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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:44:53 EDT by admin, 72442 views
Faculty of Social Sciences of Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE)
Cultural Studies paper by Szabó, Miklós and Juhász, Anna Mária (all papers)
He, Who Is Also Far, Is Actually Near – Hungarian Communities in the San Francisco Bay Area
The constructed nature of social existence is not a new concept, and one must stress that the imaginary nature makes them not less, but incomprehensibly more powerful. One is not just trapped in his own projections, but also in what others constructed. Relations of power, economic processes, and other projective mechanisms are forcing identity in to us, and at the same time, an abstract “we” as a community forcing identity into “others”. It can be argued that a group of economical and social factors, what we tend to call modernity, created a social reality, in which it is increasingly problematic to clearly know who we are, and the only safe havens of self sameness are cultural identities. This process might be best understood through field research, as the subjects of the research are not just social interactions, but the very human imagination and emotion that creates them.
Understanding this underlines the importance of better understanding how individual Hungarian communities create their own cultural identity, and how the different surroundings affect this process, and what “we” as a “greater Hungarian community” can learn from them. To do so, I will be using the findings of two field researches conducted in San Francisco Bay Area in 2011. One focusing on the Hungarian Diaspora, and the other on Hungarians who chose not to get involved with the former and rather formulated their own micro-communities.
Brief Professional Bio:
Miklós Szabó is PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), where he also received his B.A. degree in Social Sciences (2010) and M.S. degree in Cultural Anthropology (2012). His fields of research interests are Identity research, Nationalism, and Genocide Studies.
Anna Juhász lived, worked and attended schools from 1975 to 2007 in Silicon Valley, California. Her experiences in the electronic industry, influences of a multicultural environment inspired her to study social sciences and cultural anthropology. She received her related BA from San Jose State University (SJSU), CA, earned her MA from Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Budapest, Hungary. Subject of her field research was the Hungarian diaspora in the San Francisco Bay Area, focusing on individuals and identity, community and heritage, Hungarians and integration.