Silesians’ identity; cultural capital; regional antagonisms; sources of cultural autonomies; regional myths and idealizations; conversions of the Silesian capitals and ethos; subculture or nationality; tożsamość Ślązaków; stolica kultury; antagonizmy regionalne; źródła autonomii kulturowej; subkultury; narodowość
"Górnośląskie Studia Socjologiczne" Nr 1 (2010), s. 163-181.
The article presents a dispute over Silesian cultural identity. The author indicates peasant
and working-class roots of the Silesians’ culture. They form a regional community sharing a sense
of wrong following their cultural marginalization and economic exploitation. Silesian ethos has
been mythologized and their social role has been marginalized. The complexity of the transformations
within the contemporary Silesians’ culture is being unnoticed. Their ethos and aspirations are
constantly diversifying. Part of them aims for the recognition of a separate Silesian nationality and
regional autonomy. The majority remains passive but certain part is subject to social pathologies.
Changes of ethos are also connected with the increase in educational aspiration. Better educational
qualifications among Silesians raise hope for modern activation beyond traditional industry. The
rising acceptance of multicultural Silesians’ identity and their right to develop a regional language
(Silesian dialect) is a positive phenomenon. The result of Silesians’ new aspirations and at the same
time a cultural dilemma is a movement either towards a subculture or an autonomous regional culture
which would create Silesian nationality.