Dr. Božo Škerlj and Slovene Emigrants in America
The article describes the contacts of Dr Božo Škerlj with the Slovene emigrants from Cleveland, their exchange of books, and his visit to the Slovene emigrants in Cleveland during his study tour of the United States. He later described the experiences gathered on this tour, realisations and ideas which he gathered on this tour, in the book entitled Unknown America and the article Some Aculturalisation Phenomena among the American Slovenes. The article is based on social anthropology and deals with aculturalisation. In conclusion professor Škerlj gives several starting points for the research of aculturalisation processes among the Slovene emigrants.
During his study tour of the USA in 1952, Professor Bozo Škerlj, Ph.D., visited many Slovene emigrants. This work concentrates on his visit to the Slovenes from Cleveland. Professor Škerlj and his wife were invited to Cleveland by their old friend, F. J. Kern, and the visit was sponsored by the association of Progressive Slovene Women of America. There was a social event organised in the Slovene National Hall on St. Clair Ave on their arrival. The moderator of the programme, which included a lecture given by professor Škerlj, was Josie ZakrajŠek.
The first contacts of professor Škerlj with the Slovene emigrants in the USA were established through letters which is evident from the preserved correspondences. His legacy reveals that he maintained regular correspondence with many representatives of various organisations of Slovene emigrant associations from Cleveland and New York, either as a friend or as a researcher. In addition to exchanging views, they also exchanged books which was of particular importance for Škerlj as a researcher since at that time access to professional literature from Slovenia was practically impossible or very difficult. The list of books found in the documentation includes titles that represent important contemporary scientific achievements and trends in the anthropology of the fifties. We can safely state that such books generated new ideas and aroused new interests in B. Škerlj. His works from this period reflect a shift from physical anthropology to the field of social and cultural anthropology.
B. Škerlj related his experiences and realisations which had accumulated during his stay among the Slovenes in the United States in the book entitled Unknown America and later on in an article entitled Some Aculturalisation Phenomena among the American Slovenes. The latter work can clearly be categorised as social anthropology. In this work Škerlj presents several starting points for the research of aculturalisation processes among Slovene emigrants.