1. bookVolume 20 (2020): Issue 1 (June 2020)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1339-7877
First Published
15 Jun 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Class, Urbanity and the Environment. The Ethnography of the New Middle/Creative Class Identity in Warsaw's Industrial Suburbs

Published Online: 01 Feb 2020
Volume & Issue: Volume 20 (2020) - Issue 1 (June 2020)
Page range: 88 - 118
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1339-7877
First Published
15 Jun 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

In this article we analyse local community-based concepts and practices related to establishing a new middle-class identity when under social and “environmental” pressure. We based our ethnographic inquiry in “RA” – a Warsaw suburb – well-known as a former village but now a location for industry and waste-processing plants. Its vicinity, despite being populated, is polluted by heavy traffic, noise and an unpleasant odour, all of which recently have become the stimulus for social mobilisation and intense criticism toward the local authorities and an inconsiderate urbanisation policy. A key role here is played by two organisations, both exerting a strong influence on the new middle/creative class living in gated communities – a novel phenomenon for the local sociocultural landscape. We argue that this activism and struggle for a clean environment is rooted in the post-1989 Polish politico-economic transformation and the emergence of new middle-class identity projects. Thus, we reveal that sustainable urbanisation and “green policies” in Poland are embedded in middle-class identities, and gain momentum especially when class identity and image are under threat.

Keywords

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