Mikołaj Pawlak

Instytut Profilaktyki Społecznej i Resocjalizacji

Tying Micro and Macro

Tying Micro and Macro: What Fills up the Sociological Vacuum?

Berlin 2018: Peter Lang

The objective of the book „Tying Micro and Macro: What Fills up the Sociological Vacuum?” has been to critically discuss the thesis on sociological vacuum formulated by Stefan Nowak and its subsequent uses in explaining various social phenomena. It expresses the idea that although Polish people are bonded with their families and close circles of friends on the level of primary groups, as well as with their national community, they have no significant bonds with other structures existing between those two levels. I claim that so much attention paid to the thesis on the sociological vacuum is disproportionate to its actual explanatory power. I have located the reason for this misunderstanding, which was described as “a spell” cast on Polish sociologists, in the under-theorization of the link between the micro- and macro-levels of analysis. Therefore, the book „Tying Micro and Macro” is not only a book about the sociological vacuum – it is a book about the micro-macro link in sociological theory. The story of sociological vacuum was treated as an illustration of what might happen when there are no proper tools to grasp the micro-level connections between individuals, small groups, interactions, relations, and situations, and the macro-level of social classes, states, nations, and societies. In the book, I claimed that ironically, the term “sociological vacuum,” which was coined to describe the lack of something in society represents the lack of something in sociology itself. The vacuum is not between the level of individuals and their primary groups, and the level of a nation, but in many sociological theories it is employed to explain the links between everyday experiences and large-sized processes. In Tying Micro and Macro, my objective was to demonstrate how various theoretical approaches to integrating the micro-macro divide in sociological theory can be also useful in understanding what was troubling many scholars who believed in the thesis on the sociological vacuum.

The book is an outcome of the research project „What fills up the sociological vacuum? The reinterpretation of Stefan Nowak’s thesis from a network perspective, as exemplified by the labor market behaviors” supported by the National Science Centre.

Pawlak, Mikołaj. 2018. Tying Micro and Macro: What Fills up the Sociological Vacuum?. Berlin: Peter Lang. [Introduction]

The book on the publisher’s website [LINK].

The book on the CeON Repository [LINK].



Mucha, Janusz. 2019. O wypełanianiu (nie)istniejącej próżni. „Kultura i Społeczeństwo” 63(4): 179-191.

Sułek, Antoni. 2019. Mikołaj Pawlak, Tying micro and macro: What fills up the sociological vacuum, Berlin: Peter Lang 2018, ss. 270. „Przegląd Socjologiczny” 68(1): 157-160.



Tying Micro and Macro was recommended by the Rector of the University of Warsaw for the Prime Minister Prize for the distinguished habilitation works.


About the Tying Micro and Macro

Grzegorz Sroczyński. O próżni socjologicznej – fakty czy spekulacje? (interview with Mikołaj Pawlak). „Świat się chwieje”, Radio TOK FM, 24-03-2019.

Mikołaj Pawlak. Próżnia w społeczeństwie czy w socjologii? (video). „SocjoKato – Socjologiczny Klub Dyskusyjny” Regionalny Instytut Kultury w Katowicach i Polskie Towarzystwo Socjologiczne (oddział Katowice), 20-03-2019.

Edwin Bendyk. Polacy mniej narodowi, bardziej miastowi. „Polityka” 9 (3200), 26-02-2019.


Wersja polska