Promotionsprogramm "Transformationsprozesse in Europäischen Gesellschaften"

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Elenka Orszová, M.A.

1st Year


University of Graz
Institute of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology
Attemsgasse 25/I
A-8010 Graz

Further Information

Dissertation Project

"Don't Underestimate Us." (Un)resourceful Food and Social Practices of Eastern Slovak Peripheries

The main goal of the dissertation project is to give scientific space and attention to a social group and environment, which is increasingly becoming the subject of nationalscale bias. Eastern Slovak periphery carries the label of regression in the public discourse of Slovak socio-political issues. These issues are long-standing, systematic and deeprooted, therefore, all the “why’s” behind them would require a separate thorough investigation. The aim of this project is to perform a long-term, static ethnographic examination into the ways of life on Eastern Slovak periphery in an attempt to better understand the emerging bias of regression. Casting a light on culturally specific practices (food habits, cultivation, reciprocity) of everyday life of peripherals living on the border with Ukraine, I believe, we eventually witness promising social and economic skills, dexterity and handling of resources. In addition, the dispositional proximity to the Ukrainian borders opens up space for the investigation of cultural interpenetration. The Eastern Slovak peripheries are usually not a desired destination for refugees from a country that has been plagued by war conflict for a long time. They are not a number one choice when it comes to economically, socially and dispositionally attractive place to live, as is the case with large international cities. Nevertheless, I believe that the cultural similarities, the peaceful nature of the place and the cultivated way of life are the reasons why some Ukrainians have found refuge in these border areas. The effort is to follow the coexistence of Slovak and Ukrainian inhabitants, to document the exchange of relatively similar cultural features with regard to social cooperation techniques, cultivation work and socio-economic prosperity in the Eastern Slovak periphery.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Katharina Eisch-Angus