The cultural heritage of the Polish rural community constitutes a specific type of capital with which the Polish society is entering the integrated Europe. The author of the article draws attention to the possibility of formulating a different than the often expressed extremely critical opinion about that heritage. She also emphasises the significance of the society's positive or negative attitude towards its own tradition. The article's conclusions, which find confirmation in the results of surveys conducted in various parts of Poland in 2003, suggest that a positive attitude towards the rural heritage displayed by the society described by sociologists as a peasant society is more conducive to pro-European attitudes and creation of a new system than criticism, full of complexes vis-a-vis the West, which, at best, may lead to the creation of an imitative capitalism and peripheral democracy.
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