Accepted Paper:

Local community on the 'peripheries of Europe': between sociology and anthropology  


Agnieszka Chwieduk (Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology)

Paper short abstract:

The paper is intended to describe the notion of 'local community' in the context of 'unifing Europe'. It offers a comparison of two perspectives discussed in professional literature: anthropological (ethnological) and sociological. The notion will also be embedded in the context of 'Europe of peripheries': communities in the post-communist countries, which have become members of the EU and Euroregions.

Paper long abstract:

The workings of local (small) communities in the “unifing Europe” can be viewed from the angle of the 'centre' and 'peripheries'. The latter should be understood in the context of the post-communist Europe showing, as discussed in professional literature, a multi-layer backwardness compared to Western Europe. On the other hand, the peripheries are affected by a specific type of 'distance' between their communities and various centres of decision, also including those expected to be carriers of social and cultural norms and union standards. Such a 'Europe of cultural peripheries' brings on questions about the nature of reception, in those communities, of a changing reality within the European Union.

In order to answer this question, extensive field research is required, the starting point of which should be a new definition of the notion of 'local community'. Polish scientific literature in the field of social sciences offers various interpretations of the notion of local community. The reading reveals dissimilar conceptualizations of the notion in the area of sociology and ethnology/anthropology. The purpose of the paper would thus be a comparative analysis of the notions. What deserves particular notice here is the role of ethnology/anthropology (methodology and methods) in diagnosing the life of this type of community.

Panel IW03
Liminal Europe