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National Cultures at the Grass-root Level

by: Antonina Kloskowska
published by
: Central European University Press
pp: 480
ISBN: 978-963-9116-83-2
price: € 46.95

Book's frontpage

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.


Table of contents

Part I Theory, History and Anthropology of a Nation
Controversies around the concept of nation
Historical perspective
'Patria'- fatherland 
Part II The Culturalistic Sociological Perspective
Complexity and diversity of national symbolic communities
National stereotypes and the concept of national identity
Personal identity as related to national identification and to the appropriation of national culture Empirical materials 
Part III National Conversions
National conversion as a borderland phenomenon
Polish conversion of A.V.Winkler
German conversions 
Part IV National Minorities
Variants of Ukrainity
Problem of Belarus nationality
Silesian national dilemmas
Old and young generation
Open and closed national attitudes in borderland situation 
Part V Centre of National Culture
Portrait of the wartime generation
Young Poles in the period of democratic breakthrough
Young Poles facing others 
Part VI Epilogue on Emigration
Scales of Polishness
Negation of Polishness
Polish identification 



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