{53.} I. Social Anthropology


The study of the elects of social anthropology is a rather neglected area in the literature of Hungarian ethnology. Even if we happen to find the subject reviewed in digests, it is assigned a place somewhere between material culture and folklore. However, we have decided to begin the discussion with social anthropology, keeping in mind that the subject is closely bound to both the material and intellectual culture of the Hungarians. Consequently, and by way of introduction, the reader should now familiarize himself with concepts he is likely to find everywhere in the pages of this book. As the demarcation is extremely difficult, we have listed here questions that could have been mentioned in either of the other two areas. We do this partly because life is a complete whole in which everything is interrelated, and partly because we would like to emphasize the importance of social culture.

Starting with the smallest social unit, the nuclear family, and by examining blood and artificial relationships, we shall introduce the institution of neighbourhood, the stratification of the population of Hungarian villages and also of market towns, the organization of villages, and the possibilities for linking smaller and larger regions and areas. Furthermore, we shall speak of those labour migrations that have affected the entire country and beyond, and which, becoming especially brisk from the second half of the last century, have played a significant role in the exchange of cultural attainments between distant regions.

We shall also introduce, in large outlines, the historical role of the Churches in the Hungarian village, as well as the pilgrimages, and the fairs, which were large gatherings often involving whole national territories. They were not only important factors in the dispersal of cultural goods, but also contributed new aspects to both the material and intellectual culture of the Hungarian folk.