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Views of status differentiation in two villages of northeastern Hungary

Szent-Gyorgyi, Kathryn Ann; (1991) Views of status differentiation in two villages of northeastern Hungary. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis addresses the question of how the inhabitants of two villages of northeastern Hungary conceptualise rank in the light of changes in politico-economic differentiation over the past one-and-a-half centuries. Following an initial description of the ecological-institutional context, the patterns of political and economic differentiation in the two villages, Botpalád and Kispalád, are discussed, and variations between the two villages are then related to the local patterns of family organisation, inheritance and marriage. In the light of these findings, the author analyses two central concepts, rangos and módos, which the inhabitants of the two villages use when establishing a pecking order between the local families. For analytic purposes the author constructs some "ranking models" on the basis of these concepts, in order to highlight the overall trends in local conceptualisations of status differentiation. These "ranking models" are then related to other, more general attitudinal and behavioural attributes adopted by the local inhabitants. When these trends are analysed at a village rather than an individual level, an overall situation of divisiveness and distancing characterises Botpalád, as opposed to Kispalád's greater communal solidarity. In order to shed light on the reasons behind these variations, the author looks initially into the historical backgrounds of the individual villagers who view status differentiation along the lines of the various ranking models. At this level a connection is found between being of formerly noble, and often landed descent, and envisaging rank on the basis of intangible descent-based criteria. The former presence of impoverished nobles who lived the life of peasants, so-called "peasant-nobles", emerges as a crucial factor in local developments. The author reconstructs historically the process of status group formation in both villages in the light of whether, as in the case of Botpalád, the local population included peasant-nobles before 1848, or whether, as in the case of Kispalád, this was not the case, and then discusses further developments in the light of 1andownership patterns at the turn of the century. After considering various theoretical approaches, the author proposes a framework for envisaging the course of future developments, and describes some parallel occurrences of peasant-nobility in Eastern Europe.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Views of status differentiation in two villages of northeastern Hungary
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences; Hungary; Peasants
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10124484
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