SLOVENSKÝ NÁRODOPIS JOURNAL ( Slovak Ethnology journal) OVER THE PAST FIFTY YEARS IN THE CONTEXT OF EUROPEAN PERIODICALS
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Surveying the fifty-year-long history of Slovenský národopis (SN), it is possible to speak first about its remarkable stability. During its whole existence it has retained a scientific bias as the overwhelming majority of the published texts has been based in empirical field research. A study of the traditional rural culture was soon complemented by research into the urban environment. A continually firm position, next to various elements of material culture, has been held especially by orally rendered practices. SN has also attempted to reflect world events and to reach beyond the territory of Slovakia. Articles relating to Poland, the Ukraine and the Czech Republic as well as issues concerning Roma culture have always been part of the publishing history of the journal. However, only gradually a growing number of studies devoted to other ethnic groups living in Slovakia, such as Germans and Jews, have began to appear. Nevertheless, even today, comparative studies of the Hungarian ethnic group are still very scarce. SN has always provided a space for international scientists to publish their articles. Although till 1989 it was exclusively open to those from the socialist countries, at present the spectrum of contributors to the journal is constantly growing. Even the period of the so-called normalisation in the 1970's strengthened its position. Over that period the theoretical reflection of the discipline was deepened and this may also be the reason why after 1989 SN attained a balance between texts on empirical material and theoretical and methodological reflections. Although the texts and examples taken from the Slovak environment prevail it is important that it contains articles from other countries, even of outside Europe. Most probably, their numbers will grow. A similar characteristic may be applied to 'Lud' and 'Etnografia Polska' journals. The study of cultural identity, nationalism, environment, cultural constructions of reality, and theoretical reflections have made SN fully comparable to, for instance, 'Ethnologia Scandinavica'.It is regrettable that the effectivity of SN is restrained because of the language generally used despite the fact that a selection of texts, or whole volumes of key importance are published in English or German. It is necessary to underline that the journal bears the marks of the publishing institution, which is exclusively oriented to scientific research because the researchers from the Institute for Ethnology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences are the most frequent contributors. In the 1990', although publishing results of scientific research, SN acquired traits of a social bulletin for the scientists community. The journal creators have exerted much effort to preserve continuity in scientific research and to search for coherence in a wide diversity of ethnological subjects.
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