About the project

The aim of the project titled "Polishness in the XXI century. Types of national identity, their foundations and consequences" is to fill up the knowledge gap on the topic of identity and national identification, as well as create an innovative intervention strengthening a constructive identification with the Polish nation. Formerly patriotism used to be associated primarily with sacrificing one's own good - oftentimes one's own health and life - for the sake of the nation. As far as we are aware though, today the term is starting to acquire a new meaning, not fully explored by contemporary science. Combining knowledge from the fields of social sciences and humanities, we shall fill up the gaps in this area by analysing the topic of national identification. We shall verify how to diminish group polarisation and promote constructive national values – maintaining harmony both inside the national group, as well as outside of it. We shall focus especially on the role that national identity and the type of national identification play in the way of perceiving one's country, its co-citizens, as well as other countries' citizens.

We shall analyse:
a. Factors responsible for moving closer as well as further away from one's nation;
b. Types and causes of different ways of identification with the nation (eg., a constructive one – associated with the willingness to act for the group's sake, without discriminating against other groups vs a defensive one - associated with intergroup hostility;
c. Concentration on the individual perspective, ie. prioritising one's own good over the good of fellow group members vs concentrating on the group perspective, ie. a readiness to help other members of the group, even when it is connected with an individual sacrifice;
d. Interventions strengthening constrictive forms of national identification among the Polish people;
e. Consequences that different forms of group identification have for the problems the Polish nation is currently facing, (eg. caring for other group members during the COVID-19 pandemic; diminishing social polarisation and national divide).

The final objective is to create a documentary showing different aspects of contemporary Polishness. Our film's characters shall come from different age groups and represent different social groups. We will include individuals from big and small cities, as well as villages, and people of different beliefs and lifestyles. The trait they will all share, though, will be a constructive way of identifying with their nation, related to the willingness to engage in activities aimed at making it a better place without promoting intergroup or intragroup hostility.

Budget of the project: 1 714 305 PLN


The project "Polishness in the XXI century. Types of national identity, their foundations and consequences" is carried out as part of the Science for Society programme of the Polish Ministry of Education and Science.


Instytut Psychologii PAN
ul. Jaracza 1
00-378 Warszawa

dr Marta Marchlewska
e-mail: mmarchlewska(at)psych.pan.pl