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National Cultures at Grass-root Level

Antonina Kloskowska, Head of the Research Unit of Culture and Politics of the Polish Academy of Sciences

The major dilemma this volume addresses is the function of national identity in a modern society, for despite the trend towards globalization, the world continues to be riddled with national conflict.

Kloskowska begins by looking at the controversy between two competing concepts of the origin of the nation - political and ethnic. She examines the central issues of the argument, and in particular, the characteristics and effects of ethnic differences on personal identity and the appropriation of national culture. Her theories are based upon autobiographies by individuals belonging to various national minorities in Poland and other areas where ethnic borders are blurred. The group studied included mostly young intellectuals: Ukrainians, Belarussians and Silesian-Germans. She examines the national attitudes of the various countries the ethnic minorities have been forced to live with. In her conclusion, Kloskowska takes the view that national cultures are either 'open' or 'closed' and stresses the importance of participating in more than one cultural medium.

National Cultures at the Grass-Root Level is rich in information on contemporary theories of the nation, on its origin, character and future, and offers a deep insight into the complex and often ambiguous reality of national attitudes.

"the book addresses important questions and provides much-needed empirical materials." American Journal of Sociology



Foreword. PART I: Theory, History and Anthropology of a Nation Chapter 1: Controversies around the concept of nation Chapter 2: Historical perspective Chapter 3: 'Patria'- fatherland PART II: The Culturalistic Sociological Perspective Chapter 4: Complexity and diversity of national symbolic communities Chapter 5: National stereotypes and the concept of national identity Chapter 6: Personal identity as related to national identification and to the appropriation of national culture Chapter 7: Empirical materials PART III: National Conversions Chapter 8: National conversion as a borderland phenomenon Chapter 9: Polish conversion of A.V.Winkler Chapter 10: German conversions PART IV: National Minorities Chapter 11: Variants of Ukrainity Chapter 12: Problem of Belarus nationality Chapter 13: Silesian national dilemmas Chapter 14: Old and young generation Chapter 15: Open and closed national attitudes in borderland situation PART V: Centre of National Culture Chapter 16: Portrait of the wartime generation Chapter 17: Young Poles in the period of democratic breakthrough Chapter 18: Young Poles facing others PART VI: Epilogue on Emigration Chapter 19: Scales of Polishness Chapter 20: Negation of Polishness Chapter 21: Polish identification Conclusions. Bibliography. Index

480 pages
ISBN 978-963-9116-83-2 cloth $54.95 / €46.95 / £40.00