Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Cultural Spaces and Practices: Ethnology and Folklore Studies

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.04.00  Humanities  Ethnology   

Code Science Field
S220  Social sciences  Cultural anthropology, ethnology 

Code Science Field
5.04  Social Sciences  Sociology 
culture, identity, material culture, livelihood strategies, literary folklore, social practices, cultural heritage, place, local and global, multilocality, mobility, reciprocity
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (23)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  28432  PhD Saša Babič  Literary sciences  Researcher  2015 - 2021  281 
2.  20004  PhD Tatiana Bajuk Senčar  Ethnology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  171 
3.  16242  Stanka Drnovšek  Ethnology  Technical associate  2017 - 2021  27 
4.  04620  PhD Jurij Fikfak  Ethnology  Head  2015 - 2021  375 
5.  52011  Manca Filak  Humanities  Junior researcher  2018 - 2021  99 
6.  18815  Božena Gabrijelčič    Technical associate  2015 
7.  10347  PhD Maja Godina Golija  Ethnology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  490 
8.  27736  PhD Vanja Huzjan  Ethnology  Technical associate  2015 - 2021  61 
9.  20202  PhD Barbara Ivančič Kutin  Ethnology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  409 
10.  30648  PhD Miha Kozorog  Anthropology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  282 
11.  05796  PhD Monika Kropej Telban  Ethnology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  471 
12.  18816  Aleksander Kuharič    Technical associate  2018 - 2021 
13.  21449  PhD Špela Ledinek Lozej  Humanities  Researcher  2015 - 2018  403 
14.  38266  PhD Daša Ličen  Anthropology  Junior researcher  2015 - 2021  125 
15.  54763  Rok Mrvič  Ethnology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2021  38 
16.  23225  Miha Peče    Technical associate  2015 - 2021  178 
17.  27631  PhD Dan Podjed  Ethnology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  606 
18.  24304  PhD Saša Poljak Istenič  Ethnology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  447 
19.  21446  PhD Mateja Ratej  Historiography  Researcher  2020 - 2021  491 
20.  09443  PhD Ingrid Slavec Gradišnik  Humanities  Researcher  2015 - 2021  552 
21.  33356  PhD Katarina Šrimpf Vendramin  Ethnology  Researcher  2015 - 2021  89 
22.  30662  PhD Barbara Turk Niskač  Anthropology  Researcher  2020  122 
23.  55881  Jaro Veselinovič  Ethnology  Junior researcher  2021  10 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  61,892 
The central concepts of the previous research program were cultural spaces and practices, concepts linked to topology and agency. We critically engaged established categories linked to culture –including “folk” and cultural heritage – and rendered more clear the discipline’s history. We also collaborated on joint reflections as well as new theoretical and empirical research with colleagues across Europe. In the proposed project, we will further develop this basic framework of operation, which enables us to optimally link the diverse academic backgrounds in ethnology, folkloristics, cultural anthropologyas well as research interests of individual team members. The conceptual lynchpins of cultural spaces and practices are reframed and will be based on a more dynamic understanding of space as the material, social and symbolic site of all cultural practice, livelihood strategies, forms of reciprocity, creativity (including aesthetic), reproduction of tradition and contemporary innovation. The processual nature of cultural practice here refers to processes of socialisation or enculturation as well as the intergenerational transfer of knowledge, skills and cultural heritage, taking into account the role of the nation-state and the EU and the consequent dynamic between the local and the global. All these processes unfold in the manner of a cultural chronotope in which are captured the historical and spatial dimension of each individual, phenomenon or practice. Livelihood strategies and practices are introduced as one of the proposed new research interests, which will entail focusing on the factors (material and otherwise) that inform changes in everyday practice and identity construction. In addition, we will explore the emergence of new forms of reciprocity in social groups resulting from their creatively capitalizing on tradition and living spaces as a response to events such as crisis, war, or natural disasters. Finally, cultural heritage is redefined as a research interest common to the studies of the material, social and aesthetically creative worlds.
Significance for science
The proposed research program explores and interprets cultural phenomena, processes, practices, and social/cultural actors in the context of everyday life. The chronotopical character of everyday life has always been a framework for the study of human existence in the widest anthropological sense as well as for understanding the particular social/cultural configurations onto which individual and collective identities are forged. Past research has for the most part focused on essentialised identities of hypostatised communities defined in ethnic (i.e., Slovenian) terms. However, present trends are based on the study of a range of existing cultural practices, which in turn inform the conceptualisation of identity, now understood as hybrid, fluid, often even temporary. The dynamism as well as the logics of change and process identified with the contemporary world will also be incorporated into interpretations of the past. Both make key contributions to understanding everyday life as it unfolds in the Slovenian landscape, which has been multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and fluid as the site of both temporary and long-term mobility of people, goods and ideas. The program team’s goal is to contribute to drawing analytical and ethnographic conclusions – in terms of research questions, fieldsites, and methods – from the critical shifts in the disciplines’ commonsense understanding concerning identity. The program develops and expands on the institute’s traditional research areas: historical and theoretical-methodological questions within the discipline as well as research into material, social and symbolic phenomena and practices typical of the lives of individuals and communities in various local (from microlocations to transnational settings), professional and social environments. By researching the history, theory and methodology of the discipline, we will continue to shed light on the cognitive and research dynamics integrated into the development of humanities at the national as well as global level. Explorations of the spaces and practices related to the material aspects of social life will contribute to understanding contemporary adaptations of traditional forms of food production and processing, their role in rural livelihood strategies, in the presentation and in the promotion of local communities and regions. Research of clothing culture will employ a valuable, yet until now only partly studied source, the so-called Göth's topography (Styria); in addition, it will contribute to exploring the influence of the discipline and of individual researchers on the functioning of amateur culture. In addition, research into the material framework of socialisation in early childhood will fill a gap in ethnological knowledge of the ties between the material and social aspects of childhood life. Research into creativity within literary folklore will anticipate the fundamental review editions by genres (a type index of Slovenian fairy tales, collections of sayings and riddles with comments, a publication featuring humorous tales), as well as research into contemporary storytelling and its context. We will also be deepening the theoretical and methodological findings of Slovenian folkloristics integrated in the European and global academic sphere. Research on social practices is designed to maintain a focus on the processual, dynamic dimension of culture in order to explore the role of the cultural or social of everday life while bypassing analytical trap of cultural essentialisation. This focus enables researchers to contribute to understanding the practices and processes through which social actors and groups define their relation to the social world (locally, nationally, transnationally). This also includes exploring the creative ways that social actors and groups also define their relation to each other (old and new forms of reciprocity and community as well as identity practices) and to tradition broadly understood (livelihood strategies,
Significance for the country
The proposed program is designed to analyse the human condition and social reality as it is experienced daily on the ground by social actors, thus contributing to discussions concerning fundamental questions about identity and belonging that have both particular and universal appeal. At the same time, research is aimed at contributing to awareness concerning cultural roots while maintaining openness towards and respect for other cultural patterns and lifestyles characteristic of multi-ethnic and multicultural environments such as the one in Slovenia. Proposed research calls attention to the ethnic, linguistic, generational and social bases of cultural diversity, which researchers explore through direct contact with people as social actors and members of varied groups and communities. In doing so researchers come to grip with their informants’ everyday problems as they negotiate and fashion creative responses to the circumstances and processes (political, economic, social, cultural, natural) that they encounter at numerous levels. We believe that the strategies and practices that social actors enact daily represent crucial information for local, regional and national policymakers, particular those dealing with sustainable development, a central interest in research program. Research on the material, social and symbolic dimensions of culture can have positive long-term economic effects, as findings can be useful in family firms, in the development of crafts, in the tourism sphere (local, regional, national), in the uses of heritage and education or training (touristic or cultural institutions, regional development institutions, and government bodies such as social and/or health services and planning institutions). Findings from studies on material culture concerning traditional forms of food cultivation and manufacture as well as their contemporary adaptations can contribute to shedding light on, planning and harmonizing this particular practice in Slovenia. Furthermore, it will be useful for the preparation of points of departure for new measures for ensuring self-sufficiency in food cultivation and manufacture. Research on clothing culture in the 19th century will aid folklore groups and other organisations that rely on historical reconstruction; in addition, these findings can serve as an inspiration for domestic crafts, souvenirs, the fashion industry, tourism, among others. Finally, findings from studies of socialisation practices are significant for understanding historical shifts in parenting practices, in the relationship between children and parents and other processes of enculturation. Findings from the field of literary folklore of particular regions and local communities can be adapted for touristic and cultural development purposes in terms of rural development planning as well as the organisation of cultural events at the local and national levels. Research on processes of folklorisation (folklore genres and storytelling) can contribute to the ever greater proliferation of public cultural, touristic and didactic narrative events through facilitating the expert preservation of traditional storytelling for educational, cultural, touristic and developmental purposes. The research of social practices, livelihood strategies and diverse manifestations of reciprocity and solidarity will shed light on the potential that such practices with roots in established traditions can have in the contemporary world guided by the principles of sustainable development and the preservation of natural and cultural heritage. Research on identity practices and policies across different levels of territoriality will contribute to a more dynamic understanding of identity locally, regionally and nationally. This will enable researchers to shed light on the ways in which Slovenian identity is invoked and operates in the world today. Findings can be significant for academic and lay discussions on national identity, shedding light on the fa
Most important scientific results Annual report 2015, interim report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2015, interim report
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