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The Sociologist's EyeReflections on Social Life$
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Kai Erikson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300106671

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300106671.001.0001

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The Journey of Piotr and Kasia Walkowiak

The Journey of Piotr and Kasia Walkowiak

(p.137) The Journey of Piotr and Kasia Walkowiak
The Sociologist's Eye

Kai Erikson

Yale University Press

This chapter tells the story of peasants from rural Poland who entered a migrant stream around the turn of the twentieth century that carried them, along with tens of millions of others, across a number of clearly marked national borderlines as well as a number of unmarked cultural ones. The peasants were a couple named Piotr and Kasia Walkowiak, and the words spoken by them as well as the events recalled here are based on the hundreds of letters and diaries gathered in the 1910s by two sociologists from the University of Chicago, W. I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki. The chapter first describes the world into which Piotr and Kasia were born, focusing on family, village, and land. It then considers their journey, together with millions of other immigrants, and how they changed both the face of Europe and the face of the United States.

Keywords:   peasants, Poland, Piotr and Kasia Walkowiak, family, village, land, immigrants, Europe, United States

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