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Title: Tożsamość kulturowa społeczności małomiasteczkowej
Authors: Odoj, Grzegorz
Keywords: antropologia; etnologia; tożsamość społeczna; Sławków; Górny Śląsk
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Abstract: The problem of cultural identity has been presented on the basis o f the local community o f Sławków, a small town situated in the borderland between Silesia and the Małopolska Region. Its residents are marked by a strong feeling of internal and emotional bonds with the liv in g place. Sławków has never experienced bigger migration movements that is why it is a demographically stable town. The majority o f the residents constitute native people, which makes it possible to continue traditions. The historical past contributed to the development o f a specific atmosphere and colouring o f this town, both in terms o f its looks, and its socio-educational structure. The author aims to define and in v e s tiga te the main factors raising cultural awareness consisting in the sense o f belonging and local identification among the small-town community. He intends to have a look at the phenomenon of localness from the “internal” point o f view, taking into account, at the same time, the influence the objective phenomena have on the components o f social awareness. According to the principle o f a humanistic factor it was claimed that the town is a social fact which should be analysed the way it manifests its e lf in the awareness of the members of a given community. In other words, the attempts were made to construct the image o f a town within the sphere o f common experience and joint actions o f its residents. The attention was paid to a characteristic o f the culture transmission system which functions both in the intra-social relations, prominence being given to direct and informal interactions as well as its institutional activity. What was analysed constituted socio-cultural activity o f people l iv ing in this town, and its conditions, as well as the influence o f mass culture. It was evident that spacious closeness which characterises the community from Sławków, a specific type o f interpersonal contacts, and a clearly outlined internal system o f bonds and distances constitute the plane on which a specific local culture is being created and transmitted. It creates favourable conditions for the group membership, and roots for the community. It was established that the sense of social satisfaction and frustration, related to the experiences of town residents (in terms of socio-economic conditions, aesthetics, safety) as well as migration tendencies and the feeling o f stabilization, influences local identity. Also, the attention was drawn to the attitudes o f social a ctivity reflected in local enterprises. The main dimensions o f the cultural identity o f the small-town community were analysed. The emphasis was put on social experiencing and valorising the local space. The relationship with an ordered space o f a small town manifests its e lf in the form o f objective ecological relations, as well as depicts the sense of emotional attachment. The space as value constitutes the main integrative element. Residents from Sławków find their place in space owing to symbols as they are a part o f the identification plane. They refer to their “own history” , to their important group experiences. These are the element o f collective memory, and, as a means o f conveying essential information for the group existence, function as identity symbols. The local historical tradition functioning in the social awareness was discussed. What was being investigated constituted people’s deep thoughts and knowledge on their roots, the history of their own community, even though it is an anecdote or fiction-based legend. Thus, it is not the history understood as a follow up o f epochs and events, but the history which is being lived on, and mitologised in a peculiar way. The local historical tradition is an essential component o f the subjective awareness o f belonging to the local community, raising, at the same time, the feeling o f one’s own special value and old-fashionness among Sławków residents. I t is nobilitating in character, allowing for contrasting their own town with surrounding places o f a poorer and less colourful past. What was shown was a dimension o f “familiarity-alienation” , one o f the most important cultural categories playing a v ita l role in the process of shaping the cultural identity. Here, the answer to the following questions was searched: how do the members of the community under investigation define themselves in relation to strangers, how are “the others’ perceived, and what constitutes their “otherness” , which factors (norms, patterns of behaviour, opinions, evaluations) underlie the process o f shaping the sense of one’s own separateness. The research revealed a stable function o f negative stereotypes o f strangers (both in local and regional terms), and a stereotype o f “natives” being positive in the most. The awareness o f community and cultural separateness was visible in the nicknames given to the residents o f neighbouring towns and villages. Also, a strong distinction between “ the native” and “the foreign” was noticed, related to the a ttitudes o f sitting Sławków community to the people coming from other regions o f Poland.
ISBN: 9788322616994
Appears in Collections:Książki/rozdziały (WEiNoE)

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