Dangerous relationships between the autonomy and the nationalism on Upper Silesia (Poland) ? the risk or the cultural capital?
Sekula, Elisabeth Anne
Department of Culture and Communication Warsaw School of Social Sciencies and Humanities Poland,
I would like to undertake the subject matter of potentially dangerous relationships between the aspiration to the regional autonomy and the national matter (on the example of Upper Silesia in Poland).
The problem relates to both various types of political and social risk as well as to specific forms of the cultural capital, which is often hidden behind activities of groups having suchlike claims. Additionally, the case of Upper Silesia one can tie with other analogous examples in Europe, and the analysis of the case shows the problems which should the sociologists and social anthropologists face with.
In Upper Silesia the autonomous tendencies are attached with the historically motivated sense of the cultural and lingual separateness which in the last period of time gains also the national dimension. In case of Upper Silesia we deal with the crisis of the certain habit of thinking about the national state with which not all groups can identify themselves, as they are seeking other references for their own collective self-identity. Such situation ties with the crisis of the definition of the statehood and the understanding of the nation, can be taken therefore as the risk.
On the other hand the situation can become the moment of the crisis and of shaping new structures and values. In postmodern world, as more and more often we notice the disappearance of communities of the type Gemeinschaft; such manner of building of the collective identity seems a specific answer of individuals seeking their own ego to the (post)modern problems. In case of Silesians the interesting and specific items are also the accepted forms of the cultural and social activity.
Are therefore Silesians aspirations a threat for the Polish state or rather they are still one more example showing the direction, in which seems to aim Europe? And how the answer to this question we can be inscribe into fundamental, interesting for us context: European Society or European Societies?