Ethnic balance and local co-existence models in two ethnically mixed small regions (the Tövishát and Zobor regions)

In progress
Project manager:: Zoltán Ilyés
Research period:: 2009-2012
External researchers: Richárd Papp, László Szarka, Éva Szemet, Patrik Tátrai, Judit Czövek


The basic aim of the research project is to describe co-existence techniques among various ethnic groups in ethnically mixed rural areas of Romania (Tövishát region) and Slovakia (Zobor region) and to interpret the behavioural norms regulating relationships. According to the research hypothesis, in each of the two regions the four selected villages reflect in an exemplary manner the special features of interethnic co-existence. This also means the preservation of ethnic, cultural and traditional features and the coordination/harmonisation of such as a consequence of the interferential effects associated with co-existence. The research  explores the interethnic co-existence techniques that have arisen over time by means of studying four representative aspects of peasant existence: religious denominational co-existence, the socialisation and language-use norms of ethnically mixed marriages, the customs and ways of life associated with farming practice, and – at the representational levels of the immediate environment – the use of photography in the family and the aestheticisation and symbolic use of the living environment. Typologically, the project constitutes qualitative basic research based primarily on fieldwork. Owing to the complexity of the initial problem mentioned in the working hypothesis, the collection and analysis of data requires the combined application of salient research techniques.