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Barbara Pabjan

Dr Barbara Pabjan is Faculty Member at the Institute of Sociology and the Institute of Musicology at the University of Wroclaw. She is a sociologist and cultural anthropologist with specialization is the sociology of knowledge, memory studies, sociology of culture, sociology of music, and sociology of prison. She has conducted research in the field of sociological aspects of the interpretation of the past dealing with the following issues: conflicts about the past, commemoration in public space, the influence of the elite on collective memory, the Polish-German relations in collective memory, the cognitive mechanisms of collective interpretations of the past, and the role of art (film) in collective memory formation. Her other interests include modelling social phenomena in sociophysics, sociology of science and scientific knowledge, methodology and methods in social sciences.

The Language and Socio-Cognitive Structures in Nationalistic Discourse. An Empirical Study.

There is a belief that the occurrence of conflicts in the past increases the likelihood of new conflict in the future due to socio-cognitive mechanisms which impart conflict from the past to the future (Rydgren 2007). The socio-cognitive approach which I would like to propose explains the formation of national and local identity as a socially shared knowledge. The aim of the paper is to reconstruct and analyse the socio-cognitive and linguistic framework and the mechanisms which are activated in specific social environments, namely where there is ethnic conflict. I analyse how people construe the sense of identity from the way they talk about the past and the way they interpret the collective history of the nation and the local community. Especially, I want to describe and explain the language and socio-cultural cognitive structures that form narratives of identity and nationalist discourse. The analysis is based on empirical data and examples are drawn from researching the debates in social media, and surveys.