“Daring in Concept.” Erdei’s Experiment by Adopting Hajnal’s View of Society in “The Hungarian Peasant Society” Cover Image

„A merészség a koncepcióban.” Erdei kísérlete a hajnali társadalomszemlélet adaptációjára „A magyar paraszttársadalom” című művében
“Daring in Concept.” Erdei’s Experiment by Adopting Hajnal’s View of Society in “The Hungarian Peasant Society”

Author(s): Bulcsu Bognár
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: KORALL Társadalomtörténeti Egyesület
Keywords: Hungary; Ferenc Erdei; István Hajnal; sociography; 20. century; peasantry; social history; politics; structure of society; small farm; village; development of bourgeoisie

Summary/Abstract: The study analyses Erdei’s view of society in his 1941 work, The Hungarian Peasant Society and seeks answer to the question: To what extent did Erdei succeed in adopting Hajnal’s social theory, the theoretical paradigm that led Erdei to his most successful social analyses. The study points out that although the work’s theoretical part reflects Hajnal’s views, its sociographic descriptions draw on Erdei’s earlier writings and the impacts of folk sociographies. It is this duality that leads to contradictions in Erdei’s descriptions of the Hungarian peasantry and other groups of society. The study also argues that the reason for discrepancies preventing The Hungarian Peasant Society from becoming a coherent representation of society lies not in the novelty of the method or in Erdei’s not yet fully developed ways of expression but is more related to politics influencing this depiction of society. Furthermore, the study points out that in spite of ideological contents that continuously pervade Erdei’s works, an image of society unfolds that makes efforts to understand the characteristic features of Hungarian society by drawing on historical developments. Despite of all the unevenness and contradictions of the text, it can, of all Erdei’s works, best take a hold of the characteristics of social groups of different origins and traditions. The sociographic part of the volume contains the most differentiated description of the Hungarian peasantry. This analysis directs attention to the fact that despite its imperfections, The Hungarian Peasant Society contains the first valid description of Hungarian society between the World Wars.

  • Issue Year: 2004
  • Issue No: 15-16
  • Page Range: 226-247
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Hungarian