rss_2.0Slovenský národopis / Slovak Ethnology FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Slovenský národopis / Slovak Ethnologyý národopis / Slovak Ethnology 's Cover Reviews Book Essays The Past: A Case Study of Experiential Learning with Young People at Historic Sites<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Learning about the past is becoming a complex issue due to the increasing need to ensure the approaches consider not only the facts, but also the implications for increasingly diverse future societies. This paper studies how experiential visits to memorial sites contribute to young people’s understanding of history from a wider and more inclusive perspective. The article presents a case study of two educational activities carried out at two memory sites related to the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) involving various qualitative techniques such as participant- and non-participant observation, expert interviews and focus groups with young people. The results show that an experiential approach to the past that works with emotions, empathy and dialogue with secondary students (17 years old) and older young people (15–25 years old) is a very effective means of offering a touching interpretation of the past and learning opportunity for youth, regardless of level of previous knowledge. Other findings show that the content needs to be reconsidered so new generations can interact with it. Young people’s worlds are shaped by cultural diversity, globalisation and the need to connect knowledge with the social environment, which enables them to engage in a critical re-appropriation of the past. This may be a new perspective that could be incorporated into the school curricula, and these types of visits could prove very useful for teachers and historical institutions such as museums or memorial sites interested in including young people’s experiences when planning their activities.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-10-11T00:00:00.000+00:00Cultural Heritage and Responsibility: Linking Narratives of the Past to Perspectives of the Future<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper aims at identifying factors behind <italic>the-making-of</italic> cultural heritage reproduced within educational settings by trying to answer the following question: How do young people link narratives of the past with their own cultural identities and perspectives on the future? Observations made at conferences by two different non-formal educational organisations in the same region in Germany form the data for this analysis. Both conferences were structurally similar but very different in their perspectives on Germany’s role in global history and on young people’s responsibilities to create a future worth living in. Since both organisations are concerned with political education and target a similar group of young people from similar economic and educational backgrounds, these differences seem especially significant for thinking about discursive practices in educational settings. Building on the understanding that heritage is a discursive practice in a field of power relations, the paper provides insights into the links between certain images of the past, which are recreated in very specific ways in different educational settings, and the cultural practices young people produce within their local contexts.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-10-11T00:00:00.000+00:00The Family as a Site of Consocial Learning: the Cultural Socialisation of Young People in the Process of Intergenerational Exchange<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article explores the family as an educational environment and space for the intergenerational exchange of knowledge. Focusing on the process of cultural socialization as viewed against the currently popular “culture wars” it employs the concept of consociality, which is aimed at grasping the diversity and unpredictability of human interactions, and has been recently rejuvenated by Ulf Hannerz. Investigating the consocial character of learning and intergenerational exchange within the family educational environment, the article takes examples from Slovakia and Latvia and problematizes the relationship between formal and informal learning to demonstrate how it changes knowledge infused with cultural meanings and references. The article argues that this process depends on the consocial conditions in which it is created. It also suggests that viewing the family environment in consocial terms provides us with an opportunity to rethink the role of experiences shared within the family and thereby mitigate ethnic-cum-cultural essentialism.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-10-11T00:00:00.000+00:00Dramatising Cultural Diversity: Youth Theatre as a Performance of Local Memory and Identity in a Multiethnic Environment<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article presents a comparative analysis of two ethnographic case studies conducted in local theatres in the Slovak town of Komárno and the British city of Coventry. These two locations are very different – one is a small town on the Slovak-Hungarian border and the other an urban centre in the Midlands region of Britain – and yet they are both characterised by the multiethnic and culturally diverse composition of their populations. The two youth theatres in question are also distinct in their genres: one bases its performances on folklore traditions, whereas the other is an avant-garde physical theatre. At the same time, the productions of both groups manifest a deep involvement in the representation of cultural heritage and the current social issues in their respective locations. Drawing on anthropological conceptualisations of theatre as a form of ritualised performance (see Turner, 1969, 1982; Schechner, 1985, 1993), this paper explores the processes and contexts of the enactment of past conflict and/or violence presented by the two theatrical groups in order to engage with traumatic events in local (and national) history. These processes, which embrace the values of cultural diversity and inclusion, are important for the construction of community identities. The liminality of ritualised performance enables actors and audiences to cross social (including ethnicity and class) and temporal boundaries. They reproduce memories of past violence to make sense of present tensions, such as growing nationalism and xenophobia, and to project their vision of the communal future. This often results in the contestation of the very meaning of place, community and belonging. Furthermore, the article demonstrates that such artistic interpretations of the local past and heritage are instrumental in shaping the identities of the participating youth. The comparison of the two cases also reveals noticeable differences between cosmopolitan and ethno-cultural discourses, which are prevalent in imagining the place, history and heritage of Coventry and Komárno respectively.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-10-11T00:00:00.000+00:00Re-visiting the Past and Shaping the Future in the Cultural Practices of Young People, Dominance and Contestation: Young People’s Engagement with Heritage and Culture<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The exclusionary identities plaguing our contemporary times have strong linkages with the heritage and culture of communities. Heritage is a construct that not only records the past but is also created for contemporary social and political needs. Based on ethnographic fieldwork at two publicly contested heritage sites in Maharashtra, India, this paper seeks to understand, young people’s interactions with heritage and culture. These two sites are an ancient Buddhist monument combined with a Hindu temple and a museum articulating elitist narratives of Maharashtra’s past. We found that young people’s heritage conceptions are deeply rooted in inter-connected political identities of belonging to a region and a nation; and regionally popular symbols such as Shivaji and hill forts play a significant role in shaping them. Our fieldwork shows that the heritage represented by some institutions reproduces the broader social dominations and injustice. Worryingly, some of these projections are accepted by young people as their own heritage. This normalizes the partial representation of heritage. Some young people, however, contest some of those dominant projections and hold diverse ideas on heritage. These conceptions provide fertile ground for young people’s political engagement with the idea of heritage and are a call for them to participate in the current contest over India’s past. Diversity and contestations are hallmarks of heritage and culture in India. In that context, the paper enriches our understandings of those discursive and power laden processes that shape the formation of heritage and culture among youth, not only in the global South but also across the world.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-10-11T00:00:00.000+00:00Global Cultural Identity Among Young People in Slovakia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>It is becoming increasingly obvious that young people are facing the globalisation of personal identity. It is the result of ongoing interaction between individuals and their globalised socio-cultural environment that leads to changes in self-identification. Cultural openness and the “de-territorialisation” of identity are the key aspects of this process. The paper explores the globalisation of identities among secondary school students, using the concept of global self-identification. The analysis employs quantitative data from the <italic>Survey of Young People’s Cultural Literacy</italic>. The globalisation of identity is captured by the Global Identity Scale (Türken, Rudmin, 2013), which consists of two dimensions – “Non-nationalism” and “Cultural Openness”. The aim of the study is to examine to what extent young people in Slovakia can be characterised in terms of global self-identification and to identify what affects the propensity for global self-identification. Furthermore, it tests the relationship between global self-identification and other phenomena that are supposedly related to global identity. The results show that the global identity is present among young people in Slovakia. By applying multilevel modelling, we identified a variety of culture-related phenomena that affect cultural openness and non-nationalism, including multicultural interaction and cultural participation. In addition, the study confirms that type of school has a significant effect.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-10-11T00:00:00.000+00:00Imaging the Other Side of the Iron Curtain: Then and Now. Oral History Research Conducted in Eastern Slovakia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>For forty years, the Iron Curtain was a symbol of a Europe divided between Soviet and Western influence. Powers on each side of the border invested huge efforts into creating ideologically motivated images of the <italic>Other</italic>. The article presents the outcomes of biographical research which offers an insight into how aged people in Eastern Slovakia remember their pre-1989 perceptions of the Western Block and how they think of life in the West today, focusing on the main element of their memories in this respect – emigration. It is the outcome of a broader oral history project being conducted in Slovakia since 2017, aiming to obtain and analyse current images of socialism, as communicated today by the generation of witnesses who were living their adult lives during the period spanning between the 1960s and the 1980s; and understanding the relations between the current attitudes and values of the respondents and their experience of life in state socialist regimes.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-30T00:00:00.000+00:00“If you want to be classy, have Yugoclass.” Postmodern Cultural Images of Josip Broz Tito<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article deals with internet memes related to the person of the socialist leader of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito. For purposes of our research, we define internet meme as conventionalized text-iconic composition, built on a basis of a specific scheme. In intentions of contemporary narratology we also consider it as a text of its kind and its creating, reproduction, transformation and reading process – as a special discursive activity.</p> <p>Based on analysing the primary material occurring and spreading on internet, we provide a typology of the representations of Tito from a narratological and semiotic point of view, and regarding its function in current discourse on socialist Yugoslavia. We focus mainly on cultural meanings generated by this meme culture, its relation to the narratives formed in the context of official and unofficial representations of the leader during the socialist era and to a wider context of contemporary popular culture. Pursuant to the analysis, we try to follow the features of postmodern cultural images of the socialist Yugoslavia and its leader, and relation of these narratives to nostalgic and social-critical attitudes in the contemporary world.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Book Reviews: Book Essays“Communism Didn’t Touch My Kids Like Me.” Images of Communism in a Family Perspective<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The target of this study is to introduce one particular life story and on the basis of its content analysis to focus on the narrator’s connection with the period of so-called normalization era in Czechoslovakia. Based on oral history interviews with one narrator during the longitudinal oral history project, the author focuses on whether the memories of a given period change over time and how the narrator reflects on his memories. The author maps the narrator’s family background, the extent to which it shaped him and how he evaluated it as a thirty year old man and now, when he is fifty years old. The core of our narrator’s life story stays the same in principle; he did not change it after twenty years. The reason is that the narrator’s experience and the memories have sunk in and are consistent. What changed in the narrator’s story is the amount of self-reflection that was reflected during the last interview. It was confirmed that shifts in the reflection are a common phenomenon and that some variability may not be conscious. Interpretations and evaluations of life can change, but the experiences themselves do not change.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Between Old Traditions and New Approaches: Locating Oral History and Memory Studies in East Central Europe<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article explores how oral history and memory studies have been used in East Central Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain. It focuses particularly on the question of whether Eastern European scholars only reproduce what was invented in the West, or whether they advance their original concepts and ideas. Both disciplines have been involved in reassessing the history of communism and the communist version of history itself and both contributed to revealing memoires obscured by the communist regime, even if the role of oral history may be considered as pivotal in this process. Although oral history had been practiced in the region at least since the 1970s, it was introduced as a new discipline according to the Western criteria after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Memory studies and their most successful concept, the “lieux de mémoire”, were implemented into to the region later and the promoters of the concept were predominantly Western scholars. Drawing on the uses of the term “historical consciousness” in Czech and Polish research, the article argues that various strategies associated with the “return to Europe” can be found in the region when promoting native traditions and equalizing them with the Western ones.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-30T00:00:00.000+00:00“The Charm of the PRL”. Memory Culture, (Post)Socialist Nostalgia and Historical Tourism in Poland<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article explores the mechanisms of memory culture and the commercialization of the socialist heritage from the period of the People’s Republic of Poland (PRL) (from 1945 to 1989) as a tourist destination, societal practice and cultural resource in today’s Warsaw. At the intersection of heritage studies, historical tourism and material culture, the ethnographic analysis focuses on three empirical case studies as examples of the commercial popularization of the history of the PRL. These are the <italic>communist heritage tours</italic> offered by <italic>WPT 1313</italic> and the documentation of the socialist heritage at the <italic>Museum of Life in the PRL</italic> and the <italic>Neon Museum</italic>. These commodified products of Warsaw’s tourism and entertainment culture fill a gap in the tourist market, based on the prototypical, nostalgic longing of tourists for a sensual and emotional experience of the “authentic past”. This predominantly participant observation-based ethnographic study on the practices, spaces, images and agents filling this touristic niche, illustrates how they create sensual-emotive, aesthetic and performative fields of reifying, discovering and experiencing the socialist past. Finally, the paper focuses on how these polyvalent mechanisms shape the tourist infrastructure of Warsaw oscillating between critical distancing and entertaining appropriation of the socialist heritage.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Narratives of Czechoslovak Prison Staff from the Communist Era<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Czechoslovak prison system is closely bound up with the political situation, and period before the year 1989 was no exception. Its transformation reflects changes in society and politics. The role of the prison system, attitudes to prisoners, as well as modernising trends are all a reflection of the dominant master narratives of that time. This study examines how university-educated employees who were in expert positions within the prison system (psychologists, doctors, a librarian, educators, top management) between 1965 and 1992 adapted to the prison system in place or tried to transform it at the time, and how they reflect on their engagement with it at present. By exploring these questions, we are ultimately asking how their experience as prison staff in communist prisons influenced their professional (narrative) identity and course of life, and how dominant social and political narratives under the communist rule impacted their individual lives.</p> <p>The study adopts a qualitative, idiographic and social constructivist narrative engagement approach to capture the interplay between the prison system and individuals within it. It finds that former employees constructed three different identity configurations reflecting their engagement with the prison system. The consequences of these configurations for prison employees, prison system and society in general are discussed.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Memory of the Communist Past as a Research Field Pupils’ Positive Relationship to the Soviet Union in the Period of Socialism in Czechoslovakia Through the Lens of Chronicles<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The cooperation of Czechoslovakia (and other socialist countries) with the Soviet Union was an important phenomenon during the period of socialism. It represented one form of building and consolidating socialism within socialist countries. Relationships with the Soviet Union affected political, ideological, economic and cultural domains, including education. This study follows points of departure and forms of building children’s positive relationship with the Soviet Union in the period of socialism. The content analysis of the Pioneer Organisation chronicles shows that the most frequently identified forms of activities were regularly organised (celebrations of memorial days and public holidays, politically motivated commitments, correspondence, games, expeditions, competitions, etc.). Some identified activities could be considered occasional, as they reflected current events in the Soviet Union (showing Soviet films, deaths of prominent politicians, anniversaries of birth/death of politicians, etc.). The proclaimed “diversity and attractiveness of content and forms” can characterise the process, and it affected many domains of children’s lives. However, the (in)direct power interest of the Soviet Union was hidden in the proclamation of “children’s well-being”, while the programme of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia was implemented to reinforce the communistic ideology and actual political interests.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Analysis of Interventions to Reduce Antigypsyism in Slovakia: A Social Psychology Perspective<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Despite numerous efforts of Roma inclusion from various State and non-governmental organisations, segregation and socioeconomic marginalisation of the Roma is still widespread in Slovakia. In this paper, we show what social-psychological factors intervene into the process of intergroup relations change and how they can influence the effectiveness of interventions to reduce antigypsyism. We contend that establishing intergroup harmony between majority and minority may, by creating false assumptions about the absence of structural inequalities, weaken the potential for social change and minority collective action. Based on the theoretical analysis as well as the content analysis of anti-discrimination interventions carried out in the year 2018 and the thematic analysis of interviews with selected stakeholders (NGO representatives, intervention participants, sponsors) we identified four challenges that need to be tackled if the interventions are to succeed in reducing antigypsyism. These are: 1) essentializing vs. empowerment of minorities; 2) tension between the colourblind and multiculturalism approaches; 3) problem of intergroup boundaries and their consequences for generalization of positive intergroup attitudes to the whole outgroup; and 4) societal norms defining the nature of intergroup relations. We discuss how these challenges ought to be addressed in succesful anti-discrimination interventions.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2021-04-23T00:00:00.000+00:00The Hero in the Lyrical Epic Poem in the Context of Contemporary Nationalism<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The analytical-interpretative study examines the depiction of literary characters in the lyrical-epic work <italic>Detvan</italic> written by Andrej Sládkovič. It interprets the ingenious system of relations between the Slovak nation represented by the main character Martin and King Matthias Corvinus. The study notes the shifts in meaning and symbolization of relationships in this work and reveals the influence of national ideology in the creation of characters and their relations. It proves that the relationship between the king and the main character is a poetic expression of the national program, and that the story line is determined by the Slovak autostereotype of a peaceful nation. The article was written on the occasion of the 200<sup>th</sup> anniversary of Andrej Sládkovič’s birth.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2021-04-23T00:00:00.000+00:00From a Shepherd’s Hut to the Presidential Palace. Contribution to the 15 Anniversary of the proclamation of the Fujara as UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The fujara became the first element of Slovakia’s traditional music culture proclaimed as Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005 and automatically incorporated in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008. I was a member of the team that prepared the application documents and witnessed debates among fujara players on what this event would mean for the fujara and its music. The expectations of the performers, instrument makers, and other fans of the fujara were ambiguous. After 15 years since the proclamation, there is an opportunity to show what has happened with the fujara and to what extent their visions have been fulfilled. In this context, the text reflects on important contemporary events related to the life of the fujara: changes in the making technology, unification of its acoustic and intonation features, new ways of its use, presentation of this instrument in the media, as well as processes of a socio-cultural nature focused on the community of fujara players, the education of young performers, and the perception of the fujara in today’s society.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2021-04-23T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1