Accepted Paper:

Rebuilding localities: economic transformation and socio-cultural practices in Transylvania  


Lehel Peti (The Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities)

Paper short abstract:

The aim of the paper is to analyze the production of locality in the context of economic transformation, and to analyze the sociocultural practices which contribute to it.

Paper long abstract:

The presentation will attempt to analyze what were the consequences of the Romanian post-socialist economic transformation in a micro-region in the reformulation of relationship towards locality, what kind of shifts have emerged in the complex relation of local and global, how did the local societies react to it, as well as what kind of cultural answers were given in the new situation. The ethnographic material of the presentation constitutes two case studies. First, the author briefly describes, how a bakery in a small multiethnic village (inhabited by Romanians, Hungarians, Roma), which was established during socialism, it is now a well functioning entrepreneurship, which employs a significant part of the villagers, being present on the national markets, succeeding to integrate the previously isolated village into new regional and national networks. The author is looking to answer what kind of globalization changes have emerged as a result of this entrepreneurship, and how do these challenge the ethnic groups, which are affected by them in different ways and levels. The other ethnographic case is constituted by a knight of wine order, which is a civil initiation of the micro region which also includes the above-mentioned village. The author argues that the order, which follows patterns of similar initiatives from Hungary and western European countries, in addition to professional and economic purposes, fulfills important communal and political functions, giving place for creation and expression of regional identities, reinterpreting the traditions and constructing new ones.

Panel P33
Locality and cultural processes