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A cultural trauma: Outcomes of the system change in post-socialist Poland

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Author(s): Kabzinska Iwona

Journal: Glasnik Etnografskog Instituta SANU
ISSN 0350-0861

Volume: 57;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 83;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: cultural trauma | cultural plaint | euphoria | societal inequality | ethnological/anthropological research

ABSTRACT
This paper discusses the outcomes of the system change in post-socialist Poland. The author discusses various important and inter-related issues in the Polish societal sphere: shock therapy accompanied by the changes since the 1990's, unemployment, uncontrolled privatization, cultural trauma and cultural plaint. Theoretically, the paper belongs to anthropology of transformation, and it is based on sociological literature for the most part. The paper also discusses 'societal diagnosis', its creators, crisis in confidence as a consequence of social and cultural traumas, the weakness of political elite and criteria used to measure poverty levels. Lately, there has been a change in mythical representation about easy life in Poland related to the state' affiliation with EU. The change includes a lack of global crisis influence, resistance of the Polish society toward media influence, a rise in optimism and decrease of cultural plaint. Is this change in attitude due to cyclical alteration between phases of depression and euphoria? What will happen if depression returns? Did the Polish handle the trauma of transformation exceptionally well? Possible answers to these and other relevant questions are sought by the author in this paper, who uses, as additional sources for research, a world of local communities and individual accounts.
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