The English: An Image Changing in Polish Eyes
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University of Warsaw
Collegium Civitas
Submission date: 2020-11-16
Acceptance date: 2021-03-26
Publication date: 2021-09-20
Polish Sociological Review 2021;215(3):331-352
The article analyzes certain results of a nationwide survey—Poles and Others—30 years on—conducted in June 2018. Focusing on how the English are envisioned in contemporary Polish society, we aim to prove that the conceptual category of “stereotype” should be replaced by a more complex one—“image” or “ethnic image.” A striking feature is the rich and diverse description that the image of the English encompasses, hence interpretation of its complexity comprises the bulk of our considerations. Specific components of this ethnic image are seen as an outcome of direct and indirect interethnic contact: a consequence of migrations as well as progressively modernized, technological possibilities for interpersonal interactions. Interestingly, despite the image changing, the social distance towards Britons has not changed: the English continue to be perceived by Poles as one of the “closest” European peoples.
We would like to thank Anna Maria Orla Bukowska for her helpful comments. We are also grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback during the peer-review process.
This work was written under the auspices of the OPUS 12 research project, entitled “Polacy i inni” trzydzieści lat później (“Poles and others” thirty years on). Agreement UMO-2016/23/B/HS6/03874 was enacted on 4 August 2017, signed by Collegium Civitas with the National Science Centre, Poland. Members of the research team include Ewa Nowicka (Principle Investigator), Sławomir Łodziński, and Maciej Witkowski.
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