szombat, július 13, 2024

Interdisciplinary conference in Szolnok

In September 2011 the Sciences Association of Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County held a major interdisciplinary exchange of views on the institution of the family. The two-day conference in Szolnok was co-organised by the Societal Ethnology Section of the Hungarian Ethnographical Society, the Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County museum organisation, and the Roman Catholic and Calvinist dioceses of Szolnok. The venue was the Tiszaparti Roman Catholic Secondary School. Volunteers helped to ensure the successful organisation of the event. The Túrkeve Cultural Association arranged an exhibition titled “Nagykunság family trees”. The event was also supported by Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County and the Municipality of Szolnok. However, the conference would not have been possible without the dedicated work of the speakers and organisers.
The two-day event had close to 200 participants. Specialists read fifty papers in the plenary session and the sections. At the conference on “The place and role of the family in local society” representatives of various disciplines (historical studies, economics, ethnology, demography, sociology, cultural anthropology), practical specialists dealing with the family, and ministers of religion discussed the development, characteristics and current situation of the basic institution of society and formulated proposals for its sustainability and strengthening. Together with renowned experts, doctoral students at the beginning of their careers also joined in the national consultation.
In the plenary session historians Zoltán Kaposi and Erzsébet Bánki Molnár examined the role of family cohesion and the relationship between ancient and foreign families in society in the process of embourgeoisement. László Szabó presented an impressive paper on the safeguards of a healthy national culture. Ferenc Pozsony presented the methods and results of their research on Orbaiszék. Julianna Örsi discussed the role of marriage and the family from the viewpoint of the individual and the community. The paper presented by Mrs Tibor Pongrácz, demographer and sociologist, on changing families, illustrated with graphs and figures, caused great astonishment, confirming the need to hold such conferences, to mobilise society for the preservation of the family as an institution, increasing the birth rate and ensuring the survival of the nation.
The conference then continued its work in three sections: 1.) History and genealogy of the traditional family, 2.) The family in a changing society, 3.) Religious life and the family. In the first section participants heard about the life and mentality of innovative land-owning, peasant, tradesmen’s, merchant and intellectual families on the basis of research by ethnologists Anikó Füvessy, Mónika Bodnár, Vera Nagy Varga, Edit H. Bathó, Júlia Bartha and others. In the second section presentations were made by Zita Deáky, Erzsébet Györgyi, Judit Farkas, Erzsébet Zakariás, Eszter Szendrei, Beáta Gatti and Mária Szalmai. While greater emphasis was placed in the first section on the method of family research, genealogy, in the second section the focus was mainly on analysis by historians of the economic role of the family. Participants also heard about measures to help families in our changing society in connection with a project of the municipality of Szolnok and the charity activity of the Calvinist Church. In the third section papers were presented by ministers of religion representing different denominations (Roman Catholic, Calvinist, Jewish) and researchers examining religious life (Dániel Bárth, Gábor Limbacher, Kata Zsófia Vincze, Réka György).
The conference on “The place and role of the family in local society” confirmed that ethnology and other disciplines have also produced results that can be put to effective use in our changing society. The conference proceedings also appeared in book form in 2012 under the title “Focus on the Family”.