Language, Religion, and Ethnicity-Making at Polish-language Schools in Lithuania
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Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences;
Vilnius University
Submission date: 2022-01-21
Acceptance date: 2022-10-03
Publication date: 2023-03-20
Polish Sociological Review 2023;221(1):127–144
The focus of this paper is the perceived relation of language (Polish) and religion (Catholicism) to the Polish identity and whether and how these dimensions of identity are employed in interpreting processes of social integration and mobility in Lithuanian society by research participants at schools where Polish is the language of instruction. This paper argues that the native language (Polish) is seen as an important dimension of ethnic (Polish) identity while both majority (Lithuanian) and minority languages are seen as helpful instruments in the process of social inclusion and social mobility since they are perceived as dependent on the social context. Polish-language schools reaffirm the interrelation of the Catholic religion and the Polish identity in discursive and practical ways (via various cultural means). Nevertheless, religion, an essential dimension of Polish identity, does not come to the forefront when discussing social integration or mobility.