Károly Tóth:
A Village at the Ethnical Outskirt-area: Dlhá nad Váhom

The study intends to answer the question what forms of natural assimilation are present at the ethnical outskirt-area, apart from external factors and effects that causes that slow, but certain „falling away”, language/culture/nation-change, that is called assimilation.

Ethnical and language survey of Dlhá nad Váhom was carried out in December 2000 within the international research programme titled Language Boundary at the Turn of the Millenium that was managed by László Szarka and Róbert Keményfi from the Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Magyarságkutató Mûhelye (Workshop for the Research of Hungarians of the Scientific Academy) and involved the Fórum Kisebbségkutató Intézet (Fórum Institute for Social Studies) in the work.

The purpose of the research was to examine what „ethnical and/or language boundary between the Hungarian and the neighbouring nations” mean on micro level; how the ethnical micro processes modify the nationality boundaries set by official statistics. The research was designed on two levels: regional and settlement.

In our region the research on settlement level was carried out in three villages – asking questions and processing the data: Veµká Maèa, Kráµová nad Váhom, and Dlhá nad Váhom. It was a case of data-sheet research.

Considering language use and households considered Hungarian, the entire village gives the picture of a village with traditional Hungarian majority. At the same time, a more comprehensive analysis of the achieved data shows that these Hungarian people are extremely aged, and comprises one-member families, with a slight rate of population increase and with the death rate three times of this number. The village is characterised by family self-reproduction and huge in-moving and immigration can be expected, of which signs can be evidenced even today. Considering the choice of schools, the picture is moving towards the Slovak kindergarten and petty school, even today, education in Slovak language is mainly preferred in the village that should be explained by the language use. This indicates that we can witness language and cultural change present in most families for a longer time that is evidenced by a great number of mixed marriages. Institutional forms of strengthening community life are almost fully lacking in the village; the cultural life has almost entirely been ceased for a decade in the village.

At the same time, this survey confirms that fighting against violent assimilation is not sufficient. Effective minority protection should be oriented (also) on hindering and stopping natural assimilation processes. Although, it seems that a lot of profound researches will be needed to discover the motives and elements of natural assimilation and consequently with these provable alarming phenomena we could call the attention of the participants of public life: protection against natural assimilation, i.e. positive discrimination is indispensable for remaining our language, cultural, and human values. The results of the population census even emphasize this and at the same time indicate that positive discrimination should be defined on state level, for a small village with its own tools is too weak for this.

Zsuzsanna Lampl:
Preference of Educational Fields at Grammar Schools

According to the results of the sociological research carried out in all Hungarian and Slovak grammar schools in 12 cities of the West-Slovakian region, we examined how the most subjects of the educational-training process (students, pedagogues, and parents) feel about the educational fields qualified as most important by the educational strategy plans, and at the same time about the knowledge and skills that can be acquired through these fields; in what extent these subjects consider certain educational fields important and in what extent the fields are in harmony with subjects’ ideas.

The analysis was carried out in two dimensions: one was the nationality dimension, and the other one was the dimension of statuses. The use of nationality dimension was primarily based not on the fact that we worked with bilingual groups, i.e. Hungarian and Slovak, but on the fact that at the additional analysis of the examined sample such differences showed up that were connected with the issue of nationality of the asked persons. For example, the general values that in the case of Hungarians was the resolution of national identity and problems of the community and the importance of personal freedom. In the status dimension, we approached the examined issue from the point of view of the active subjects of educational-training process, i.e. students, pedagogues, and parents.

The results evidence that the educational fields were considered important by the majority of asked persons with a few exemptions, that is that it accepts or would accept their presence in the educational-training process at grammar schools. At the same time, they do not consider equally important all the educational fields. By ranking the fields it is evident, that the asked persons considered more important the development of the skills oriented on the individual himself than on the community, on the development of individual skills oriented on the creation of the cohesion of society. The most preferred fields are the development of communicational skills, talents, and talent care, teaching the individual to be responsible toward himself, development of skills for the orientation in the information flow, and anti-drug training.

In judging the importance of educational fields, there are differences in relation to nationalities that follow the differences in connection with the values. This means that the asked persons of Hungarian nationality consider the community aspects (nationality, other races and ethnics, school, domicile, home) more important than the Slovak people, but for them, its is also not on the first place. Other nationality specific relationships can not be detected. There is no such educational field, to which the Hungarian statuses would assign equal level of importance and it is true for the Slovaks, too. Although, there is greater accordance between the Slovaks than between the Hungarians.

While judging the importance of educational fields, there is a greater accordance between the statuses than between the nationalities. Consequently, in judging which field is how important, the opinions of Hungarian and Slovak pedagogues, Hungarian and Slovak parents, and Hungarian and Slovak students are converge, than the opinion of identical nationalities, but different statuses. The students agree the most.

Then, have the schoolmasters, pedagogues, students, and their parents realised that today knowledge of the subject is not enough to succeed, that such knowledge should be acquired thanks to which a persons remains capable of development and can change, finds its professional place and not use unfair tools against the others? The results of the research evidenced that everybody is aware of this. That the use of certain educational fields how is practiced in real at the examined grammar schools could be the topic of another – in optimal case – research. The fact that the ideas are hard to harmonise are evidenced also by the results of the research – and we have not mentioned the needs of school supporters, local employers and other school users…

Ervin Csizmadia:
Parties and political networks

The study builds upon the hypothesis that in party competition political networks play a more and more important role. Political networks represent such economic, social, and political organisations that are tightly bound to certain parties. The author intends to introduce and explain the characteristics and dynamics of Hungarian party competition by the set of concepts of the classical network theory. He believes that Nan Lin’s famous theorem on the theory of successful acting can be applied on the competition of parties. According to this, those parties should be considered more successful that have better infrastructure of political network, while those, who have a lower capacity of network, are less successful.

The Hungarian parties are not on the same level of their network development, and perhaps this is the reason why the conflict potential within the Hungarian democracy is so strong. During the previous years, the Fidesz (Youth Democrats) consciously and rapidly built its networks and within them, its „brain trusts”. The latter distinction is also important: according to the author, the brain trusts are parts of the broader network sphere. From the other parties of the Hungarian Parliament perhaps the MSZP (Hungarian Socialistic Party) has significant network capacity, the rest of the parties lag behind them. It is not by chance that the concentration of the Hungarian party system is evidenced by the capacity of networks.

The work does not deal with international developments in detail, but refers to the fact that in Hungary the signs of the British pattern can be found in many aspects. Perhaps the introduction of Hungarian networks can be interesting also for the reading public.

Siegfried Becker:
Cornflowers. Political and Cultural Symbols in National Conflicts of the Habsburg Empire

After the Proclamation of the Second German Empire in 1871, the anthropomorphic treatment of Nature, whose mythical cadence could be heard resounding throughout the 19th century, was put to use to conjure up the grandeur and unity of nation and state, to assert legitimacy in the difficult relationship with Austria-Hungary which had once placed Vienna at the centre of the Holy Roman Empire and had been compelled to surrender its leading role only after the Königgrätz disaster of 1866. It is also in the light of this delimitation of the Habsburg State as a multi-ethnic entity that the development of a militaristic state doctrine after 1871 during the Third Reich, with all its political symbolism, must be viewed. Any attempts to trace an historical continuity in Wilhelminianism, Nationalism and Fascism in Germany – renewed efforts have been made in the last few years – are bound to remain incomplete if those nationalistic constructions which intended to integrate the German crown lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire are not taken into account. It was only out of that contrast between the state concept and the attitude towards national minorities, a result of the mono-ethnic thinking of the German Reich and the multinational Austro-Hungarian state, that the aggressive nationalistic potential of Wilhelminian Germany could come to absolute fruition.

It is also possible to interpret the floral imagery of the youthful nation-state within this field of tension. The emotionalism of the Germans on the eve of the First World War was only too glad to take advantage of natural imagery and well understood how to make use of the cultural stylisation of Nature towards an idealisation of class society and monarchy in terms of the laws of Nature. Motivated by the euphoria felt for a great power amongst the European states – forged through blood and steel – there was a reawakening of the pre-national ideologies of the German Vormärz alongside the development of a middle-class understanding of animals during the industrialisation process of the Gründerjahre. In the spirit of Romanticism these ideologies had made a home for a common cultural identity of German races in the rustling of the forests of the dim and distant Teutonic past. The creation of this new national mythology made use of the imagery of flora, above all the cornflower which symbolises the Reich entity and the popular touch. In my article I intend to trace the process of this creation of symbolism in the motive of cornflowers in some of its more significant aspects.

András Mészáros:
Religius philosophy of Edmund Szelényi

Edmund Szelényi dealt with literature, religius philosophy and history of philosophy. He was being inspired mostly by Luther, Eckehart and Eucken. The basis of his religius-philosophical reflections were interpretation of culture and the category of spirit.

The basic characteristic of Szelényi’s philosophy of religion is so-called theological liberalism. According to it he tried to interpret religion epistemologically (Modern Science of Religion. Budapest, 1913) and determine the character of so-called religius apriori („The Problem of Religius Apriori”, Athenaeum, 1917, 26–39). Continuing this direction gets he to the task of mystique („The Life and Work of Master Eckehart”, Theologiai Szaklap, 1913, 65–110) but also to philosophical system of Károly Böhm („Károly Böhm and Religius Philosophy”, Theologiai Szaklap, 1914, 122–145).

In Szelényi’s opinion, epistemology analysing religius knowledge can’t be purely rationalistic, because we must see the irrationalistic points of religion. Tries of neofriesianism (Otto, Nelson, Bousset) treats he in this way like wrong ones. Despite diverging thoughts Szelényi is confident, that there are holding these theses of epistemology of religius philosophy:

  1. Alongside the logical way there is also immediate, intuitive way of getting knowledge.
  2. Against the objective certainty of scientific knowledge, religion offers subjective, personal certainty.
  3. Religius knowledge changes transcendental world.
  4. Apriori of religius knowledge is in unity of psychic life.
  5. Knowledge based on belief refers to transcendental world.

Andrea Németh:
Pragmatic approach of codeswitching in a bilingual community

During my work I have dealt with the language use of four persons (data givers). The purpose of the research was to monitor how the Slovak language merges into the Hungarian language in the case of such bilingual persons who are in active contact with the Slovak language. Therefore, codeswitching was the topic of the work.

I chose the data givers from my own circle of friends, since this way the observing impact was smaller and I was able to observe the everyday language the best. Generally, during my research, I used group interviews that were spontaneous and unplanned. Hidden recording was necessary only in two cases, since in these cases the data givers were bothered by the presence of the dictaphone. So, through the research I have relied on the records of the four data givers, of which duration is about 150 minutes. The interviews predominantly reflect the everyday spoken language. Besides interviewing, I considered important to prepare a questionnaire on the use of the language that can basically be divided into two parts. The first part comprises questions related to the data givers’ education, use of language, etc., and in the second part I tested sentences that seem to be problematic to me. Here, the data givers evaluated each other’s sentences on the basis of how they considered the sentences to be natural.

According to the results achieved during the recorded interviews and questionnaires I tried to determine what could be the data givers’ reason of codeswitching. My research convincingly evidenced that codeswitching speech is very coherent and the reason of codeswitching could be not only the lack or lapse of the language. The purpose of codeswitching of the examined persons is the following: change of communicational situation, citation, of which I identified several sub-types, lapse or lack of language, and connection. Codeswitching can be resulted by a previous discourse or text in other language. The functions of codeswithing are also very varied in the researched group. The purpose of the data giver could be adaptation, back reference, making an impression, that also has a lot of sub-groups, keeping distance, expressing double language identity, game with the language and naming institutions and establishments.