Review of Ethnological Research on Slovene Emigration
Unlike similar descriptions of ethnological research on Slovene emigration, in this paper the author devotes attention to an explanation of the methodological orientation in past research on this topic. In a historical cross-section of the post-Second World War interest on the part of Slovene ethnologists in the issue of emigration, a blossoming in this area can be noticed in the eighties, while due to the meagre number and lack of interest of researchers, such enthusiasm is today fading. The article is accompanied by an extensive, yet still selective, bibliography which notes some encouragement for the research of Slovene emigration in the period prior to 1940.
The results of ethnological research on Slovene emigration have already been presented (e.g. M. Ravnik, 1982a, I. Slavec, 1990). The main source of analysis of this data was seminar papers and undergraduate theses Written by students of ethnology which came into being during the seminars on ethnological research of Slovene emigration (1980/81, 1981/82) and thereafter. This article stresses the methodology in these papers in which the life of the emigrant is portrayed as a comparison with his everyday experience prior to leaving his homeland or, in the case of studies on emigrants who returned to their life abroad. The majority of the papers attempt to place the emigrant in a certain chronological period, through Which ethnological research on Slovene emigration often becomes excessively historically, sociologically, economically, geographically, and otherwise coloured, and because of this the papers frequently lack an analysis of the causes for the existence of specifically emigration phenomena. The anthropologist Božo Škerlj drew attention to them in 1957 in his article Nekaj akulturacijskih pojavov pri ameriških Slovencih (»A Few Acculturational Phenomena ana American Sloveness). With his thoughts on active and passive acculturation, on the change in values brought about by an alteration in social environment, om the significance of language as a symbol of ethnic identity, on relationships in emigrant families, within a Without the ethnic community and so on, Škerlj established t methodological foundations for ethnological research on emigration to date this fact has been excessively hidden in the shadow emphasis on the success of the seminar in the eighties, as t ethnological approach to researching the life of emigrants has n significantly changed since Škerlj's time. It is true, however, that there is ever less original research coming through, a fact which also evident from the bibliography published. The case of this mu be sought in the modest number of Slovene ethnologists Who tod work professionally on Slovene emigration.