Towards an Anthropology of Globalization
Edited by Subhabrata Bobby Banerjee, Vanessa C.M. Chio and Raza Mir
Chapter 9: Globalization and Social Change: The Polish Experience
9. Globalization and social change: the Polish experience Martyna Sliwa INTRODUCTION The ﬁrst democratic parliamentary elections in Poland in June 1989 marked the end of the communist era in Polish post-World War II history and brought about an exposure of the country to the processes of globalization to an extent previously not known in Poland. Since then, the political transformation has resulted in the accession of the country to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and to the European Union (EU), and in an economic opening marked by the proliferation of companies from abroad, most notably multinational enterprises (MNEs), competing within the Polish market. The present membership of Poland in the EU is often quoted as evidence that the country has succeeded in reaching the goal ﬁrst articulated by the former Polish minister of ﬁnance, Leszek Balcerowicz, that is to move away from undemocratic and economically ineﬃcient modes of governing and organizing, and to become a politically stable and economically sound ‘Western-style market economy’ (Balcerowicz, 1989: 5). Within extant literature, data referring to the economic conditions in Poland post-1989 are widely available. However, little is known about the socio-cultural eﬀects on individuals participating in and aﬀected by the political and market reforms, and aﬀected for the ﬁrst time by the processes of globalization (Kelemen, 2002; Kelemen and Kostera, 2002). Using the example of one of the major cities in Poland, this chapter aims to contribute to ﬁlling this gap in our present knowledge. In this research,...
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