chapter  4
Kinship, gender and work in socialist and post-socialist rural Poland
Pages 16

Changing weddings I attended a wedding, in April 1996, in the Polish mountain village where I have been doing research since the late 1970s. I had been a guest at many weddings in the village before, and had written about them as the most important ritual event of G6rale culture, reflecting and reinforcing the ideologies of gender, generation and kinship which underpin house and community identity and social personhood. This wedding was particularly important to me, as the bride was Beata, the daughter of the house in which I live when I am in the village, and I became more intimately involved in its progress than ever before. It was also the first wedding I had attended since the demise of the socialist state and the establishment of the market economy in Poland. During the week of preparation and the celebrations themselves, I was continually struck by both small and major changes, changes which I associate with the increasing affluence of the village, its greater engagement with national and global consumer culture, and above all with the shifting relationship between the house and the state.