Who am I? Identifications and social identities Upper Silesia case

Marek S. Szczepański, Anna Śliz


For centuries, identity has been an important existential issue, because it organizes human relation with the world. Identity is not only one man's being in a biological sense, but the principle of social and cultural order. The identity is the self-awareness, the result of the social actor's involvement in a variety of network connections which are forming a human being together with the biological dimension. Thus, the identity, on the one hand, is a kind of Erikson's tradition, namely the sense of being human, on the other hand interactionist tradition, modification of identity through a process of interaction. Contemporary world, the world of confronting cultures, raises the need for analysis of identity within many cultures, which has been shaped by continuous contact with different values, norms, patterns of behaviour. Upper Silesia has been our empirical reference point for the discussion on social (regional) identity. Identity of Upper Silesia is the result of a long and complicated history and present day. This identity is created by Polish, German, Czech and Jewish a cultural elements.


identity; regional identity; Upper Silesia

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