DESCRIPTIONS OF BLACK PEOPLE IN POLISH LOCAL PRESS
The article reports on a portion of research on the image of 'them', 'the foreigners', and the way they were linguistically categorized in the Polish press between 1989 and 2003. After 1989 Polish press market saw the appearance of numerous local newspapers and magazines, which are not only formative of reader tastes but also reflect the attitudes of the inhabitants of small and medium-sized towns and villages. The first part concentrates on the descriptions of black people, considered 'radically foreign' and most unlike 'us'. The second part presents the debate on black people in 'Gazeta Wyborcza', a liberal Polish national daily. The image of black people there is rather unstable: they are presented as victims of the actions of others but also as the ones who dominate. The third part focuses on the images of black people in local newspapers from Pabianice: 'Nowe Zycie Pabianic' and 'Zycie Pabianic'. In comparison to 'Gazeta Wyborcza', the discourse there is more homogeneous, unidimensional and not so intense: a black person in viewed as 'radically foreign, seen from a distance'. In the fourth and the most extensive part the authoress presents the linguistic picture of the attitudes towards black people in the newspapers in question. In focus are the linguistic means used for the purpose: naming, metaphors or descriptions of their world, appearance and artifacts.The analysis reveals that the basic term used in reference to a black person is 'Murzyn', other terms being rare and used in reference to people of high social status. Irony and derision are frequent; emphasized is their alleged backwardness (mainly of Africans rather than African Americans) or musical and sports talents. The perspective is characteristic of most Poles.
CEJSH db identifier