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Here are my journal publications in English, French and Polish. Scroll down for Polish articles...

Social Studies of Science

August 22, 2022 with 


Looking at scientists (in the life sciences), we focus on the sense of meaninglessness associated with bureaucratization. We define the sense of meaninglessness as a perception of meaning deficit or meaning conflict in particular situations that can be associated with frustration, irritation, and/or boredom. We show that it can be caused by identity disturbance – particularly the incongruence between the ideal self as a researcher and the imposed self as a bureaucrat. We claim that the sense of meaninglessness is more likely to emerge in those activities that are further from an individual’s core identity, and more identity work is needed to make them meaningful. We also claim that processes of rationalization imposed by external agendas, particularly transitions from substantive to formal rationality (predictability, control and calculability, efficiency) contribute to the proliferation of meaninglessness in academia. The sense of meaninglessness is, therefore, ignited by the external forces colonizing academic life and constitutes an instance of the ‘irrationality of rationality’. It is an outcome or side effect of the collision between two incompatible logics of practice: bureaucratic and scientific. To show the incongruence of those competing logics, we analyze the data derived from a mixed-method study conducted between 2013 and 2014 among beneficiaries of an international research grant project. As a supplementary source of reference, we use our research on academic boredom and laboratory scientists’ work and careers.

Journal of Contemporary Ethnography

April 15, 2021 With 

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This article examines the boredom of asylum seekers living in a refugee camp in southern Europe. It concerns the understudied yet widespread phenomenon of boredom in the detention centers and other places where people wait several months/years to obtain permits to stay in a given state (EU) and cannot work. Boredom is defined as a socially constructed feeling that is an effect of the interaction between people and institutional/organizational ambiance that lacks qualities necessary to arouse engagement. We distinguished three modalities of the phenomenon: “doing nothing,” “life in limbo,” and “strategic boredom.” We claim that the last is the most powerful phenomenon. Strategic boredom is the specific tool of strict control exercised on the asylum seekers by the administration of the camp to force them to be idle and passive. On the other hand, the dominated group uses the expected mood of boredom as a strategy to obtain the favors of camp administration; this strategy—they hope—will conclude in the obtention of a permit of stay and/or the legal status of a refugee.


August 4/2020

The Unexpected Effect of Coronavirus: The Re-Birth of Sociology [and Sociologists]?!? 

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Forming a New Polish Political consciousness

Confronting Polish Responsibility for the Shoah in Paris

April 17, 2019: Part One: The Subtext of a Recent International Scandal

April 24, 2019: Part Two: How Media, Political and Religious Elites Shape Plebian Resistance

May 18, 2019: Forming a New Polish Political Consciousness

2019 - “Impossible Agape: a Fieldwork in the World of Refugees and the Limits to the Researcher’s Role” in Sociologia, [2019 Fall]

2017 - “Double absence: Sayad–Bourdieu – case study współpracy
naukowej” , „Studia Litteraria et Historica”, ISSN: 2299-7571

2016.  “Quand Agape est en train de mourir… Le cas d’étude extrêmed’une société ‘post-communiste’” in Realis - Revista de Edtudos AntiUtilitaristas e PosColoniais - on-line open access:…-le-cas-d-etude

2015 - 2015:  “Between Double Absence and Transnational Professional - the unrevealed side of scientific mobility” in Revista Comunicação e Sociedade; Minho University, Portugal, open access:


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May 22, 2017. in co-authorship with Mariusz Finkielsztein and Agata Czarnacka; “Being Polish scientists and women - between glorious past anddifficult present: The ‘reverse dynamic of equality construction’

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Wagner, I. (2015). Between double absence and transnational professional–the unrevealed side of scientific mobility. Comunicação e Sociedade, 28, 401-420.

2010.Socialization of young virtuosos in the milieu of soloists involves creating and entertaining particular ties. Those ties, which mix the private and professional lives of teacher, student, and parents, offer an interesting avenue for studying socialization. I examine one relationship crucial to the virtuoso's career: the close-knit relationship between teacher and student, and the effect each one has on the career of the other. I define this process as “career coupling,” where those involved build their careers together. I base this analysis on ethnographic research of the careers of elite musicians.

 “ Teaching the Art of Playing with Career-Coupling Relationships in the virtuoso World”, Studies in Symbolic Interaction, eds. Norman Denzin, (pp. 147-171)

 “Coupling career fairy tail ‘Fascinating Sociology Class’. How to teach sociology - the sociology of sociology?” in Qualitative Sociology Review, on-line peer reviewed review; December, 2009 – reviewed 10th March, 2010.

Wagner, Izabela. "Teaching the art of playing with career-coupling relationships in the virtuoso world." In Studies in Symbolic Interaction, pp. 147-171. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2010.

„Transnational Path of Creative Careers in the Virtuoso World: Producing Excellence in Western (France) and Eastern (Poland) Europe“ in Creativity from a Global Perspective, Creative Encounters, Copenhagen Business School & FuDan University in Shanghai; 2010, online:

“How to manage scientists? Lab-leader’s job- tricky task” in Socjologiczne, pedagogiczne i psychologiczne problemy organizacji i zarzadzania, red. Banaszak, Doktor; Poznan, wyd. Wyzszej Szkoly Komunikacji i Zarzadzania, 2009: 131-160. Poland

Research Rapport „Careers and Mobility of the Laureates of Foundation for Polish

Science“; FNP – short version on-line

%20PROGRAMU%20KOLUMB.pdf; reviewed 10th March, 2010.


 “Coupling career fairy tail ‘Fascinating Sociology Class’. How to teach sociology - the sociology of sociology?” in Qualitative Sociology Review, on-line peer reviewed review; December, 2009 – reviewed 10th March, 2010. ENG/Volume14/QSR_5_3_Wagner.pdf


 „Le Travail Artistique peut-il être un modèle d'occupation au 21e siècle? Remarques sur l'utilité d'une recherche ethnographique dans le milieu des virtuoses .“



Les associations entre les carriers dans les milieux artistiques et scientifiques. Le cas de violonistes virtuoses et de chercheurs en sciences de la vie. in Sociologie de sciences – sociologie de l’art, Paris, l’Harmattan, Logiques Sociales., decembre 2006 :243-261.


 “Career Coupling. Career Making in the Elite Worlds of Musicians and Scientists”.

Qualitative Sociology Review, Vol. II Issue 3. Retrieved March, 2009 /ENG/archive_eng.php


2004. Formation of Violinist Virtuosos: Supporting Networks. This paper examines the formation of virtuoso soloists - a complex process which includes a suite of selections. These selections are practiced from the very childhood and depend on various principles. The article analyses a determining role of the network formed with people who occupy different positions in the division of the musical world. In the course of the last stage of the formation of young virtuosos, these networks assure (or not) the access to rare resources, which are the condition for an effective entrance into the virtuoso career. Sociétés contemporaines 2004/4 (no 56) - Article in French

 “ Usages et apports de l’analyse comparative ethnographique dans sa dimension

internationale” in Ethnographie du travail artistique: éléments de réflexion épistémologique - Les Cahiers du Laboratoire Georges Friedmann n°14. Paris, la Sorbonne /CNRS. France



 « Les liens et les réseaux dans la formation de virtuoses. » Sociétés Contemporaines 56: 133-63. Paris : l’Harmattan.

 « Le double rôle de chercheur dans le cadre de l’observation participante. Comment

étudier son propre milieu? » ; Cahiers de Recherches de Journées Doctorales de l’Université Paris VIII – Sciences Humaines. Paris, France.

Other articles in polish...

2014. “Kariera naukowa w Polsce. Czy obecny model sprzyja wyłanianiu i awansowaniu ‘najlepszych’ naukowców?” (Scientific Careers in Poland. Is the Current Model Conducive to the Selection and Promotion of the ‘Best’ Scientists?”) in Przeglad Socjologiczny, t. LXIII/3, 2014. (pp. 39-64)


2013. The report on the Evaluation of the Polish-Swiss Research Program (PSPR) - internal publication for OPI - Swiss Research Bilateral Founding (47 pages) - co-author Mariusz Finkelsztein. (OPI is Polish institution for research grant management - part of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research).

2012  „Selektywna analiza problemu publikacji humanistów i przestawicieli nauk społecznych w języku angielskim“ w Przegląd Socjologii Jakościowej / Qualitative Sociology Review in Polish, luty 2012; acceded: http:/ PSJ_8_1_Wagner.pdf  (Selective analysis of the obligation of communication in English language - Polish social and humanities researchers)

2012  „Odpowiedź na polemikę, czyli więcej na temat publikacji w języku angielskim w zagranicznych czasopismach przez polskich specjalistów nauk społecznych i humanistycznych“.w Przegląd Socjologii Jakościowej / Qualitative Sociology Review in Polish; lipiec 2012.

(The response for the polemic about the publications in English by Polish social scientists).

2011. „Geniusz czy businessman? Sprzężenie karier drogą sukcesu w nauce.“ in Stan Rzeczy, Wwa, Wydawnictwo UniwersytetuWarszawskiego, Human and Social Sciences Journal in Polish - peer review. (Genius or businessman? Career Coupling as a success strategy in sciences.; pp. 12-76, October, 2011).

2010. „Konstruowanie ‘międzynarodowej’ tożsamości badacza nauk biologicznych.” in Procesy tożsamościowe; red. Anna Kacperczyk & Krzysztof Konecki; Łódź: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego. ISBN: 978-83-7525-414-3

2010. „Transnarodowy Profesjonalista i jego profesjonalna kultura” w Mozaiki Transnarodowości – Teorie – Metody - Zjawiska, red. S. Urbańska i L. Krzyżowski,Wydawnictwo Nomos, Kraków. ISBN. 9788376880365 (pp.155-171).

2010.  „Jak badać procesy mobilności zawodowej? Kluczowa rola etnografii w powstaniu nowej propozycji teoretycznej odnośnie socjologii mobilności.“ In Studia Humanistyczne. Polish Journal with peer review (pp: 41-56).

2009. “We are all Europeans! - ‘Kultura Europejska’, ‘Kultura Polska’ i ‘Kultura Własna‘ w dyskursie studentów programu Erasmus w Warszawie » in « Wizje kultury wlasnej, obcej i wspolnej w sytuacji kontaktu », red. A. Wieczorkiewicz, M. Kostaszuk-Romanowska, Bialystok 2009 : 24-37. Poland.

2009.Research Rapport „Careers and Mobility of the Laureates of Foundation for Polish Science“; FNP – short version on-line

2007. „Kształcenie tożsamości członków międzynarodowych elit. Internacjonalizm zawodowypomiedzy dyskursem a praktyką.” in „W Kręgu Socjologii Interpretatywnej – zastosowanie metod jakościowych. Ponowoczesność i tożsamość.” Red. J. Leoński, U. Kozłowska. Szczecin: Economicus: 116-138. Poland.

2005. “Sprzężenie Karier. Konstrukcja karier w środowiskach artystycznych i intelektualnych.” Przegląd Socjologii Jakościowej, Qualitative Sociology Review in Polish Tom I Numer 1.

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