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Discrimination for the Sake of the Nation

The Discourse of the League of Polish Families against «Others» 2001-2007

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Yasuko Shibata

This book examines the intertwined relationship between contemporary Polish politics and national culture by focusing on the phenomenon of discrimination. The object of the analysis is the language of the League of Polish Families, a populist party that recreated the climate of pre-war National Democracy in Poland from 2001 to 2007 by negatively labeling the nation’s Others. Through the political party’s discourse of discrimination, the book grasps a peculiar moment of Poland that faced uncertainty of identity upon its accession to the European Union. By adopting a method of critical discourse analysis, the author attests to the party’s political use of different layers of national traditions in denigrating Jews, sexual minorities and feminists while sanctifying the Polish nation.

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Contents

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Introduction ........................................................................................................... 9 General Questions ......................................................................................... 10 Layout of the Book ....................................................................................... 13 I. The Discourse of Discrimination against the Nation’s Strangers: Tools for Interpretation ................................................................................. 17 I-1.   The Discourse of Discrimination ........................................................ 18 I-2.   Strangers to the Nation ........................................................................ 23 I-2-1.  The “Strangers” in Sociological Theories ................................. 23 I-2-2. Discrimination against the Nation’s Strangers .......................... 29 I-3.   Analytical Procedures ......................................................................... 34 I-3-1.  The Nation and Strangers in Discriminatory Discourse ............ 34 I-3-2. Empirical Materials and Discourse Analysis Procedures .......... 36 II.   Historical Contexts of the LPR Discourse ................................................ 41 II-0.   The Cultural Resources of the Polish Nation ...................................... 42 II-1. The Collective Sovereignty of the Polish Gentry ............................... 44 II-2. Polish Romanticism: Imagery and Fantasies of the Nation and Its “Strangers” ................... 52 II-2-1.   The Anti-Polish Jewish Conspiracy ....................................... 54 II-2-2. Different Representations of the Polish Woman ................... 59 II-3.   National Democracy: The Spiritual Interests of the Modern Polish Nation .......................... 67 II-3-1.   Modernity, Nation, and the Democracy of the Nation ........... 68 II-3-2. The Interests of the Spiritual Nation ...................................... 73 II-3-3. Exclusion of the Spiritual “Stranger” from the Polish Nation ..................................................................................... 76 6 Contents III.  Political and Ideological Contexts of the LPR Discourse ........................ 83 III-1.   From Post-1989 Politics to the League of Polish Families ................. 84 III-1-1.   Major Political Developments during the Third Republic ..... 84 III-1-2. The Emergence of the LPR in Post-1989 Poland ................... 94 III-2. The Political and Ideological Profile of the LPR .............................. 108 III-2-1. The LPR’s Program for the Polish Nation ........................... 109 III-2-2. From “Hard” to “Limited” Euroscepticism .......................... 115 III-3.   The LPR’s Politics of National Culture in the Fourth Republic ....... 119 IV.  The LPR’s Racist and Xenophobic...

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