On Tuesday June 10th Ilona Wysmulek (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences) presented a paper titled ‘Gift Giving in Educational Institutions in Ukraine and Poland: Mixed Method Comparative Study’.


This presentation is on methodological challenges of conducting cross-national research on gift-giving in schools of Ukraine and Poland. This comparative case study of the intensive and highly-developed gift-giving relationship in schools is located in the fields of sociology of education and comparative social sciences. The phenomenon of gift-giving has two main peculiarities: on one side, gift-giving can be interpreted as a sign of personification of relationships, a sign of respect and gratitude that has a deep cultural background; on the other side, it can be seen as an unregulated practice that is a component of indirect discrimination perched on the edge of corruption. Interpretation varies: Is it a sign of good and friendly relationships between teachers and parents or a sign of rotten relationships between those actors, uncomfortable for both? I will present the research outline and the stages of the planned research to open discussion on this study’s methodological puzzles, and of researching sensitive issues and informal relationships in general.