NARODOWY SPIS POWSZECHNY LUDNOŚCI I MIESZKAŃ W 2011 R. I JEGO WYKORZYSTANIE W POLITYCE TOŻSAMOŚCI I WALCE O UZNANIE. CASUS ŚLĄZAKÓW
THE NATIONAL CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING 2011 AND ITS USE IN THE POLITICS OF IDENTITY AND FIGHT FOR RECOGNITION. THE CASE OF SILESIANS
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A study such as the national census can be examined form a number of perspectives. While it can be considered as a statistical study, presenting an objective, true, scientifically grounded picture of the society, it can be also be seen as an important event or social fact from the political viewpoint, one which affects the social reality and intergroup relations. In this article the latter perspective has been applied. It analyzes how the National Census has been used by Silesian ethnic leaders who aim at changing the status of their group, demand the recognition of its separateness and its legal protection. Based on an analysis of Silesian ethnic leaders’ activities, in the text I hypothesize that the National Census of Population and Housing 2011 was an extremely important fact for the strategy of struggling for recognition. The preparations for the census and the period when it was carried out have activated Silesian organizations. They used the census to mobilize their members and fight for “Silesian souls” in a community which is divided by the people’s sense of identity. Silesian leaders have also treated the census as a significant phase in the, ongoing since the mid-1990, fight for changing the groups’ status. By taking advantage of democratic procedures, referring to legal solutions considered in the census, and later drawing attention to the obtained results they have made claims concerning the recognition of their group’s separateness by the state.
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