The Strength of Diversity: A Micro-history of Ethnic Conflict and Coexistence in Rural Southeast Poland
- Anthropological Quarterly
- George Washington University Institute for Ethnographic Research
- Volume 82, Number 2, Spring 2009
- pp. 509-545
- Additional Information
This article addresses the problem of ethnic conflict and coexistence by examining the Polish-Ukrainian relationship from an anthropological perspective. It explores why today Poles and Ukrainians coexist peacefully in southeast Poland, despite a bloody civil war in the 1940s. The case study suggests that a dynamic system of alliance, guided by cross-cutting cleavages and cross-cutting social networks, provides for negative feedback mechanisms that contribute to resilience to violent ethnic conflict at the community level. Although the ethnic cleft has increasingly been bridged, the ethnic cleavage remains a source of structural vulnerability.