Górnośląskie Studia Socjologiczne, Nr 1 (2010), s. 93-113
The article discusses the matter of the results of the 2002 Polish census when over 173.000
individuals declared themselves to be of the Silesian nationality. The aim of this paper is to present
qualitative research conducted in 2007. The article is based on intervievs with people who declared
Silesian nationality in 2002. At the beginning of the article the question of nationality in the 2002
Polish census is presented along with a discussion. In the paper there two theoretical perspectives
are examined: Benedict Anderson’s and Józef Obrębski’s concepts of an imagined community.
In Marek S. Szczepański’s opinion, there are five reasons why people declared the Silesian
nationality: real identity and feelings, disappointment caused by industrial restructuring and regionalization,
catharsis after socialism, the result of Silesian Autonomy Movement action, and the
self-creation of activists. The author examine the motivation of declaring a controversial nationality
according to Szczepański’s view.