POINTS OF VIEW: Not only about “Fear”. The psychology of the common understanding of history  Cover Image
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PUNKTY WIDZENIA: Nie tylko o „Strachu”. Psychologia potocznego rozumienia historii
POINTS OF VIEW: Not only about “Fear”. The psychology of the common understanding of history

Author(s): Michał Bilewicz
Subject(s): History
Published by: Stowarzyszenie Centrum Badań nad Zagładą Żydów & IFiS PAN
Keywords: Polish-Jewish relations; Jan Tomasz Gross’s Fear; social identity theory

Summary/Abstract: Publications on the Holocaust and the history of Polish-Jewish relations quite frequently lead to historical debates in the Polish media. On the one hand, it is a unique opportunity to publicise unknown pages of history, and on the other, a potential threat to contemporary Polish-Jewish relations. This article is an attempt to explain the Polish reactions to Jan Tomasz Gross’s Fear and the character of similar debates in Polish media. Thanks to the achievements of experimental social psychology (attribution errors, social identity theory, and the sleeper effect), we can now understand why certain books spawn a media debate while others do not; why the contents of the contested books reach the consciousness of a broader audience and why the debates that surround such books less and less resemble true discussion, in which people cease to talk to one another and engage in polemics against the position of their opponents.

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 617-526
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Polish