The sociological debate on the nature of Solidarity, and its legacy for social mobilization in today's Poland, are assessed through secondary research as well as primary research on Polish social movements in 1995–2001. The three classic interpretations of Solidarity (class, democracy and nation) are discussed, and two conclusions are reached to overcome the ‘class versus intellectuals’ dispute. First, against cultural and political interpretations, a class interpretation is appropriate although not exclusive and not in a classic Marxist sense. Second, a fourth element, subjectivity, needs to be added to understand the rare combination of egalitarianism and individualism in Solidarity. The class and the subjective elements derive from the double nature of Polish society: industrial and ‘vocationally’ (not factually) totalitarian. The implication is that social mobilization in Poland can be expected primarily in labour activism and marginal cultural movements.

The legacy of ‘Solidarity’ : class, democracy, culture and subjectivity in the Polish social movement

Meardi, Guglielmo
2005-01-01

Abstract

The sociological debate on the nature of Solidarity, and its legacy for social mobilization in today's Poland, are assessed through secondary research as well as primary research on Polish social movements in 1995–2001. The three classic interpretations of Solidarity (class, democracy and nation) are discussed, and two conclusions are reached to overcome the ‘class versus intellectuals’ dispute. First, against cultural and political interpretations, a class interpretation is appropriate although not exclusive and not in a classic Marxist sense. Second, a fourth element, subjectivity, needs to be added to understand the rare combination of egalitarianism and individualism in Solidarity. The class and the subjective elements derive from the double nature of Polish society: industrial and ‘vocationally’ (not factually) totalitarian. The implication is that social mobilization in Poland can be expected primarily in labour activism and marginal cultural movements.
Settore SPS/11 - Sociologia dei Fenomeni Politici
Poland; Solidarity; communism; subjectivity; post-communism
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11384/125602
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