UNDER RECONSTRUCTION -- Our new beautifully-designed, fully responsive site will soon be unveiled...

Being and Becoming European in Poland

European Integration and Self-Identity

Marysia H. Galbraith
 

Being and Becoming European in Poland

An exploration of what it means to be Polish as its population ‘becomes European’ following Poland’s entry into the European Union.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9781783084289
March 2015 | 250 Pages | 229 x 152mm / 9 x 6 | 14+ figures and tables
 
PRICE:  £25.00  /  $40.00  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com
 
 
9781783084289

About This Book

“Galbraith’s innovative book is a must for anyone interested in postsocialist transformations. Through the author’s deep understanding of Poles’ cognitive categories, we see the EU as it is experienced in everyday life. Her insights will spark new debates in European studies.” —Jaro Stacul, University of Alberta

“A wise and interesting book based on a fresh field of evidence which highlights issues important to individuals as well as societies.” —Zofia Sokolewicz, Professor Emerita, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw

Overthrowing communism in 1989 and joining the European Union in 2004, the Polish people hold loyalties to region, country and now continent – even as the definition of what it means to be ‘European’ remains unclear. This book uses the life-story narratives of rural and urban southern Poles to reveal how ‘being European’ is considered a fundamental component of ‘being Polish’ while participants are simultaneously ‘becoming European’.

Close attention to the individual lives of Poles allows the author to identify cultural patterns and grasp the impact of the EU on its member states, paying particular attention to how the EU has affected the life experiences of Poles who came of age in the earliest years of the neoliberal and democratic transformations. In exploring what it means to be Polish by tracking these parallel processes of change, the author traces Poland’s path from state socialism to European integration and Polish identities as they are reinscribed, revised and reinvented in the face of historic, political and economic processes.

Ultimately, this study demonstrates how the EU is regarded as both an idea and an instrument, and how ordinary citizens make choices that influence the shape of European identity and the legitimacy of its institutions.

Readership: This book will be of interest to students, academics and practitioners engaged in questions of European identity and societal change, the local impact of EU institutions, life stories in ethnographic research, as well as contemporary Polish culture and society.

Author Information

Marysia H. Galbraith is an associate professor at the University of Alabama’s New College and Department of Anthropology.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables; Acknowledgments; 1: Introduction: Being and Becoming European in Postcommunist Poland; 2: ‘We Have Always Been in Europe’: Deploying the Past to Shape the Present; 3: ‘Unbelievable! Poles Are Happy’: Looking Toward the Future; 4: ‘We’re European because We’re Polish’: Local, National and European Identities; 5: ‘EU Membership Gives Poland a Better Chance’: Perspectives on European Integration; 6: ‘Now We Can Travel Without a Passport’: Mobility in the European Union; 7: ‘This Region is Our Priority’: EU Subsidies and the Development of a Transnational Regional Community; 8: Conclusion: Coming of Age in Europe; Appendix: List of Participants; Notes; References; Index

Related Subjects