Issue No. 3, Vol 102 (2015)


Ruth Benedict in Czechoslovakia (summer 1948)
The famous book of Ruth Benedict (hereafter RB) The Chrysanthemum and the Sword about the patterns of Japanese culture was for the fi rst time published in autumn of the year 1946 (two years ago, for the fi rst time also in translation to Czech). Had not RB died prematurely two years later, in September 1948, maybe we could today fl ip through the pages of similar book on the patterns of Czech national character, viewed by the American cultural anthropologist, as Czechoslovakia was one of the several countries that were, after the World War II, investigated at a distance within the frame of the interdisciplinary project (Columbia University Research in Contemporary Cultures), initiated by RB, who for some time herself participated in it. Therefore in her archive there are some materials about Czechoslovakia. Besides, after a year of realization of the research, in summer 1948, RB got a chance to personal visit of Czechoslovakia, in the role of scientifi c consultant and lecturer at summer seminary of the UNESCO in Poděbrady, so that she could familiarize herself with the culture she had been researching at a distance. Based on the archival materials, the article tries at presenting detailed overview of her visit in Czechoslovakia and her participation in the international seminary.
“Liberated Household: A Factory for Family Happiness.” Second Shift and its Solution by Women’s Organizations in Czechoslovakia, 1945–1948
This paper focuses on the discourse of the second shift and domestic work in the Czechoslovakia presented by journals of women’s organizations, 1945–1948. After the mobilisation of the workforce in the post-war Czechoslovakia, women started to be encouraged to take up paid jobs. Together with the rising number of women in paid jobs the so called second shift was established. That means that women were burdened with two roles: those of breadwinners and housewives. The help offered by women’s organisations was represented by the delegation of housework on other women. The solution of the lack of the domestic help consisted in qualifi cation and professionalization, thus establishing this job as a regular one. The establishment of the institution with a suitable name “Liberated Household” was perceived as the ideal solution. In our study, we propose the analysis of two journals published by the women’s organizations and the discourse on domestic work presented there. Our aim is to illuminate the exclusive character of the post-war discourse on domestic work in regard to current debate as well as to contextualize the emergence of second shift and its solution in historical, social and political context.
Attitudes of the Romani to work – confrontation of stereotype with historical documents
The study focuses on the attitude of concrete Romani groups to work. It refutes the common stereotype that the Romani detest work, that they have been living in the past at the expense of the majoritarian society, gained their living by bagging and other illegal means. In historical overview the author follows up the traditional Romani occupations and their decline under the impact of the industrialization. She accentuates the time of the communist regime that made use of the Romani especially in manual professions. Their work performance was commonly considered to be satisfactory, the communists aimed, within the frame of the general assimilation politics, to educate them to be enthusiastic builders of socialism. The wages that motivated for manual work did not instigate the Romani parents, clinging to the tradition of domestic education, to achieve higher qualifi cation for their children. In the fi nal part of the development of the communist regime part of the Romani embraced the habits of the consumer society, but the professional structure of the Romani did not respond to the demands of the times. However, at work they were mostly accepted by their fellow worker according to their human qualities and work performance, the xenophobic opinions were minoritarian. They increased only after the year 1989, among other things due to the sharp increase in unemployment and isolation of the Romani from the majoritarian society.
National composition of Slovakia at the end of the 19th and in the fi rst half of the 20th century: ethnic identity (identifi cation) from the point of view of offi cial state statistics
The present-day national structure of Slovakia is, among others, the result of a long-term population and residential development, to a high degree conditioned by migrations, but also by political interventions from above that also infl uenced the formation of linguistic frontiers and regions. The study aims to present a general overview of the ways how ethnicity (ethnic identity) was perceived from the point of view of statistics (offi cial state censuses), to characterize the basic sources for the study of ethnicities in Slovakia and thus to sketch the ethnic composition of Slovakia at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century according to the attributes valid and observed in the studied period.


Helfertův odkaz a provenieční kritika lidové písně


Daniel L. Pals, Osm teorií náboženství. Ex Oriente, Praha 2015, 485 s.
Martina Cichá a kolektiv, Integrální antropologie. Triton, Praha 2014, 424 s.