Although threat has been always a part of human existence, a systematic scientific attempt to study its various forms in relation to society is a rather recent development. After the Second World War the term risk became an important issue in the natural sciences and public discourse. Consequently, it was discussed in the social sciences and humanities, where all concepts of threat had in common the principle that its causes and consequences are represented through social processes. The paper aims to overview the main theoretical notions of threat and the empirical research on the related topics in Slovak ethnology. In the first part of the paper the author offers a brief overview of the ideas which have emerged in sociology and socio-cultural anthropology since the 1960s, with the central notions of risk and danger. The second part of the paper brings an outline of empirical studies in Slovak ethnology and related disciplines. They indicate the social processes which are perceived as threats in Slovak society.