Poland THE SOCIAL ORDER
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
Haystacks at the foot of the Tatra Mountains.
Highlanders guiding their sheep to pasture in the Tatra Mountains.
Musicians at the Zywiec Folk Festival.
The dislocations during and after World War II changed Poland's class structure and ethnic composition. Important parts of the Polish middle class--which between the world wars had become the foundation of industrial and commercial activity--were annihilated or forced to emigrate, and those that survived the war lost their social status with the advent of state socialism. Nazi and Soviet occupation also decimated the intelligentsia that had supplied expertise to the legal, medical, and academic professions. Under the postwar communist regimes, leaders of the ruling Polish United Worker's Party (Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza--PZPR) formed a new elite class by combining workers, peasants, and members of the intelligentsia in their ranks. Then in the late 1970s, the intelligentsia began to carry greater weight in the social structure by leading an intermittent, longterm protest movement. That movement culminated in the overthrow of the communist elite and reemergence of the dormant entrepreneurial segments of society.
Data as of October 1992
NOTE: The information regarding Poland on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Poland THE SOCIAL ORDER information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Poland THE SOCIAL ORDER should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.