Social Anthropology and Social History Research Group

dr hab. Justyna Straczuk, prof. IFiS PAN – Head
dr hab. Anna Wylegała, prof. IFiS PAN
dr Olha Krasko, post-doc

dr Olena Kondratiuk
mgr Róża Kochanowska, scholarship holder 

Our team was born out of the need for sociology to become more open to the perspectives and research practices characteristic of the related humanities, in particular social anthropology and social history. These disciplines are characterised by a bottom-up view of the socio-cultural world, primarily from the point of view of an individual and the various ways in which they make sense of the world around them. The cultural and historical variability of these meanings allows for the deconstruction of the orders and social arrangements that shape human experience. Bringing together the practices and optics of different disciplines prompts us to be more methodologically attentive and to reflect more deeply on the circumstances and ways in which the academic knowledge is produced. Therefore, we devote a lot of attention to developing qualitative research methodologies with a particular focus on their ethical dimension. In our analytical strategies, we favour theories that are closely linked to research practice, mainly micro-oriented and sensitive to detail. The research techniques and methods we use are mainly ethnography, narrative interviewing, critical discourse analysis and in-depth analysis of historical sources.


Team members:


Justyna Straczuk, PhD, Associate Professor

Research interests:

Critical border studies, ecological humanities, anthropology of emotions, food studies

Research project in progress:

“Humanitarian crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border – social and ecological dimensions”.

This is an immersive ethnographic research conducted in the activist community operating in the Bialowieza Forest region since the outbreak of the humanitarian crisis. Issues of interest to me are the internal dynamics of grassroots solidarity movements, the social and ecological consequences of the securitisation and humanitarisation of borders, the natural environment and the local community in the face of the crisis


Anna Wylegała, PhD, Associate Professor ost-doctoral degree

Research interests:

Methodology of qualitative research in an interdisciplinary approach, oral history, social history of World War II, collective and individual memory

Research project in progress:

“Researching the collecting, preserving, analysing and disclosing of Ukrainian testimonies of the 2022 war”, project funded by NCN within the OPUS-LAP competition, contract number UMO-2022/47/I/HS6/03071

The project is a continuation of the documentation activities carried out by researchers from Ukraine, Poland, Luxembourg, the UK and Germany within the framework of the initiative ‘24.02.2022, 5am: Testimonies from the War” ( After collecting more than 200 testimonies from Ukrainian refugee women and men in Poland, 150 in Ukraine and 50 in Luxembourg, we are moving on to research work with this material. As part of our project, we will contact the selected female and male interviewees again and, according to a previously developed methodology, record a second round of interviews. The interviews will then be processed, while the entire corpus of sources will be analysed. Our focus will be on the language of the interview and the analysis of narrative structures, the formation of biographical and social memory of the Russian invasion, identity issues and the migration strategies chosen by the interviewees. The project will pay particular attention to questions of methodology and ethics in collecting, analysing and sharing data on the still ongoing armed conflict. The project will result in making the entire collection available to all those interested in research and educational activities involving it, at selected stationary access points.

The project will be carried out in cooperation with a research team from Luxembourg and with a participation of a Ukrainian partner.


The project team at IFiS PAN includes:

Olha Krasko, PhD, post-doc researcher

Research interests:

oral history, social history, memory studies, history of education and higher education, history and contemporaneity of war migration


Róża Kochanowska, MA, scholarship holder (PhD student at the UW)

Research interests:

Corpus linguistics, language of war, word studies, computational linguistics, links between history and language

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