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Wolverhampton Intellectual Repository and E-Theses > Research Institutes > History and Governance Research Institute > Europe: Trend and Transformation Research Group > Border ethnography and post-communist discourses of nationality in Poland

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/27099
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Title: Border ethnography and post-communist discourses of nationality in Poland
Authors: Galasinska, Aleksandra
Citation: Discourse & Society, 17(5): 609-626
Publisher: Sage Publications
Journal: Discourse & Society
Issue Date: 2006
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/27099
DOI: 10.1177/0957926506066347
Additional Links: http://das.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/17/5/609
Abstract: In this article I shall explore discursive constructions of ethnicity, and in particular notions of ‘Polishness’, among members of three-generation families living in the Polish town of Zgorzelec, on the border with Germany. The data come from a Europe-wide ethnographic project studying communities living on the borders between the EU and its ascendant nations, funded by the European Commission’s 5th Framework Programme (www.borderidentities.com). The most characteristic feature of the data concerning ethnicity is a clash between my informants’ declared identity (mainly constructed in terms of Polishness) and the constructions of Polishness. Even though the latter is usually described in negative terms, almost all interviewees choose to describe themselves in ethnic terms from the spectrum of labels they have been given. Drawing upon Billig et al.’s (1988) concept of ideological dilemma, I shall argue that the apparent contradiction in my informants’ discourse of identity is a result of two different ideological bases underpinning it: the lived ideology accomplished in their discourse clashes with the intellectual ideology explicitly adopted in their declarations of identity. Finally, I shall discuss this shift in terms of the particular place of residence of the members of Polish community right of the national border. I shall also explore the role of the interviewer in my informants’ discourses of ethnic identity. ‘Insiderness’ and ‘outsiderness’ of the researcher in relation to the community under investigation was perceived as a challenge to a coherence of the narratives and resulted in constant discursive negotiations of my interlocutors’ ‘stories of Polishness’. (Sage Publications)
Type: Article
Language: en
Keywords: Ethnography
Poland
Ethnicity
Border communities
Zgorzelec
European Union
Ethnic identity
Polishness
Discourse
Cultural identity
Ethnic Other
Nationality
ISSN: 09579265
00000000
Appears in Collections: Europe: Trend and Transformation Research Group

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