar processes in other societies and cultures. Conducted annually from 1992 to 1995 and biennially subsequently, the PGSS series studies individual attitudes, values, orientations, and social behavior, as well as socio-demographic, occupational, educational, and economic differentiation in Poland. The content of the survey changes somewhat from year to year, but core questions and the order in which they are asked have been kept intact, thus enabling comparative analyses across time. The PGSS program is linked with programs of systematic social studies conducted in other countries through the PGSS' and the Institute for Social Studies' participation in the International Social Survey Program (ISSP). Each edition of the PGSS contains topical modules from the ISSP to enable cross-country analysis in a time dimension: "Inequality II" (1992), "Environment" (1993), and "Family and Changing Gender Roles II" and "Sexual Behavior" (1994). Also, from the very beginning of work on the PGSS program, cooperation was established with two similar programs of systematic studies of basic social indicators conducted in the United States and Germany: the American General Social Survey (GSS) initiated in 1972 and conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, and the Allgemeinen Bevolkerungsumfragen der Socialwissenschaften (ALLBUS), the German program of systematic study of basic social indicators conducted since 1980 by Zentrum fur Umfragen, Methoden und Analysen in Mannheim. PGSS introduced a selected number of questions and indicators directly comparable with the results of GSS and ALLBUS surveys to facilitate comparative analyses. The PGSS Council accepted the proposal to adapt and include in the permanent core of the PGSS questionnaire many of the basic indicators used in the GSS and ALLBUS program: indicators of social structure, and a scale of social, political, and economic opinions and attitudes.