Between Tradition and Postmodernity
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Between Tradition and Postmodernity - opis książki:Zofia Sokolewicz Introduction
It has aiready become a tradition in Polish ethnographic studies that for the IUAES Congress we publish a book presenting the work we have done over the last few years. We treat it as an opportunity to exchange our experiences with those of our colleagues from all over the worid, and a way to start new projects together. It is oniy natural that it is impossible to take into consideration all the conducted research, which is so diverse both from the point of view of subject-matter as well as methodology. However, the volumes published after 1989 - the symbolic datę of the fali of the Berlin Wali - arę proof of the great changes taking place in Poland, in Polish culture, in ethnograhy, ethnology and Polish anthropology. Although the following work does not correspond very closely to the theme ofthe Congress, as we have done relatively littie in the area ofrelations between mań and naturę, it presents the main trends of our interests and the criteria governing the choice of subject areas. In other words, it discusses what is happening in our academic circie. The communist economy and regime in Poland undoubtedły upheid the culture of the earlier industrial epoch. There were many reasons for this: extensive industrialization and the development oftraditional industries, which nów arę perceived as being on the decline, the increase of smali peasant farms, if not to say those that existed oniy to feed themselves, political isolation, and the embargo placed on the import of high technology by the USA and Western Europę. As far as ideology and politics were concerned, this meant that people did not move easiły, there were strong links with the workpiace, privileges were expected, while giving up ones civil rights was the price one had to pay for a littie stability. The centralized system madę it easier to uphold the traditional social structure. The doubts that were expressed concerning the loyalty of the peasants as allies of the working-class in their fight for socialism was compensated for by claiming the significance of folk culture for national culture, which was to be socialist in content and folk in form. In such a situation it seems natural that the attention of ethnographers was centred on studying folk culture, traditional peasant culture, the culture of the masses in towns and in the countryside, the proletariat, in other words, the culture of the non-privileged ciasses. It has to be admitted that in this tradtional fieid of interests among ethnographers, there aiready appeared certain rifts in the 1970s as a result of an exchange of ideas and goods as well as the mobility ofpeople which then started to increase. The subject of our research slowly began to change and this also applied to our attitude concerning the work we were doing. This was accompanied by extremely heated discussions, which was hardły surpising in the given situation, concerning ethnography as such and what ethnographers area of research actually is. It was then defined in accordance with the social criterion (e. g. peasant or working-class culture). Under the influence of semiotics and psychoanałysis the subject of ethnography in the second half of the seventies began to be defined as archaic culture, as archaic thinking that was present, although not always visible, in contemporary culture. Disputes concerning the subject of research came to an end at the beginning of the 90s when the economic and political transformations brought about so many fundamental changes in culture, in the attitudes of people and their system ofvalues. This was when we became witness to postmodernity entering Poland. The subject of research changed so very much that all the disputes that had been taking place so far became totally pointless. This also happpened when we, revaluating our philosophical and cognitive assumptions, also changed. The first part of the book entitled What has happened to culture touches upon some of those changes. The authors arę concerned with spirituał tradition and appłying old elements, such as the Apocrypha, to the new cultural arrangement (Magdalena Zowczak); they stress reaction to otherness, to differences that arę characterised by an important mechanism preventing too much order, introducing a certain dynamics to the system of culture (Andrzej Perzanowski); they point towards a discourse conducted between the government and the rest of society, and to the serious problems arising in this communication, which are a result of the sender and recipient of the communique using different premises of inference (Anna Malewska-Szałygin); they describe changes in the space of a tenement house as a result of its dwellers accepting, not necessarily consciousły, postmodernity principles; and finally they anałyse a group of women searching for their own identity in the new political conditions (Monika Baer), and reaching out for religious leadership (Agnieszka Kościańska). In all the above mentioned fields, except for the economic and political transformations, it is the idea ofthe globalization process that is favourable to these changes (Wojciech Burszta). A much larger number of publications concern invented traditions and make up the second part of the work. It is devoted to research on identity that is mainly national, ethnic and religious, which for years has been an important area of research among Polish ethnographers. They dominate over the others as far as number is concerned, take in groups that arę ethmcally non-Polish and who live outside Poland, as well as the Polish diaspora scattered throughout the world. They arę undoubtedły an answer to the question concerning identity which is very much part of Central Europę and the former Soviet błoć countries after the disintegration of the USSR. The works presented here arę not actually about Poles. They concern groups from around Poland that historically madę up the Commonwealth of Two Nations, i. e. Lithuania and Belorus (Łukasz Smyrski, Katarzyna Waszczyńska) or the Polish traditional area of research1 which was Siberia and Central Asia (Jarosław Derlicki. Wojciech Lipiński). Oniy two texts arę about Poland. One describes the remerging of the Jewish community in Poland after World War II (Kamila Dąbrowska), while the other discusses St Vojtech-Adalberts patron-age as a feature mythologizing the cultural community of Europę (Róża Godula). In their research on contemporary culture, Polish ethnographers and ethnologists also work in many other areas, such as the anthropology of communication, consumption, violence, values, the cultural contexts of human rights, poverty and exclusion, religious symbolism, peoples attitude towards naturę, visual anthropology, migrations, and the building of Internet communities. This research is accompanied by animated discussion on philosphical assumptions, on the role of the author in creating a text, on the theory of qualitative studies, understanding empiricism, and the limits of interpretation. The contributors and editors of this volume feel that it will perform its informative role if there is reception from a larger group of ethnographers, who, interested in the results of the conducted research, will want to use the Internet addresses of the ethnographic institutions in Poland (see appendix).
Translated from the Polish by Aniela Korzeniowska
Książka „Between Tradition and Postmodernity” - oprawa twarda - Wydawnictwo DiG.
Książka posiada 286 stron i została wydana w 2003 r.
I. What Has Happened to Culture?
The Apocryphal Text as a Trial of Faith
Oddity as Challenge
Ethnopolitology — Talking with Highlanders about Politics
Grażyna Ewa Karpiriska
Place and Space in the Postmodern City: The View of an Anthropologist on Tenement Houses
In Search of Identity? Reflections on the Category of `Women` in Transitional Poland
The Shakti Power. The Brahma Kumaris Worid Spirituał University: an Idea of Female Leadership
Globalisation from the Perspective of the Anthropology of Culture. On the Circulation of Symbolic Transmissions
II. Inventing Traditions
`The Other` in Orientalizing and Liberał Discourses
The New People. The Yukaghir in the Process of Transformation
From Autostereotype to Megalomania. Cultural Changes among the Smali Peoples of the North in Yakutia
Lech Mróz, Jerzy S. Wasilewski
Regressing to Naturę, Reviving Tradition, Building Ethnicity. A Case of the Reindeer-breeders of the Mongolian Taiga
Hoły Fires, Oaks and Stones — Is the Old Faith Returning to Lithuania?
The Eastern Orthodox Faith, Catholicism, and the Uniate Faith — Selected Aspects of Religion in the Republic of Belarus
The `Chosen` Nation: Rebuilding the Jewish Community in Poland. On the Basis of the Youngest Generation of Polish Jews
A Renewal of Christian Origins in Central Europę. St Vojtech-Adalbert`s Patronage
III. Reports on Conducted Research
Around the Theory and Politics of Cultural Identity. The Ethnologisfs Diiemma at the Beginning of the 21 Century
The Polish-Czech Borderland in the Process of Transformation: a Research Report
The Cultural Landscape of the `Dutch` Villages as an Example of Man`s Coexistence with Nature
The Felt-Makers` Workshop between High Politics and Great Religion
IV. Etnography in Poland. Teaching and Institutions
Zbigniew Jasiewicz, Aleksander Posern-Zieliński
Ethnology Studies at Polish Universities after 1989. Notes on Contibutors
Notes on Institutes