Issue No. 4, Vol 100 (2013)


Popular manuscript prayer books from the Early Modern Period
The article analyses popular prayer books preserved in regional museums of Bohemia and described in the Inventory of the 17th and 18th Century Manuscripts from the Museum Collections in Bohemia I–II (they comprise in total 3298 manuscripts from 94 museums). After a short introduction dealing with the principal characteristics of these manuscripts (viewed partly as an instance of entrepreneurial manuscript publication), their potential scribes and the way these books were read and used as magical objects, it classifies them according to the date of origin, the language used and the gender and social status of their scribes and owners. It shows among others that although most of these books (in absolute numbers) probably originate from the rural environment, their scribes and owners were usually not mere peasants, but artisans or local intellectual elites (mostly teachers). Moreover, if we compare the results obtained to the distribution of the Early Modern population between villages and towns, the production of these manuscripts per person seem to be roughly the same in both these environments. But there are gender differences: in contrast to the scribes of the prayer books who were almost without exception men, almost half of their first owners were women. Regarding the date of origin, our data show different results for Czech and for German language manuscripts: while the beginning of great popularity of these books among Czech speaking population falls into the 1760s with another major increase of their production in the 1790s, the increase of the production of German manuscript prayer books starts already in the 1730s and proceeds steadily during the whole 18th century. Finally, the article considers the role of manuscript books within the written communication of the period and advocates their autonomy as a distinct medium, entering diverse relations with other media, predominantly printed books, but functioning according to its own rules and not merely derivative.
Paradox of the “opium of the people”. Religion and (dis)satisfaction in contemporary Czech society
The article focuses on the relationship of religiosity and subjective satisfaction,a problem that has recently become one of the topical themes of social sciences. The author on the one hand presents the great expectations that the society (even non-religious) puts in the “satisfactory” role of religion, and on the other hand their factual unfulfillment, or better to say the minimum real influence of (non-)religiosity upon the subjective contentment. A comparison was realized with other countries of Eastern Central Europe. The quantitative data have been supplemented by several social-anthropological researches. The explication based upon this combined empirical material, consists in social position and roles of religiosity in the Czech society, different from countries where the role of religion as a factor of “satisfaction” is more patent. But there is also the factor of the commonly shared notions of religion, whose spreading was made possible also thanks to modern human and social sciences. The author proves that the relation of Czech society to religion, that is not practiced and mostly not even sufficiently known, could be categorized as estrangement. The concrete forms of this estrangement and the dichotomy between real (non-)religious life of contemporary Czech society and the expectations put unto them, should become topics of further ethnographic researches, because only through them it would be possible to interpret properly the data concerning the approaches and social behavior of the whole society.
“We´re on the same boat”: Moral and economy in a milieu of the poorest class
The aim of the article is to critically reassess relation between moral and economy of agents from the poorest class. The relational concept of the poorest class designates here homeless, drug-users, and some poor individuals generally that all have common particular social practices on the one hand and a position within of the social space on the other hand. The theoretical-conceptual frame of the article is the theory of practice of Pierre Bourdieu, “the nested geography” of Adrian Smith and Alison Stenning, and the approach to a moral economy of Jonathan Parry and Maurice Bloch. Based on the ethnographic research in the urban environment of the city of Pilsen the article put forth consistent definitions of used concepts – i.e. economic practices, moral, and moral economy – and relation among them that have heretofore been missing in the urban poverty studies. Instead of studies that just vaguely point out existence of sharing or other form of reciprocal behavior, the article offers empirically-based conceptualization of the moral economy. In this definition it stands as response to poverty and marginalization of the researched agents. It is therefore an expression of moral dimension of habitus and stands as complementary strategy to economic practices and economic systems within that is an agent or a group of agents involved.
Anachoristic homeless: Purification and transgression of public space
The goal of the present study is to understand the discoursive negotiation of the claims upon the use of public space. Specifically it is focused on the analysis of purification of public space from homeless persons in middle-sized city. On the basis of my research of homeless persons that included the semi-structured interviews with selected actors (policemen, politicians, employees of social services and of the non-profit organizations), analysis of documents (especially journalistic and legal) and active participant observation I will describe, (a) problematic behavior of homeless persons (for example sleeping on benches, consummation of alcohol) from the point of view of policemen, politicians, employees of social services, employees of non-governmental organizations and media, (b) preventive arrangements against this behavior (for example esthetization of the space, monitoring) and “reactional resolving” of perceived problems (for example driving them out of the public space by the city police, liquidation of their shelters). Theoretically the study is embedded in the concepts of transgression of T. Cresswell and purification of D. Sibley, who further developed the approach of M. Douglas towards the “impure” as the result of categorization and establishing of social order and relate this “contamination” to public space. Besides I will also make use of theories that that consider the purification of space to be the result of commercial use of public space. The study reaches the conclusion that in the name of urban security and elimination of transgressions (necessary in the case of homeless people) the abovementioned actors refuse the homeless the right to the use of public space and de facto pushes them into anachorism, that is, entity on inappropriate place.
Czech-Moravian dialects of Romani language in printed sources of the nineteenth century: character and genesis of the texts, motivations for their publication and biographical notes to the authors
This paper outlines the beginnings of the Roma research in our country. I focus on the persons who described or promoted the language known as “Czech-Moravian Romani” in the 19th century, both on their methods and motivations. What sources were used by the linguists and philologist to draw the authentic language material and what was the source for translations into Romani. When analysed, their work shows that the bulk of the Romani texts consists of literary works translated into Romani. An interesting tendency can be seen in the motivations of the authors who produced the Romani textbooks, with the original philological-philanthropic interest being gradually replaced by the concern about “Gypsy crime” prevention.


Návrh etického kodexu České národopisné společnosti


Výstava o českém divadle v Bělehradě
Slavistika a bádání o folkloru na XV. mezinárodním sjezdu slavistů v Bělorusku
8. Tagung zur Hinterglaskunst, Schlossmuseum Murnau, 4. - 5. 10. 2013


Reakce na text M. Šrámkové