New Urban Middle Class and National Identity in Poland
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Institute of European Studies, Jagiellonian University
Istitute of Economic Studies, Jagiellonian University
Publication date: 2012-10-01
Polish Sociological Review 2012;179(3):385–400
This article discusses the question of the emergence of new forms of collective identities brought about by the recent social and cultural changes and their influence on Polish national identity. Specifically, it attempts to analyse those evolutionary changes which have been transforming the character of this identity from an exclusive, ethnic model towards a pluralistic, civic one. The article aims to show that the most significant agent of these processes is a new urban middle class whose growing role in the Polish society challenges traditional national discourses. The article advances a thesis that we are witnessing an emergence of a new platform of identification which significantly blurs the overwhelming contours of traditional national identity and instead strengthens on the one hand local identification and on the other, a cosmopolitan one.