PERCEPTION OF INTERETHNIC RELATIONS OF SLOVAKS, HUNGARIANS AND ROMA 2004 – 2017
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The aim of the contribution is to analyse interethnic relations between Slovaks, Hungarians and Roma people in 2004-2017 based on empirical research data focused on the theoretical, methodological and practical issues of ethnicity and ethnic relations. The issue of interethnic relations, or to be more precise the relations between the majority and minorities in the central Europe area, represents not only a past concern but also currently one of the priorities for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Th results contribute to solutions to possible interethnic conflicts that arise from the interaction of different cultures in today's society. After November 1989, the social significance of interethnic relations has been marked by ethno-identification processes in the Slovak republic. The primary interest of individual minority representatives is to improve their position and secure the enactment of their rights. Slovakia entered the European Union in 2004, and before that it had to meet the Copenhagen criterion in the area of protection of rights and national minorities. One of the main issues in the near future is the ability to accept the heterogeneity of Slovak society as a normal standard. Roma and Hungarian minorities are an indicator of the problem in Slovakia, today. Data was collected in the second half of 2004 and 2017 in all regions of Slovakia. In 2004, a total of 480 respondents were surveyed for the needs of our study. The subjects of the survey were Slovaks (160) and the two most numerous minorities living in Slovakia: the Hungarians (160) and the Roma (160). The selection criteria for the research sample were: nationality indicator, t. j. public declaration of belonging to the minority; gender, age and education. In 2017 the total quota sample in our research consists of 487 adult respondents: 162 Slovaks, 165 Hungarians and 160 Roma. The evaluation of intra-ethnic relations has produced mixed results. While in 2004 Hungarians were more positive about the relations inside their ethnic community, in 2017 it was Slovaks. The Roma assessments didn’t change over these two rounds. Even though this contribution doesn’t analyse the reasons for evaluating interethnic relations, the 2017 ratings show less variability among the different ethnic group ratings. It is related to the stabilization of interethnic relations, a more peaceful political dialogue and the presence of an external ethnic threat in the form of a migratory crisis.
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