Symbolic Construction of “Solidarity:” the Conflict of Interpretations and the Politics of Memory
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University of Warsaw
Publication date: 2010-06-23
Polish Sociological Review 2010;170(2):219–232
The memory of the “Solidarity” movement, problems of memory and conflicts of memory are analyzed in the contemporary context of the formation of collective identities in Poland. Politics of memory and commemoration are discussed as part of the politics of symbolization. Symbolic construction of “Solidarity” is analyzed on two levels: the symbolism of the organization of collective actions and discursive symbolism—in other words—symbolism in the “Solidarity”movement and the symbolization of the movement. The other aspect implies politics of symbolization, politics of memory and commemoration, conflict of interpretations and conflict about the memory. The “Solidarity” movement has had many meanings and the interpretation of the movement can refer to various frames of meanings: a workers’ revolution, a civil revolution, a movement for national liberation, a movement for religious deprivatization, a moral movement. The multiplicity of meanings has generated conflicts of interpretations. Collective memory is crucial for the phenomenon of “Solidarity” both as a historical movement and as representations in discourses—the symbolic movement of memory.