URBAN RESEARCH IN SLOVAK ETHNOLOGY: NOTES TO THE CURRENT DIALOG BETWEEN ETHNOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY (Urbanne studium v slovenskej etnologii: poznamky k aktualnemu dialogu etnologie s antropologiou)
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This study is concerned with the contemporary trends of development in the urban research in Slovak ethnology which have been evolving since the 1980s. The author summarises the findings on this orientation in the course of the last decade and, based on their analysis, identifies the main thematic trends, comments on their content and indicates the methodological connections of the current dialogue of Slovak ethnology and the urban research developing within its framework. As its broader context, the study employs the currently on-going communication of Slovak ethnology and social/cultural anthropology as two distinct disciplines. As analysis shows, urban ethnology in Slovakia has developed in three different directions in the period under review. (1) In the form of a broad current of themes and approaches it continued the research and interpretative trends which set in during the 1980s and especially during the 1990s. (2) The second developmental trend which is postulated is a successful attempt to integrate the research results of Slovak ethnologists into a European context of examination of the processes of diversity in towns, on the basis of participation in the Network of Excellence Project entitled Sustainable Development in a Diverse World. Communication with the theoretical premises of urban researches by the European social sciences (anthropology, sociology, demography and so forth) has provided Slovak researchers with an opportunity to gain new thematic and methodological stimuli which have been utilised abroad for study of the town. (3) A third direction of development in urban research is identified by the author as the research and especially the theoretical activity of the youngest generation of academic Slovak ethnologists, who in working with the empirical material gained from research of Slovak towns have declared anthropological premises and knowledge goals. Although they are not consciously developing their work in the context of urban ethnology, on closer inspection it is apparent that they have an opportunity to influence its further thematic and theoretical orientation. Their work offers a critical evaluation and use of theories from a number of social and human sciences; they point to the inescapable need to cultivate terminological discipline and reject the intuitive employment of theoretical concepts.
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