Research

My research to date has been focused around several research areas.

One of my research areas is the sociology of culture; I specialize in discovering new mechanisms of cultural participation, primarily in regard to prosumption, which refers to the phenomenon of cultural creations being produced and consumed simultaneously. In my work, I have considered issues connected with presumption and have intensively researched active (producing) groups of consumers (for example, fans).

I elaborated on theories of prosumption in my Ph.D. dissertation, which advanced an innovative perspective on the issues around the development of prosumption. My dissertation Kultury prosumpcji (Cultures of Prosumption), later published as a book, confirmed that researchers who have investigated the emergence of prosumption have overlooked the fact that prosumption is developing in different parts of the world in different ways: there are varied levels of prosumer activity in different parts of the world and discrepancies as to the different forms of prosumption.

I am also interested in the social aspects of the Internet; I have focused in particular on the influence of the Internet on changes in the nature of human communities and issues pertaining to the privacy of Internet users. Other interests of mine include media education, the globalization of culture, and methods and techniques of social research.

Regarding my publications, my significant works include a book entitled Religia a internet (Religion and the Internet), articles in scientific periodicals, and chapters in books. I examined issues in media education in two books stemming from research projects I coordinated (“Children of the Net” and “Children of the Net 2.0”).

    Interests

    • Sociology of Culture
    • Cultural Sociology
    • Media Studies
    • Internet Studies
    • Media Literacy
    • Prosumption
    • Fan Studies
    • Research Methods
    • Scientometrics

    Research Projects

    • Contemporary Polish Humanities in the face of the Challenges of Scientometrics

      Contemporary Polish Humanities in the face of the Challenges of Scientometrics

      2014-2018 – Financed by the National Programme for the Development of Humanities in Poland, Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education

      I am both a member and the main researcher of Scientometrics, a Polish research group. The project team is composed of representatives from various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including philosophy, sociology, cultural studies, bibliology, and informatology.

      Currently, our research group is engaged in “Contemporary Polish Humanities in the Face of the Challenges of Scientometrics,” a project at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań financed by the National Programme for the Development of Humanities in Poland, Decision Number 0057/NPHR3/H11/82/2014. The project is scheduled to be conducted in four years: we started in September 2014 and will finish working by the end of 2018.

      The purpose of the project is to determine the status of the Polish humanities in the context of the scientometric assessment of scientific work and to develop a model to promote research in the Polish humanities. These goals were established because with the increased use of bibliometric indicators to assess the achievements of scientists, research in the humanities has come to be seen as “incalculable” (and sometimes as unnecessary). The humanities must adapt to the changing requirements for projects financed with public funds; we want to examine how representatives of the social sciences and humanities in Poland can cope in this new environment.

      Our research problem pertains to quantitative and qualitative methods that can be used to appraise the contemporary social sciences and humanities. The main area of our research is the humanities; however, we do not want to dissociate the social sciences from our research because dividing the humanities and social sciences is often impossible. We are concerned both with the bibliometric analysis of written output as well as the image of the sciences in the media. Therefore, when writing about the humanities, we most often refer to the social sciences and humanities together.

      See the project website.

    • 2.0 or 0? Cultural Blogging in the Light of Transformations of Participatory Culture

      2.0 or 0? Cultural Blogging in the Light of Transformations of Participatory Culture

      2015 – Financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

      How do cultural blogs fit into participatory culture? What is their potential in the area of cultural education? How may activity and networking on the Internet translate into building communities and undertaking activity offline? These are some of the questions that have been considered by the interdisciplinary research team of the project: Grzegorz D. Stunża (Principal Investigator), Piotr Siuda, Radosław Bomba, Krzysztof Stachura, Sławomir Czarnecki and Natalia Brylowska. The project was carried out by the City Culture Institute ( Instytut Kultury Miejskiej) in Gdansk, Poland, from February to December 2015.

      The project involved, among other things, analysing the bloggers’ motivations to write, and describing the content published on cultural blogs. Apart from the characteristics of the cultural blogosphere and looking at bloggers’ activity, the researchers’ aim was also to investigate into the possibilities of cooperation between cultural institutions and bloggers – practical recommendations in this area have been presented as part of the project. This has been the only qualitative research into the Polish cultural blogosphere so far.

      See the research report (in Polish).

    • Prosumption in the Pop Industry. An Analysis of Polish Entertainment Companies

      Prosumption in the Pop Industry. An Analysis of Polish Entertainment Companies

      2013 – Financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

      This project has been undertaken by the Local Knowledge Foundation (Fundacja Wiedza Lokalna) and was financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. It was allocated funding under the “Observatory of Culture” program. The research activities were conducted between March and December 2013. I was the author and Principal Investigator of this project; Radosław Bomba, Magdalena Kamińska, Grzegorz D. Stunża, Anna Szylar, Marek Troszyński, and Tomasz Żaglewski comprised the research team.

      The project examined 1) whether pop culture provides an opportunity for companies to involve consumers in the creative process in Poland and (2) whether consumers are becoming prosumers and are actively participating in promoting and producing media brands. Prosumption is a portmanteau formed from the words “production” and “consumption.” The term was coined by Alvin Toffler. Toffler conceived prosumers as consumers predisposed to actively helping to improve, design, create, and advertise various goods and services.

      The overall aim of this project was to examine the Polish pop culture industry from the standpoint of the implementation of pro-prosumer practices. Our findings indicated the degree of orientation of selected Polish companies towards the development of these practices and their results; furthermore, whether such practices can be useful in the context of market research was indicated. In addition, we also aimed to understand why enterprises implement these activities, and in particular, whether implementation varies depending on the type of pop culture text produced. The project provided answers to a number of questions, including: what approach do Polish pop culture producers take toward marketing? Do they imitate producers of the Western media in this regard? Does pop culture in Poland present an opportunity for producers to engage consumers in the creative process?

      See a summary of the research report.

    • Children of the Net 2.0: Media Literacy of the Young

      Children of the Net 2.0: Media Literacy of the Young

      2013 – Financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

      The project was executed by the Foundation Center for Social Research and Analysis (Fundacja Ośrodek Badań i Analiz Społecznych) and the City Culture Institute (Instytut Kultury Miejskiej) and concerned the competences of children aged between 13 and 16 years in regard to Internet use. The project lasted from February to December 2013; I was the project’s Principal Investigator.

      The competences that received particular attention included:

      • Being able to competently and effectively obtain and collect information from the Internet.
      • Being able to critically assess information.
      • Being able to create, process, and present content on the Internet.
      • Having knowledge of the legal aspects of content production and distribution.
      • Having a level of empathy and an awareness of one’s image on the Internet.
      • Having an understanding of safety and privacy on the Internet.
      • Being able to participate in Internet communities.

      The study used both quantitative and qualitative methods. A questionnaire-based study of competences, an ethnographic study of the online services most frequently visited by junior high school students, and a comprehensive analysis of school curricula were conducted.

      The project was co-funded by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage within the “Observatory of Culture” (Obserwatorium Kultury) program.

      See the research report (in Polish).

    • Children of the Net: Media Literacy of the Youngest

      Children of the Net: Media Literacy of the Youngest

      2012 – Financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

      The project was undertaken from July to December 2012 under the aegis of the City Culture Institute in Gdansk and was funded by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Piotr Siuda (Principal Investigator), Grzegorz D. Stunża, Anna Justyna Dąbrowska, Marta Klimowicz, Emanuel Kulczycki, Damian Muszyński, Renata Piotrowska, Ewa Rozkosz, and Marcin Sieńko comprised the research team.

      The project concerned the competences of elementary school students in regard to using the Internet. The great expansion of this medium has facilitated continuous changes in custom as well as social and cultural transformations, reorganizing the lives of people connected to virtual environments. Consequently, it was decided that levels of competence among those who are going to shape the future—the youngest—would be investigated as regards functioning in the new virtual mode of reality.

      The project showed that elementary school students are not Internet-literate; they lack competences pertaining to Internet use.

      See the research report (in Polish).