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Title: Nations in synthesis : the ideology and practices of transnationalism in the Prussian East, 1871-1914
Author: Tilse, Mark Jonathan Breedon
ISNI:       0000 0004 2673 6016
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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The subject of this thesis is the socio-political relationship between the German and Polish nationalities that inhabited the eastern Prussian provinces of Posen and West Prussia in the period 1871-1914. The thesis begins with an analysis of the paradigms hitherto employed to interpret the German-Polish relationship in the region, as well as a discussion of the branch of nationalism studies concerning borderlands and regions to which this study belongs. The dominant paradigm, both in the period and in historiography, has been of 'conflict'. A national conflict existed throughout most of the nineteenth century, featuring social, economic and political dimensions. This research advances a new paradigm of 'synthesis': the social interaction between Germans and Poles produced qualitatively new identities, social structures, and cultures which transgressed the national divide, and as such, contravened the logic of nationalism as it existed in the region. Consequently, this research posits a dichotomy between 'national' and 'transnational' categories, and this distinction informs the overall structure of the thesis. It is the aim of this study to examine the extent and socio-political significance of transnational modes of thought and behaviour in the provinces of Posen and West Prussia. This research results in a distinct and original conception of 'transnationalism' as deviation from national categories. The thesis therefore represents a contribution to the theory and semantics of transnationalism. It also simultaneously contributes to the understanding of nationalism by demonstrating the limits of nationalism, as an ideology and as a principle of community, and the potential for alternative social units to the nation. The central question of the thesis is explored according to four main facets of the German-Polish relationship: language and semantics, regional politics, marriage and sexual bonds, and cultural institutions. This research is based upon a diverse, and largely original, range of German, Polish and English language source material. The types of primary source material used include newspapers and journals, government and police files, novels, histories and academic studies, contemporary statistics, and political writings, polemics and memoirs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available