Hristescu 3/2007

Sociologie Românească, Vol. V, no. 3/2007, pp. 112-131.

 


 

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Noii ţărani din Maramureş şi vechiul ideal umanitar de fraternitate economică

The new Maramures peasants and the ancient humanitarian ideal of economic brotherhood


Sonia Hristescu

 

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Abstract: The rural world was many times considered the holder of traditions coming from the old generations, the symbol of enrooting due to its reduced mobility compared to the urban world. Before the Romanian Revolution of December 1989, the rural way of life implied a model of daily existence in which the distribution of roles within the community was closely tied to the values shared by the entire community, in a broad meaning, or by the domestic group, in a narrow meaning. Although generally considered traditional, the rural world cannot escape evolution. Therefore, if we consider the dynamics of the social relations which spur new types of sociability or, on the contrary, new cleavages due to social mobility, with changes in statuses and roles, or due to geographical mobility, we can say that, on the contrary, the face of the rural world is changing. Today, the modern rural society seems divided, on the one hand due to the representations of its members, more nuanced with every day, on the other hand due to a „multitude of ways of life” (Beck, 1998) which do not resemble those considered traditional. The diversity of the ways of life in the rural Maramureş comes mainly from the migration of the villagers to the cities or even to other countries and, more recently, after 1994, from the expansion of rural tourism and the openness it implies. Under these circumstances, taking into account the implications of tourist practices, we wonder whether the modernity submits the relationship between rural actors to a reflexivity exercise. To test this argument, we want to know whether the rural world is able to align itself to modernity by assuming the power of individual action, by a rationalization of the actions of the rural actors, called here, in the context of tourist practices, the .new. peasants. . The diversity of the ways of life in the rural Maramureş comes mainly from the migration of the villagers to the cities or even to other countries and, more recently, after 1994, from the expansion of rural tourism and the openness it implies. Under these circumstances, taking into account the implications of tourist practices, we wonder whether the modernity submits the relationship between rural actors to a reflexivity exercise. To test this argument, we want to know whether the rural world is able to align itself to modernity by assuming the power of individual action, by a rationalization of the actions of the rural actors, called here, in the context of tourist practices, the .new. peasants. Tourist practices in the rural areas represent a modern social phenomenon that emerged following decision of both the state and the private individuals to participate to it. Knowing the way the tourism is implemented in the rural areas, our main question is to what extent such practices change the relationship between people compared to the old traditional way of living together.