Levels of trust in political institutions and political actors are constantly low in the Czech Republic. This paper deals with the perspective of professional politicians, which is an unexplored topic in the Czech context. At the same time, we supplement the traditional view of political culture with an approach based on interpretive and constructivist sociology. We focus on the construction of symbolic boundaries by Czech politicians. We pursue a combination of narrative (Ricoeur) and critical discourse analysis (Wodak) based on 21 thematically oriented biographical interviews with politicians from three traditional political parties (ODS, ČSSD, KSČM) who have been actively involved in politics since the early 90's. The findings suggest that the politicians use symbolic boundaries as a cultural instrument for legitimizing their identity, status and practice of "traditional" politics. By defining others, the politicians are able to construct a reality in which they are on the same boat with citizens while standing on the command bridge.
>> Full text is available in Czech only <<