This paper is a product of the initial phase of a greater work. My aim is to confute the main statement of Pierre Bourdieu’s book entitled Masculine Domination according to which „the continuity of relationships is obscured by obvious changes in circumstances”, i.e. by the fact that during the last millennium the „structure of differences” between men and women has not been altered. My hypothesis is that during the last five hundred years the crystallised patterns of male dominance have significantly changed in the western world. I will argue that from the Middle Ages to the 20th century a well identifiable, successive relational system of hegemonic masculine disposition tightly related to social realignments had developed, which gave birth to more and more complex formations. First, I shall summarise the main elements of the theoretical references that are decisive from the point of view of my entire enterprise. Then, I will present the structurally determined main elements of the hegemonic form of attitude in the Middle Ages, i.e. knightly masculinity. Finally, I will try to present – by means of the example of pair fights – the dynamics of changes in masculine tendencies in the long run.

Keywords: hegemonic masculinity, longue durée, violence control, knightly habit, archaic libido dominandi, Elias, Connell, Bourdieu

Full text (in Hungarian)

This study discusses the case of a village from North-Eastern Hungary, called Kispalád, where the Hungarian and Roma ethnic communities have been living together for many generations, forming an asymmetrically integrated community. The purpose of this research is to anthropologically analyse those micro-level mechanisms (everyday speech situations, routine actions and institutional practices), which reduce economic, social and power inequalities that permanently destabilise the asymmetrical interethnic situation. This study makes a thorough analysis of the functional role of religious institutions (Roma Neo-Protestant church and Hungarian Protestant Church) in the village. In this context, I am investigating how the members of these local communities control, influence or even convert the intra- or interethnic economic, social and power inequalities with the help of religious institutions, as well as various ritual (ceremonial) practices.

Keywords: power, ethnicity, interethnic relations, disparity, asymmetrical integration, ethnic equilibrium

Full text (in Hungarian)

By the millennium, rural poverty has become persistent, strikingly increasing the unemployment rate for young people in villages and keeping it at this high level, while the reproduction of rural poverty has begun as well. It is quite a remarkable Hungarian phenomenon that poverty rather is concentrated in rural areas as compared to cities in Western Europe. The settlement comfort has fallen below the national average significantly, in terms of housing, institutions and commercial establishments as well. People with tangible resources have left these destitute small settlements, and as a result of selective migration, the ethnic and social composition of these settlements has become homogeneous as well. Due to the high level of residential segregation and poverty, people living in these disadvantaged small villages have access to different types of resources than the majority society has. The endowments of these disadvantaged settlements are detrimental to the local population, which, however, force different organizational options on men and women.

This study presents young women’s chances of starting life, especially their relationship opportunities and labor market situation through the results of a comprehensive sociological research that has been carried out in a small cul-de-sac village of 350 inhabitants near the Hungarian-Romanian border. We have investigated this closed rural space where young people start life, make decisions on mating, child-bearing and labor market, while also examining the most influential factors and the way they perpetuate poverty and exclusion onto the next generations through certain mechanisms.

Keywords: social exclusion, young women, spatial inequalities, spatial segregation, small villages

Full text (in Hungarian)

What is it like to live in a village of about 2000 inhabitants near the Hungarian-Romanian border for young people between the age of 20 and 30? How the relationship between the rural and the urban is represented in their narratives depicting their everyday life? What kind of rural and urban images are dominant in their stories? How everyday life is reflected in the use of diverse social and cultural spaces? What sort of interconnections can one observe between the rural and the urban, concerning the social praxis of using different social spaces?

While studying these problems we have come to the conclusion that as a new millennium begins it’s worth reconsidering the relationship between the rural and the urban and reinterpreting their connections both in the field of Hungarian cultural anthropology and European ethnology. We have also realised that it is worth taking a closer look at the methodology of studying local societies today. Our observations are built on theoretical and methodological findings, Hungarian and international as well, primarily from the domain of cultural anthropology, European ethnology and rural sociology, and they are based on the data and experience of an ethnographic fieldwork carried out in a Hungarian settlement, Tyukod between 2012 and 2014.

At present our contemporary society is exceedingly complex, which also applies to the relationship between the rural and the urban. Therefore, it seems quite necessary to widen our perspective or the field of ethnographic research. That is to say, it can be rewarding to develop an analytical and theoretical framework that treats the local social lifeworld and the diverse sites used by locals (including the rural, the urban as well as the online ones) together in research and interpretation as different parts of a single complex. Our work is a pilot project for the achievement of the above mentioned aims, one that, in connection to the practice of critical anthropology, contains both the lessons and the shortcomings of such an endeavour.

Keywords: rurality and urbanity, representation, use of space, critical anthropology, fieldwork, multi-sited ethnography

Full text (in Hungarian)

In this paper we present the case of Kisfalu, a cul-de-sac village in Hungary the history of which can be presented as series of migrations, and as a glory and decline of a well-off village.

The number of Hungarian inhabitants of this village had dropped by the 1700’s, therefore German people (‘schwaben’) were settled here in 1720–21. Then Kisfalu started to develop rapidly, and by the 20th century, with its 3000 inhabitants, it was the most embourgeoised settlement of the area. After the Second World War residents from the German ethnic group were deported and new settlers came from Békés county (Eastern part of Hungary) and from Felvidék (a part of Slovakia inhabited by Hungarians). By the end of the 20th century Kisfalu had declined both demographically and economically. Currently, a part of its inhabitants live in economic and social deprivation – as it is typical to Hungarian cul-de-sac villages.

New settlers started to move in during the 1990s. Alienation from urban life and nostalgic desire for rural life motivated the first wave of newcomers who were mostly families with many children. In the 2000s some families engaged in organic farming and some foreigners (English, Dutch) also settled in the village. In this decade an eco-community was also established, which participates in the Hungarian ecovillage movement, and attracted many other eco-conscious settlers to Kisfalu. From the 2010s further families with diverse motivations moved here.

The scientific literature of urban-rural migration is very well acquainted with the phenomenon of groups of urban migrants arriving to rural settlements with the desire of ‘real’ community life and accordingly starting an active community-building activity. Commonly, premodern values and a demand for authenticity are present among their values, which also manifests in the retraditionalisation of community life and in the re-interpretation of tradition. It is also true for Kisfalu that newcomers manage the civil life of the village, therefore their demands, taste and values significantly determine local communal and cultural life, and thus transform local identity.

In this paper we examine how migration affects the social structure, as well as the social and economic life of Kisfalu; what kind of countryside images and related ideologies work in the village; and how these images effect the development efforts and the life of the village.

Keywords: urban-rural migration, small villages, local development, ecological lifestyle reform, competing ideologies

Full text (in Hungarian)

Present Issue

et2023 1

The "Erdélyi Társadalom" journal is indexed in the following international databases:

ceeol logogesis

 proquest logodatacitemta konyvtar sitelogo

Index Copernicus


Call for papers : The social history of …


Editor: Horváth István (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) State socialism was a social-historical reality, in the forms of life and life situations it created / allowed. Its lifestyle project: the residential area with blocks of...


Supporters of the journal

et tamogatok 2019 1