Constructing Polish national identity on social media: the case of the #jedzjablka (#eatapples) campaign - an activist's perspective
(2016) Constructing Polish national identity on social media: the case of the #jedzjablka (#eatapples) campaign - an activist's perspective, no. 118.
This dissertation looks at the construction of Polish national identity through the use of social media and activism. Specifically, it looks at the campaign #EatApples initiated by journalist Grzegorz Nawacki after the ban on Polish fruits had been made by Russia (The Economist 2014). The main purpose of this study, therefore, is to to discuss how the Polish national identity is represented in social media activism and, especially, in the #EatApples campaign. It concentrates specifically at the activists who highly participated in the campaign and who appeared to be journalists in the Polish media. This can be attributed to Twitter, being the main platform for their active communication. Hence, it looks at their construction of national identity rather than looking at generalising the whole population. It is the result of extensive research of Polish scholarly literature which suggests the whole nation. Interestingly, the research found a high relevance of Polish national identity in terms of activism and social media. Social media is a channel to express the Polish values of differentiation, while being united through the use of constructive strategy. It importantly found that the strong Polish identity did help to achieve desired outcomes. The activists express their positive pride for the apple industry, modern patriotism through the use of social media and hashtags, and Polishness. It is, however, the subject emerging through the crisis, in this case the embargo, and therefore suggests the emergence of national identity activism on social media arising from the problem and frustrations.