MUTUAL PERCEPTIONS BETWEEN LATVIANS AND LATVIAN POLES
The problem of mutual perceptions between two groups of inhabitants of Latvia - Latvians (Latgalians) and Latvian Poles - was taken under the examination. The authors stated the question whether to view the process of perceiving as a result of cultural confrontation of values and habits or other reasons. Their aim was to present data in a certain pattern - demonstrating how a group describe itself (auto-presentation) and in what way it see the other. Doing that the readers may follow the data exposing in different ways of perceptions. They drew their account on a vast material from the middle of 19c. till nowadays. It have been based on various sources - the Polish literature created by inhabitants of Latvia, the Polish and Latgalian press in Latvia and thorough ethnological fieldwork carried by both authors. In this way they could compare the views of themselves and the other group from a long period of time. In result they pointed what characteristic features have been changed and what have preserved as the very firm in their mutual interactions. The authors took attention on sociological approach to stereotypes, in which they sought for objective distinctions, and on the other side, the ethnological approach, where focused mostly on the process of mythisation or demonisation of the other. They concluded that the evolution of relations did take a long way from the particular relation between the former landlords and servants to the relation of the contemporary neighbors. The perceived distinctions between auto-representations and depictions of the other expressed the degree of the closeness between two cultures.
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