8 / 1997
Adam Walaszek

Polish workers in the USA (1880-1925): Peasants - Poles - ethnics

This paper discusses the active response of Polish immigrants to the social and political realities of industrial America. It considers cases where ethnicity coincided with class. It explores how Polish immigrants used elements of national or folk culture in their struggle to advance their social position. And it demonstrates that the use of such elements of ethnic culture enabled the Polish immigrant working class to appeal to the wider ethnic community, including the ethnic middle class, for support during strikes and other forms of protest.