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Discrimination for the Sake of the Nation

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


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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VI. The LPR’s Gendered Discourse


In this chapter, the LPR’s discriminatory discourse directed at Polish women will be termed and analyzed as nationalist “gendered” discourse. After a clarifi- cation of the concept of gender as a culturally-constructed subordinate condition of women (in the community of the nation as well as in the context of the state’s execution of power), the first section illustrates specific contexts for the LPR’s discourse on women, i.e. major Polish political events concerning women’s rights that took place around the time of the country’s accession to the European Union. It also discusses Poles’ general attitudes toward gender equality and women’s right to abortion. The third and fourth sections are allotted to the detailed textual analyses of the LPR’s gendered discourse. As in the previous chapters, the main texts for analysis have been chosen from the stock of empirical data according to the principle of “typicality” (Mayer, 2001); the dividing period of the research is the time of the European Parliamentary election (June 2004). Thus the fourth sec- tion (April 2001-June 2004) examines five texts produced by LPR politicians as the main materials for precise analysis; the fifth section (July 2004-September 2007) then presents the analyses of five major texts, which will indicate the in- creased variety of LPR’s gendered rhetorics. The discriminatory discourse on Polish women of the League of Polish Families shows a peculiar development in the course of the two research peri- ods. In the first period, the gendered discourse mostly appears as a set of obses- sive anti-abortion...

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