ETHNO-CULTURAL ASPECTS OF NATIONAL LIFE OF YOUNG PEOPLE OF SLOVAK NATIONALITY IN CROATIA AND SERBIA (THEORY AND EMPIRISM)
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Ethno cultural processes belong to the most dynamic, most complicated and most important socio-cultural characteristics of each society. An ethnic definition of culture and society is at present, at a time of multiculturalism and de-ethnicity of culture, an effective and used means of description, genesis, and pursuance of political as well as economic management. The aim of the study is to characterize the Slovak minority living in Croatia and Serbia in the ethno-cultural background of its development, to define the main factors of ethno-cultural progress and the perspectives of their development. At the same time it aims to represent the opinions of the research participants (young Slovak people living in Croatia and Serbia). The study consists of a theoretical as well as a practical part. The theoretical part of the study includes an integrated knowledge of important aspects of the ethno-culture of the Slovak minority, which were gained by long-term ethnological research in the environment. The empirical part focuses on the data gained in field research (2015) within a grant project ‘Verbal-communication behaviour of Slovak youth in Croatia and Serbia in a situational background of intra-ethnic usage of Slovak.’ Based on the quota sampling (age and gender), 170 respondents took part in the research (49 from Croatia and 121 from Serbia). To collect the sample data we used a structured questionnaire. In the theoretical part of the study we specified the display of ethnic identity and the functioning of the minority language, and we characterized the remaining cultural traditions of the Slovak minority living in Croatia and Serbia. Until the members of Slovak minorities living in their environment have a relationship to the ethnicity, Slovak language and traditions they will consider them values. While the language and the traditions represent a practical tool for the profit, they will keep, hand over or develop them. To judge the inner structure of the three items of ethno cultural development of minority, we used the method of factor analysis (extraction method – Principal Component Analysis, rotation Varimex, Varimex normalization). The empirical results confirm that Slovak adolescents in Croatia and Serbia express a higher rate of importance in all three selected aspects of ethno-cultural development of their minority. These can be determined not only by various factors of ethno cultural development of each minority, but also by their specific characteristics (minority size, setting, cultural-social forwardness etc.) and by the ethnic development rate (identity rate, ability to use mother tongue at a communication level, education system, institutionalisation rate etc.).
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