Pogranicze w ujęciu geograficzno-socjologicznym - zarys problematyki
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W artykule zawarto próbę analizy problematyki pogranicza - zwłaszcza narodowego - uwzględniając jego aspekt geograficzny, historyczny, polityczny, etniczny, społeczny i kulturowy. Z uwagi na bardzo szeroki i wieloznaczny zakres tematyki pogranicza, ograniczono się przede wszystkim do analizy w ujęciu geograficzno-socjologicznym. Głównym celem było ukazanie różnorodności obszarów pograniczy - jej przyczyn i konsekwencji.Borderlands have always been a subject of various disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, ethnology, ethnography, geography, history, law, and sociology. Therefore, an appropriate examination of this matter requires a large interdisciplinary approach. The term of borderland has many meanings according to its context: geographical, historical, political, ethnic, social or cultural. This study is mainly concerned with the geographical and sociological aspects of the issue. As borderland was traditionally defined as a territory or border area, one of its basic features is spatial dimension In some cases, borderland is delimited precisely - by rivers, mountains or other elements of the natural environment. Most often the range of borderland is determined in terms of settlement geography: migrations, settlements, inhabitants culture. Borderland is a transition zone between two, or more, states or nations. This situation is owing to multiple historical changes of political dependence of the region, mixture of people in the settlement process, and different political influencés. A special type of borderland is a frontier. This term, rendered into Polish language as kresy, do not have an explicit, unequivocal meaning either in Polish political life or in literature. It comprises not only spatial and geographical aspects but also cultural and mythical ones. Usually, the frontier is identified in Polish literature with south-eastern extremities of pre-partition or pre-war Poland while western confines of the country are called borderland. However, the term frontier can be used in relation to very many border areas in all continents which played a similar role in the history of different states as kresy in Poland. Frontier is a specific borderland where a politically and ethnically accomplished state border on less developed, in this respect, peoples. It was the case of practically all borderlands at the fringes of main centres of civilization. In political geography the notion of the frontier is explained with core and periphery theories. The core area is a territory of strong political, economic, ethnic, and cultural dominance which was a springboard for expansion toward neighbouring areas. Usually, the expansion covered at first ethnically related territories and then it spread over periphery of different ethnic background. Despite the etymological meaning of the Polish word kresy (literally: ends, extremities), frontier does not convey the idea of territorial expansion limits. To the contrary, frontier comprehends expansiveness because, as an area without strict confines, it is an undefined border zone which should be maximally enlarged. It corresponds with an American interpretation of the term frontier: that part of a settled, civilized country which lies next to an unexplored or undeveloped region Borderlands are liable to unite or bring closer together some regions and countries; frontiers, on the contrary, generally separate and seclude them. The geographic core and periphery theory shows some resemblances with a sociological conception of centre - periphery relation which considers borderland as a dependent area remote from a centre.