Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Social, economic and cultural history of Slovenian emigration

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.11.02  Social sciences  Ethnic studies  Ethnic studies - humanistic aspect 

Code Science Field
H000  Humanities   

Code Science Field
5.04  Social Sciences  Sociology 
migration history, Slovenian diaspora, Slovenian emigration, cultural and ethnic identities, subjective perceptions of migration processes
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (7)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  17057  PhD Aleksej Kalc  Historiography  Researcher  2016 - 2018  404 
2.  39523  Špela Kastelic  Anthropology  Researcher  2018  21 
3.  08543  PhD Žarko Lazarevič  Historiography  Researcher  2016 - 2018  594 
4.  11240  PhD Marinka Lukšič-Hacin  Ethnic studies  Researcher  2016 - 2018  517 
5.  17547  Špela Marinšek    Technical associate  2016 - 2018 
6.  08369  PhD Mirjam Milharčič Hladnik  Culturology  Head  2016 - 2018  605 
7.  05801  PhD Janja Žitnik Serafin  Literary sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2018  373 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0501  Institute for Contemporary History  Ljubljana  5057116000  5,115 
2.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,020 
The comprehensive review study Social, economic and cultural history of Slovenian emigration will be presented as a final monograph about emigration from the Slovenian ethnic territory and the Slovenian diaspora. Slovenia does not yet have a comprehensive presentation that would in one place collect and connect all the social, economic and cultural aspects of Slovenian emigration from the mid-19th century until today. European migration histories do not include Slovenian emigration because most available literature describing it is fragmented, scattered and linguistically inaccessible to foreign readers. Because they have not been transparently and interpretatively linked, the findings of many studies carried out in Slovenia in the last decades have been less accessible for both Slovenian experts and the general public, while the very topic of migration in historiography is typically studied separately from other historical processes.   Research goals:   to connect the existing findings, systematise and define the entire period from the mid-19th century to today, to evaluate the importance of emigration in particular eras and to position it into the general history of Slovenians; to interpret the selected aspects in the international context and compare them to similar currents in the European framework; to place Slovenian emigration on the map of European history as a history of mass emigrations that have crucially defined the development of Europe and its present condition. The originality of the project is in its comprehensive approach to the subject of the study and in the analyses and interpretations that will take into account the connections between emigration and other historical processes and the relationships between the diaspora and the country of origin. The originality of the project is also in the fact that it focuses on cultural, social, economic and other transfers that were made possible by migrations and the relationship between the homeland and the Slovenian diaspora.   The most important novelty in the methodology and the final results of the project is in its simultaneous consideration of the following three aspects:   the general historical aspect that will contextualise the occurrence of emigration and the resulting diaspora into the economic, social and political events from the mid-19th century onwards; the cultural-historical aspect that will study the cultural perspective of the phenomenon in all the studied periods of time, with a focus on the questions of identity, the organisational forms of the Slovenian diaspora in different parts of the world, its cultural production and its cultural relations with the country of origin; the human-centred aspect that will offer a view of the theme of emigration and diaspora through the case studies of personal and collective experience of the migration process and subjective interpretations of the dynamics within the framework of the heterogeneous migration communities.   Relevance and the potential influence of the results: the project will, for the first time, offer Slovenian and international readers a complete overview of Slovenian emigration in the form of a monograph with charts and maps, which will be made available for study and educational purposes at the university level as well as for the general public. The monograph will be freely accessible on the Internet. When additional funding is acquired, it will be translated into English, which will immediately make it available to foreign researchers. This will make it directly useful for the international study programme EMMIR (European Master in Migration and Intercultural Relations), in which the project group members participate, as well as other study programmes (history and other humanities programmes, sociology, migration studies, cultural studies).
Significance for science
In the last decade, migrations have been one of the most topical and relevant themes in the humanities and social sciences, nationally and internationally. The research theme is particularly topical because it includes the most recent period of migrations (the time since the beginning of the economic crisis, from 2008–2015, will be addressed specifically).   The topic follows the state development policies, as the Act Regulating Relations between the Republic of Slovenia and Slovenians Abroad in Articles 36 and 37 stipulates particular attention to the research of the past and present social reality of Slovenian diaspora.   The originality of the project result, that is, an overview of Slovenian emigration in book form, is in the fact that nothing similar has ever been done, either in Slovenia or internationally. The originality is in the comprehensive approach to the subject of the study and in the analyses and their interpretation that will consider connections between emigration and other historical events and the relations between emigrants and the country of origin. The originality of the project is in its focus on the cultural, social, economic and other transfers that were made possible by migrations and relations between the homeland and the Slovenian diaspora.   On the international scale, the project's originality is in that the overview is conceived on three fundamental levels and is merely framed by the chronological boundaries, rather than defined by them. The concept of the proposed project subordinates the usual chronological classification of migration waves to the actual development phases, which, for example, in the cultural production of the Slovenian diaspora in the United States of America do not overlap with the mass emigration but rather follow it: the Slovenian cultural heyday only occurs in the 1930s, when the doors for the immigrants have long been closed. The intertwining of the emigration and immigration dynamics, the complexity of the cultural, political, social and economic factors within the migration processes on the collective (national) level as well as on the individual level are elements that reflect an innovative, modern approach to creating this comprehensive overview of Slovenian emigration history.   The originality is confirmed by the human-centred aspect of the project and its final result. On this level, individual migrant stories will be presented through a century of history, to show the readers the complexity of decisions, experiences, identity choices and challenges. This will help the project humanise multitudes of migrants from the past and give them voices, which in turn can significantly deepen the understanding of migrations today, when Europe and Slovenia are no longer the places of mass emigration, but the final destination of immigration.
Significance for the country
The project will have a direct social impact on:   1) the state administration and a more modern social and cultural development of the Slovenian society, which will be achieved when considering the research results and findings of the project in formatting further policies and strategies of the attitude the Republic of Slovenia takes towards Slovenian emigration and Slovenian diaspora;   2) better quality of life of Slovenian emigrants on the social and cultural levels (through increased awareness, positive reception, re-examination of stereotypes, etc.);   3) a greater awareness of the common cultural space of the “three Slovenias” – the country of origin, the areas across the borders and the Slovenian diaspora, which encourages the keeping and strengthening of a national identity, both in Slovenia and abroad;   4) the study and protection of the cultural heritage that is created and retained in the Slovenian diaspora.   Measures for the use and dissemination of results The final monograph will be freely accessible on the Internet. It will be adapted for use in the educational process in secondary schools. By securing additional funding from calls at the Slovenian Research Agency and the Office for Slovenians Abroad, the monograph will be translated into English. This will make it accessible to foreign researchers, and make it directly useful for the international study programme EMMIR (European Master in Migration and Intercultural Relations), in which members of the project group participate, as well as for other study programmes.   Co-financing from other sources The close connection of the project to the research programmes and the ongoing national and international projects of both participating institutes ensure financial coverage of the project. Based on the previous experience of the project leader and the project group members, the funds for the organisation of an academic conference, the translation of the final monograph into English and the presentation of the project result at national and international conferences will be obtained from other sources.
Most important scientific results Interim report, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report, final report
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