Making new ‘Solidarities’
The Polish intelligentsia and the lasting legacy of the historical social movement
Keywords:Solidarity, Poland, Ukraine, elites, intelligentsia
This article returns to sociological investigation of the intriguing phenomenon of the Solidarity social movement. Contrary to a popular position which sees Solidarity as important but closed chapter in Polish history, we argue that its legacy, in contrast to other historic events such as Prague’s spring and Hungarian uprising, should be seen as an ongoing social process in Poland and in the broader region of Eastern and Central Europe. In order to lay out our argument we describe Polish intelligentsia members’ practices aimed at the reproduction and strengthening of the legacy of Solidarity – an important tool which legitimizes intelligentsia’s dominant position in the post-communist Poland. In the empirical part we are particularly interested in analysis of efforts aimed at strengthening the legacy of Solidarity by universalizing it at the transnational level, which we analyzed on the case study of interaction between members of the Polish and Ukrainian elites.
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