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2006 | 16 | 4 | 36-63

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Heritage sociological study of traditional and modern rustic dwelling houses


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The paper focuses on the social acceptance of rural dwelling houses. It is based on the theory of Hajnal Istvan, who was also inspired by the work of Durkheim. The type of dwelling is considered as a morphologic expression, i.e. the houses show the social change in the rural environment. The first group consists of the representatives of traditional rural dwelling houses. The second and third periods represent the socialist era: the typical single-storey houses with tent roofs, characteristic of the 1960s and 1970s, and the multi-storeyed white or grey houses of the 1980s. The fourth period tries to grip the dwelling demand of the differentiated, urbanized society after the change of regimes. It is important to mention that dwellings representing all of the four periods are to be found in the heritage of today's Hungarian villages. The questionnaire asks for the opinion of the persons who live or work in the surveyed buildings (N=400). Our findings verified the connection between new dwelling types and social change (mobilization). The survey showed a striking difference between the attitudes of strata to the values of built environment. The paper puts special stress on pre-WWII built heritage. In the answers different types of folklorisms can be observed. The 'everyday folklorism' preserves peasant values: the society represents a unitary world of taste, there are no differences in parameters of education, gender, age in the judgment of the four buildings scrutinized in detail. The mentality that measures the representational value of the house, its size, as well as the aspiration to the newest and the rejection of the old that is out of use or is simply considered anachronistic, can all be considered as peasant features. These kinds of after-effects of the peasant values are not compatible with the plural characteristic of modern civilized society, the judgment of taste that prefers the heritage of the old folk-architecture is labeled as extravagance. The 'artistic folklorism' establishes a higher status for traditional houses. This art of folklorism brings elements from the whole country. At the end is shown that some aspects of heritage determine rural development: villages preserving rural heritage have a special chance for development.








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