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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF CONSTRUCTION AND REDEFINITION OF SPATIAL CONCEPTS IN PROCESSES OF INTEGRATION OF SLOVENIA INTO SUPRANATIONAL FRAMEWORKS

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.04.00  Humanities  Ethnology   

Code Science Field
H400  Humanities  Folklore 
S220  Social sciences  Cultural anthropology, ethnology 
Keywords
space, place, intangible cultural heritage, identity, borders, interculturality, Slovenia, Europe, migrations, transnational connections, virtual places, media space, protected areas
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (8)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  25576  PhD Katja Hrobat Virloget  Ethnology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  493 
2.  30659  PhD Simona Klaus  Energy engineering  Junior researcher  2009 - 2011  49 
3.  20327  PhD Boštjan Kravanja  Anthropology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  230 
4.  31852  PhD Ambrož Kvartič  Ethnology  Junior researcher  2010 - 2011  274 
5.  14359  PhD Mirjam Mencej  Ethnology  Head  2008 - 2011  575 
6.  27631  PhD Dan Podjed  Ethnology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  655 
7.  22414  PhD Jaka Repič  Anthropology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  373 
8.  21097  PhD Peter Simonič  Anthropology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  383 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  98,910 
Abstract
In the 1990's, the social sciences and humanities began to be conscious of the impact that processes of constructing space had on the formation and argumentation of individual and group identities. Comprehending the creation and changes of the meaning of cultural identities arising from spatial categories (communities, territory, borders, nationality...) thus became the basic issue within the research. We came to realise that cultural identities and conceptual limits of spaces are sophisticatedly symbolised by people and created through the use of various ideological systems. The research project titled "Comparative Analysis of Construction and Redefinition of Spatial Concepts in the Processes of Integration of Slovenia into Supranational Frameworks" will analyse the use of spatial identifying signifiers that accompany the processes of creating, conceptualising, consolidating, defining and representing various spaces (e.g. sacred spaces, memorial centres, protected areas, homeland, etc.). It will establish which identifying signifiers people use when constructing and conceptualising space, how the signifiers of contemporary spaces intertwine with traditional conceptualisations and how supranational integrations, transnational connections and global cultural flows affect the conceptualisation of space. The project comprises research into the concepts of borders and passing between this and the other world in European folklore, mythological conceptions reflected in the Karst landscape, the dynamics of creating places of intercultural interactions (cultural and conceptual borders), understanding spatial-identifying concepts (e.g. homeland) of Slovenian expatriates living outside Slovenia, spatial policies of protected areas (the planned Pohorje regional park), virtual spaces and the emerging transnational communities within them, the use of cultural and religious symbols in tourist spaces as well as the use of folklore for the transfer of ideological messages in the media. Although special attention will be paid to Slovenia, we will provide answers in accordance with the contemporary urge for comparativeness by taking into consideration comparable places abroad.
Significance for science
The results of the project represent new theoretical and methodological reflections on conceptualization of space in Slovenian humanities and social sciences, primarily in ethnology, archeology, mythology, folkloristics, geography and social/cultural anthropology. They can be compared to contemporary studies conducted by social geographers and anthropologists that brought knowledge on social and cultural construction of concepts of space and surpassed established localizations and essentializations of cultural characteristics. The projects results spread on the field of folklore studies, mythology, archaeology, ethnology, anthropology and social geography and bring new guidelines in shaping methodological and interpretational models of constructing and understanding of space. The studies of folklore have been using symbolic analysis to establish basic principles of understanding and comprehending of space in traditional worldview. In European folklore, Mirjam Mencej has discovered that the border between the world of the living and the world of the dead, i.e. between two basic concepts in perception of space, can be crossed through circular motion, whereas Katja Hrobat has shown the ways of establishing of various conceptual borders and spatialization of time in the Karst Region and elsewhere throughout Europe. According to analysis by Ambrož Kvartič, localization of contemporary legends, i.e. their attachment to a specific place, is one of the reasons for conveyance of their message and effectiveness when it comes to the fear of the Other. Simona Klaus pointed out the role and cultural meanings of folklore components and images of landscapes, that are used by media discourse for (self)representation of Slovenia and for establishing national belonging. Anthropological studies have reached out to the fluid fields of establishing virtual, interactive and transnational spaces, and spatial politics of environmental usage. Dan Podjed has studied development(s) of social networks in virtual spaces and interdependence between processes of identification and ways of conceptualization of virtual and physical spaces. Boštjan Kravanja and Jaka Repič have analysed social construction of space, connecting it with shifting, motion and global cultural fluctuation. Boštjan Kravanja has looked into interactive space in the context of tourism in Sri Lanka, which is dependent on (post)colonial and nationalistic socio-political contexts and global cultural currents on one hand, and fluid field of creation, redefinition, and disappearance of space in immediate contexts on the other. Jaka Repič has explored the development of cultural spatial concepts within the contexts of Slovenian diaspora in Argentina and of »returning« migrations. Migrations and politics of local identities are a framework, wherein individuals and diasporic community redefine their concepts of space; such are home, homeland and origin/roots. Peter Simonič has given an analytical account on spatial politics and uses of space in accordance with the question of its economic development. When dealing with protected areas, such as Regional Park Pohorje, authorities use ideologies and technologies that have influence on social order as well as on conceptualization of the landscape itself. The results of the project are significant in the international scientific arena, and above all, crucial to the development of Slovenian ethnology and anthropology, where only few authors managed to fully introduce the findings of the new »spatial paradigm« into their work. Associates of the project have upgraded already established approaches with new methodological and interpretational models that were presented at several conferences, and demonstrated in articles, monographs and in the joint scientific volume Ustvarjanje prostorov (Creation of spaces).
Significance for the country
This project will contribute to the development of Slovenia in several intertwined areas: economic, social, educational, cultural and environmental, if the gathered materials and scientific articles will be disseminated and promoted. Economic development is the least exposed in this project in the field of arts and humanities, but it still addresses the evaluation of economic factors and indicators. They can be studied through spatial forms and negotiating of social actors. On one hand, the project has shown that the practice of existence and accumulation is very important in one’s spatial knowledge and behaviour and cosmology, but on the other hand, it is possible to transfer the realisations of this project into economic opportunities (publishing, narrative, tourism, regional development, development of rural areas, business initiatives, increase of tax income of the state etc). Potential for social development of the project is founded upon realisation about interconnectedness and co-dependency of various social levels and about the necessity of integral approach to spatial planning. The project exposed the great value of so-called social capital in reproduction of community, which is also evident in Slovenia. The project has exposed the diversity of social identities, which are expressed in different forms of understanding, organising and using of spaces, and with this it has greatly contributed to the tolerance of differences on the level of gender, local communities, political preferences, ethnic and religious groups, immigrants, users of current informational technologies etc. The educational aspect of the development is partly the same as scientific aspects described in chapter 2.1. The possibility of incorporating realisations of the project to educational processes is especially pointed out here. Scholars have been researching spatial behaviour and knowledge in traditional and current, domestic and foreign communities and collected rich material, through which school children and students can get to know general characteristics of forming, changing and dying out of (social) spaces, and at the same time get familiar with characteristics of certain discussed communities. Comparative aspect of the gathered material is of crucial importance for contemporary school children and intellectuals because on the one hand it strengthens their citizen’s self-confidence, and on the other hand it shapes their cosmopolitan broadness. The project will indirectly influence protecting, preserving, further researching and updating of the Slovenian cultural heritage (oral tradition, rituals, social networks, topography and spatial behaviour, religious practices and other practices) and its multiple use in cultural and media environments. In this, the educational and the cultural aspects of the project connect. The cooperation of various universities by the publishing of the final journal also needs to be specifically mentioned, since it will enable our cultural heritage and the diversity of Slovenian space to be presented beyond the national space. The knowledge about intertwining of the natural and social space is also among the important results of the project. It is impossible to talk about social development without taking into account the environmental proportions, restrictions and conditions when we talk about the past or the contemporary time. Cultural and social heritage are evolutionary and historically connected, and that is why the explaining of the development only through social-economic indicators is very simplified and harmful. The research project has thus offered some guiding points for understanding and managing different (social) spaces in the context of (Slovenian) integration beyond the national frames. European and global community nowdays face the questions of balancing the above mentioned aspects of social development.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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