Shopping for a New Identity: Constructions of the Polish–German border in a Polish Border community

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/2436/27101
Title:
Shopping for a New Identity: Constructions of the Polish–German border in a Polish Border community
Authors:
Galasinska, Aleksandra; Galasinski, Dariusz
Abstract:
This article aims to show the varying constructions of the Polish–German border in the Polish border town of Zgorzelec. We are interested in how informants from three generations discursively position the frontier itself and the two towns on its either side: Polish Zgorzelec and German Görlitz. The data comes from a Europe-wide ethnographic project studying communities living on the borders between the European Union (EU) and its ascendant nations, funded by the European Commission's Fifth Framework Programme. We suggest that the inhabitants of Zgorzelec construct the border on two planes: public and private. In the public sphere, the border is constructed as a means of identifying ‘us Poles’ against all those living on the other side. In those nationalized terms, the border is also constructed as protecting Poland and Zgorzelec's (Polish) community. On the other hand, in the private sphere, the border is represented as virtually invisible allowing the individual to cross it for shopping or entertainment. The border becomes a gateway in which the individual becomes a customer, a shopper with his or her national identity pushed to the background. We also show that the two spheres intersect, creating spaces in which the two orders of discourse are made to co-exist and the discursive mechanisms of separation run next to the mechanisms of inclusion. We explore our informants’ discourses as mediated by the historical context of common experience (eviction, displacement, communism) pertaining mostly to the older generation and by the cultural-economic context (shopping, entertainment) largely in the case of our younger informants. (Sage Publications)
Citation:
Ethnicities, 5(4): 510-529
Publisher:
Sage Publications
Journal:
Ethnicities
Issue Date:
2005
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/2436/27101
DOI:
10.1177/1468796805058103
Additional Links:
http://etn.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/5/4/510
Type:
Article
Language:
en
ISSN:
1468-7968
Appears in Collections:
Europe: Trend and Transformation Research Group

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorGalasinska, Aleksandra-
dc.contributor.authorGalasinski, Dariusz-
dc.date.accessioned2008-05-20T18:44:36Z-
dc.date.available2008-05-20T18:44:36Z-
dc.date.issued2005-
dc.identifier.citationEthnicities, 5(4): 510-529en
dc.identifier.issn1468-7968-
dc.identifier.doi10.1177/1468796805058103-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2436/27101-
dc.description.abstractThis article aims to show the varying constructions of the Polish–German border in the Polish border town of Zgorzelec. We are interested in how informants from three generations discursively position the frontier itself and the two towns on its either side: Polish Zgorzelec and German Görlitz. The data comes from a Europe-wide ethnographic project studying communities living on the borders between the European Union (EU) and its ascendant nations, funded by the European Commission's Fifth Framework Programme. We suggest that the inhabitants of Zgorzelec construct the border on two planes: public and private. In the public sphere, the border is constructed as a means of identifying ‘us Poles’ against all those living on the other side. In those nationalized terms, the border is also constructed as protecting Poland and Zgorzelec's (Polish) community. On the other hand, in the private sphere, the border is represented as virtually invisible allowing the individual to cross it for shopping or entertainment. The border becomes a gateway in which the individual becomes a customer, a shopper with his or her national identity pushed to the background. We also show that the two spheres intersect, creating spaces in which the two orders of discourse are made to co-exist and the discursive mechanisms of separation run next to the mechanisms of inclusion. We explore our informants’ discourses as mediated by the historical context of common experience (eviction, displacement, communism) pertaining mostly to the older generation and by the cultural-economic context (shopping, entertainment) largely in the case of our younger informants. (Sage Publications)en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherSage Publicationsen
dc.relation.urlhttp://etn.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/5/4/510en
dc.subjectGermanyen
dc.subjectDiscourseen
dc.subjectPolanden
dc.subjectEthnographyen
dc.subjectZgorzelecen
dc.subjectGörlitzen
dc.subjectBorder communitiesen
dc.subjectEuropean Unionen
dc.subjectCultural historyen
dc.subjectSocial historyen
dc.subjectConsumersen
dc.subjectCultural identityen
dc.subjectNationalityen
dc.subjectEthnicityen
dc.subjectPolishnessen
dc.titleShopping for a New Identity: Constructions of the Polish–German border in a Polish Border communityen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalEthnicitiesen
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