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«January 2020»

Places of Labor. Workers, Welfare and the Political in Interwar Poland. Historical semantics of parliamentary debates in comparative perspective

The present project is intended to scrutinize languages and concepts of parliamentary debates of interwar Poland in respect to class, welfare and citizenship against the backdrop of broader European patterns. How did political semantics and regimes of public speech affect social change, and vice versa? The general objective of the project is to explore how spaces and representations of the political have changed through continuous processes of redefinition and re-enactment. My focus is the presence of certain social groupings in this communicative space, here namely: the „working class”. The source material are transcripts of diet deliberations from 1919-1939. I investigate languages within which welfare provisions and social legislature were debated, modes of representing class based interest on a parliamentary forum, regimes of visibility of MP's with working class background, and historically evolving imaginaries about social structure.

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