MICHAEL SOZAN (Slippery Rock, Pa., U.S.A.) Sociocultural Transformation in East Central Europe: The Case of the Hungarian Peasant-Worker in Burgenland* The following essay will analyze the role of the peasant-worker in the transfor- mation of East Central European rural society and culture. Peasant-workers are one of the most important agents of change. In search of power and a new identity, this village-based proletariat is growing in number and influence within the social frame- work of the slow-changing traditional peasant village. While the power and influ- ence of the peasant-worker may be increasing, it is also true that the cost of such mobility in terms of labor, family unity, and long-term obligations to relatives and friends is threatening the very essence of this stratum. The examples of four peasant-worker families are used here to illustrate the problems of occupation, role allocation, decision-making, and life styles. The location of the investigation was Unterwart (Also6r), a Hungarian village in Central Burgenland, Austria, only a few kilometers from the Hungarian border in a linguistically separate region called Obere Wart. Although the village fell to Austria after the Peace Treaty of Trianon in 1920, its socioeconomic development paralleled that of Hungary until the
East Central Europe – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1976
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