1st Edition

The Many Faces of Tolerance Attitudes toward Diversity in Poland

By Ewa A. Golebiowska Copyright 2014
    210 Pages
    by Routledge

    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    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.

    "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