The Polish political scene as seen from a small town market


  • Anna Malewska-Szalygin University of Warsaw



This article presents the results of field research carried out in the spring of 2004 in the town of Nowy Targ (Podhale region, Poland), by the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Warsaw. The research was based on open-ended interviews-or rather long conversations-with the vendors in the market square, enabling us to observe the political scene from a particular point of view. They interviews brought out the perception of the authorities 'from below'. This perspective uncovered many aspects of politics that are normally hidden behind the legislative language of the Constitution or even behind the informative language of the mass media.

Author Biography

Anna Malewska-Szalygin, University of Warsaw

Anna Malewska-Szalygin has a PhD and works as a tutor in the Institute of Ethnology and Culture Anthropology of the University of Warsaw. Her anthropological interests concentrate on the village inhabitants' common knowledge. Her first research project explored the common view of the past in the Roztocze region (East-South of Poland) from 1985-86. Her next research project focused on the local opinions about local authorities in the Mazury region (North-East of Poland) and was carried out from 1993-96. The subject of her current research in Podhale is the village discourse on politics. She can be contacted at anmalsz(AT)