THE WORD 'SKANSEN' IN POLISH MUSEOLOGY AND MODERN MEDIA
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The word 'skansen' (an open air museum) belongs to words that have been assimilated and are well known in the Polish language. In museology it has a theoretical and practical meaning, which for over a century has been used in the study and institutional protection of historical wooden buildings. When the idea of A. Hazelius was popularized in Poland and when favourable conditions for the development of open-air museums were created between 1948-1989, the term was adopted not only in scholarly writings but also in casual language and among common people. The article outlines the reception of the word 'skansen' in Poland and presents its modern image in the media (press). Polish scholarly terminology adopted after 1945 has such terms as 'skansenologia' (the study of open air museums), 'skansenolog' (researcher of open air museums), 'muzea skansenowskie' (open air museums). They are not familiar to representatives of west European museology, where Skansen is an open air museum and zoo located on the island Djurgarden in Stockholm, Sweden, founded 1891 by Artur Hazelius (1833-1901) to show the way of life in the different parts of Sweden throughout history. In Poland the term denotes an ethnographic open-air museum. Made popular after the establishment of 38 large open-air museums and some 40 smaller open-air museums, it became the key word in Polish, a methodological synthesis of the achievements of Polish specialists in the protection of folk buildings. After 1989 the word 'skansen' appeared in the media with negative connotations. By that time it was a well-known word, assimilated in the Polish language. But suddenly and unexpectedly, it started to live its second, media life. In the discussions between politicians and commentators of social life, the term 'skansen' assumed a negative meaning, an invective, insult, a synonym of backwardness, reactionary attitude and restrictions in many spheres of social life. In Polish journalism it started to denote relics in the fields of management, technology and economy. It is used very often to mean civilizational backwardness, outdated, and unfashionable ideas and views, intellectual restrictions, pathologies of social life and also the general, awful condition of institutions, state organs, political parties or Polish agriculture.
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