Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Ethnic Studies
Paul Wrobel’s study of a Polish-American community provides valuable insight into one of America’s largest white ethnic groups. Recent studies of Polish-Americans, such as Neil Sandberg’s Ethnic Identity and Assimilation: the Polish American Community in Los Angeles (New York: Praeger, 1974), have been few and often lacking in insight, even if providing some information. Wrobel provides a window for outsiders to look at St. Thaddeus parish on the northeast side of Detroit, a neighborhood reflecting “the cultural attitudes and values of its residents, especially their need for order and cleanliness.” (p. 46.) He takes care to emphasize that his study is only a start, describing and analyzing one particular community to provide the basis for future comparisons. Wrobel, a third generation Polish-American, with the assistance of his wife Kathleen, used participant-observer techniques for the study during the three years they and their children lived and worked in the neighborhood. This was supplemented with semi-formal interviews, census materials, parish records and city directories to gain an overview of the area.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1980