About a hundred years since the five-volumes The Polish Peasant in Europe and America was published by G. Badger, Boston (1918- 1920), after William Thomas was expelled from the Department of Sociology of the University of Chicago, the text still stands as the very first masterpiece on sociology and research and the very first historical analysis on migration. We propose to consider, in light of the debate of the intervening years, the specificity of the studies of Thomas and Znaniecki, among other things, on immigration, the cultural ethnic dimension of the reality and methodology used to explain it.
The work by Thomas and Znaniecki has always referred to the field in which the research took place, as well as its methodology and the relational behavior of individuals in which the social transformation took place.
One century later, the text proposes, among other things, using methods that favor contact with the subjects being analyzed as a milestone in sociological study; focused, by the way, on understanding, explaining and interpreting reality, the structure of ethnic identity, values and attitudes, disorganization and demoralization, social and individual, subcultures, urban influences, interaction between old and new worlds and Americanization, deviance, relationships between individual attitudes, control and social constraints.
These authors have contributed in a unique and substantial way to the construction of sociology in the early twentieth century, in a journey whose trace indelibly marks the history of the discipline, becoming a classic, still relevant today by way of the attention, reference and mutation of many other scholars.