Working Paper 83

Property Relations and Social Identity in Rural Poland

Michał Buchowski

Abteilung ‚Resilienz und Transformation in Eurasien’

Jahr der Veröffentlichung


Working Paper 83

Dziekanowice is a village in Wielkopolska (Poznania) in Poland that has undergone several changes caused by the introduction of free market principles affecting interconnected social, labour and property relations. The latter have become one of the major anthropological topics studied by western anthropologists in the region after 1989. However, in the case of Poland this issue has been rarely explored. Also, relatively few scholars have closely and clearly put the three mentioned aspects together. In Dziekanowice under communism, state and private agricultural land coexisted. The dissolution of the local state farm has opened a possibility for a much more intense flow of capital within agriculture, especially with respect to land property. New means of class differentiation have opened and former class distinctions have acquired new meanings. Alongside property, one of the factors that has redefined social relationships and helped to conceptualise them is ‘work’. By using combined criteria of economic, social and cultural capitals, all organised around property, social transformations in Poland, based on the example of this countryside community, are rendered.

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