Class and Cultural Narratives. The Upper Silesia Case

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    The emphasis of this book is on understanding local identities through the representations produced and disseminated by local people, residents of working class estates placed in Upper Silesia, captured in the regional literature. Presented analysis of the writings of Kazimierz Kutz and Stefan Szymutko aims to find a panoramic view of a postindustrial world, sensitivity to region’s specificity, awareness of industrial and agricultural past, a gallery of characters entangled with a difficult history of local communities. The assumption which was fundamental to the research was the fact that literature poses a reservoir of identity representations. By means of autobiographies, family stories and regional novels the story of Silesia was retold, constructed out of a variety of memories and personal narratives. Thus the analyzed novels constitute a particular type of social representations of Upper Silesia, the representations which - to a more extent than to an individual – belong to a community within which they are created. Their nature consists in ongoing reproduction, redefinition, constant creation of Upper Silesian's past and presence.

    Paweł Ćwikła, PhD in sociology, researcher in Department of Contemporary Culture Research, Institute of Sociology, University of Silesia.

    Monika Gnieciak, M.A. in sociology, University of Silesia, 2001, Katowice, M.A. in science of culture, University of Silesia, 2004, Katowice, PhD in Humanities, University of Silesia, 2007, Katowice. Researcher in Department of Contemporary Culture Research, Institute of Sociology, University of Silesia.

    Kazimiera Wódz, Professor of Sociology, Head of Department of Cultural Studies and Social Work Unit Institute of Sociology, University of Silesia.

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