The Many Faces of Tolerance: Attitudes toward Diversity in Poland, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Many Faces of Tolerance

Attitudes toward Diversity in Poland, 1st Edition

By Ewa A. Golebiowska


210 pages

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Paperback: 9781138218512
pub: 2016-08-03
Hardback: 9780415818520
pub: 2014-06-05
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This book presents a systematic account on Poles’ attitudes toward ethnic, religious, political, and sexual minorities. It investigates Poland’s reputation as an intolerant, anti-Semitic, and homophobic country. Counter to a simplistic image of Poland as a hotbed of intolerance, the book shows that Polish intolerance has many faces. For one thing, Poles’ attitudes toward diversity vary from one group to another. For another, the extent to which Poles’ attitudes are more or less negative depends on the right or activity they are asked to support and who the respondents happen to be. The book is the most comprehensive and empirically sophisticated synthesis of Poles’ attitudes toward diversity to date. Previous research tends to describe Poles’ attitudes toward a single minority at a time and only examines subgroup differences in their thinking about diversity.

The Many Faces of Tolerance is a multi-faceted analysis of Poles’ sentiments toward historically and currently discriminated against groups that assesses Poles’ acceptance of different minorities and authoritatively analyzes its sources. As part of this endeavor, the book develops a ranking of influences on Poles’ tolerance, undertakes a forecasting of future changes in tolerance in Poland, and proposes practical strategies to ameliorate existing intolerance.


"In her excellent book, Ewa Golebiowska presents the pervasiveness of prejudice in a country where the Holocaust took place. This superbly written and thorough survey of religious, ethnic and sexual hatred paradoxically conveys a positive message: the younger and more educated cohorts bring hope for the more tolerant Poland of tomorrow."

—Michael Bilewicz, University of Warsaw

"What is the meaning of pluralism in a place where virtually everyone is ethnically Polish and Catholic? How can we explain (and stop) intolerance and violence against ethnic, religious and sexual minorities? The Many Faces of Tolerance investigates these key social and political issues through detailed examinations of survey data on contemporary Poles’ attitudes towards various Others—real or imagined. Most importantly, Golebiowska identifies the causal structure behind different sub-groups’ (in)tolerance of specific minorities. This insightful book thus provides not only a more complete and nuanced portrait of intolerance in Poland, but also sheds light on the causes and mechanisms motivating conflict or harmony more generally."

—Geneviève Zubrzycki, University of Michigan

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Theoretical Framework 3. Ethnic and Religious Tolerance 4: Attitudes toward Women in Public Life and Politics 5. Tolerance of Political Dissenters 6: Attitudes toward Gay and Lesbian Rights 7. Summary and Conclusions

About the Author

Ewa A. Golebiowska is an associate professor of political science at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She specializes in political psychology and political behavior, with a particular interest in public opinion on civil rights and liberties. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals, including The Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Polish Sociological Review, and East European Politics and Societies.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Political Psychology

Advisory Board: Ted Brader, University of Michigan; Eugene Borgida, University of Minnesota; Marc Ross, Bryn Mawr College and Linda Skitka, University of Illinois, Chicago

Political psychology is dedicated to the analysis of the interrelationships between psychological and political processes. The field is interdisciplinary in nature, bidirectional in influence (the psyche influences political orientation and the polity leaves its mark on who we are), and draws on a broad range of disciplinary sources, including cultural anthropology, history, economics, neuroscience, behavioral genetics, sociology, and organizational behavior. From a psychological perspective, politics is not only about "who gets what" in the material sense; it is also about how psychological predispositions, social identities and bounded information processing capacities fundamentally shape and constrain how individuals interact with their government and society at large.

The Routledge Studies in Political Psychology was developed to publish books representing the widest range of theoretical, methodological and epistemological approaches in political psychology. The series is intended to expand awareness of the creative application of psychological theory within the domain of politics and foster deeper appreciation of the psychological roots of political behavior. We are particularly interested in scholarly monographs, but proposals for edited volumes will also be considered. 

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Civil Rights
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Parties