Piotr Sztompka

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Piotr Sztompka
Born (1944-03-02) 2 March 1944 (age 70)
Warsaw, Poland
Nationality Polish
Fields Sociological theory, Visual sociology, Sociology of everyday life
Alma mater Jagiellonian University
Influences Robert K. Merton
Notable awards Prize of the Foundation for Polish Science (2006)

Piotr Sztompka (born 2 March 1944 in Warsaw[1]) is a Polish sociologist known for his work on the theory of social trust. He works at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland where he is Professor of Sociology, and has also been visiting professor many times at UCLA and Columbia University. He was also elected President of International Sociological Association and fulfilled this role from 2002 to 2006.[2]


Sztompka has studied law and sociology at Jagiellonian University in Kraków and subsequently pursued his education in the latter, as he obtained his Ph.D. in 1970. Two years later he was awarded a scholarship at University of California, Berkeley as a part of the Fulbright Program. Since 1974 until now he has been working there in the Faculty of Sociology, first as an assistant and later as a professor. In the 70. there commenced a close collaboration between him and Robert K. Merton that largely influenced Sztompka's view on the discipline.

Sztompka has also taught as visiting professor at Columbia University, the University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Rome, and Tischner European University. Fellow of Collegium Invisibile.[3]

Contribution to sociology[edit]

Sztompka's sociological interest concentrates mainly on the notion of 'trust', social change and, recently, visual sociology.[4]


  • System and Function (Studies in Anthropology, 1974).
  • Sociological Dilemmas (1979).
  • Robert K. Merton: an Intellectual Profile (1986)
  • The New Technological Challenge and Socialist Societies (editor, 1987).
  • Rethinking Progress (with Jeffrey C. Alexander, 1990).
  • Society in Action: the Theory of Social Becoming (1991).
  • Sociology in Europe: in Search of Identity (with Birgitta Nedelmann, 1993).
  • The Sociology of Social Change (1993).
  • Agency and Structure: Reorienting Social Theory (International Studies in Global Change, vol. 4; editor, 1994).
  • Robert K. Merton, On Social Structure and Science (editor, 1996).
  • Trust: a Sociological Theory (1999).

See also[edit]


  • "Sztompka, Piotr (1944—)," Contemporary Authors, 2004.

External links[edit]