Chris Hann How Is Nostalgia Felt in Post-Socialist Hungary?
© Maximilian Dörrbecker
Max Planck Society
"The Max Planck Society is Germany's most successful research organization. Since its establishment in 1948, no fewer than 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its scientists, putting it on a par with the best and most prestigious research institutions worldwide. The more than 15,000 publications each year in internationally renowned scientific journals are proof of the outstanding research work conducted at Max Planck Institutes – and many of those articles are among the most-cited publications in the relevant field." (Source)
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
"The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is one of the world’s leading centres for research in socio-cultural anthropology. It was established in 1999 by Chris Hann and Günther Schlee, and moved to its permanent buildings on Advokatenweg 36 in Halle/Saale in 2001. Marie-Claire Foblets joined the Institute as its third Director in 2012. Common to all research projects at the Max Planck Institute is the comparative analysis of social change; it is primarily in this domain that its researchers contribute to anthropological theory, though many programmes also have applied significance and political topicality. Fieldwork is an essential part of almost all projects. More than 175 researchers work at the Institute, the great majority in one of its three Departments: ‘Law & Anthropology’ (Foblets); ‘Resilience and Transformation in Eurasia’ (Hann); ‘Integration and Conflict’ (Schlee). The Institute’s Library, the Research Coordination Unit, the IT Department and administrative staff assist the researchers in their work. The Institute has its own Guesthouse, and organises regular seminars and international conferences. It cooperates closely with anthropologists and other colleagues at the Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg, and at the University of Leipzig" (Source)
Due to the current dire economic situation in Hungary many feel nostalgic about a time in their nation’s history when jobs were more secure. Young Hungarians, despite being highly qualified, have trouble finding work in their home country as well as in Europe. This led to high votes for the nationalist parties in the elections of 2014, who promise a return to the time of the great Austro-Hungarian Empire. This phenomenon can be observed specifically in the rural areas which have felt the effects of the introduction of capitalism and the opening towards the West more strongly. In this video, CHRIS HANN explains that the discipline of Social Anthropology, and the method of participant observation, allow researchers to understand exactly how and why nostalgia is felt in contemporary Hungary. It revealed that there is a difference between nostalgia in the private space of people’s homes versus in the public domain. Publicly, Hungarians are encouraged to feel nostalgia for the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire whereas privately many do for the more recent socialist time, when especially economically deprived parts of society felt more integrated and less ostracized.
LT Video Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10312
Why Post-Imperial Trumps Post-Socialist: Crying Back the National Past in Hungary
- Chris Hann
- Anthropology and Nostalgia
- Published in 2015