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Ethnic identity and the issue of otherness through marriage in Northwest Transylvania (second half of the XIX - early XX century)

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Brie, Mircea

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Abstract The ethnic structure of this region has been strongly influenced by the evolution of different historical-geographical, and political factors, but also by the evolution of the confessional structure. Ethnicity, from this point of view, is closely related to religion. What is typical and important to note is that the ethnic structure is very diverse. In addition to Romanians and Hungarians, also Gypsies, Germans, Slovaks, Jews, Ruthenians, and Serbs are present; other ethnic groups are numerically insignificant. For this period we identified two important categories of documents relating to ethnic identity of Transylvanians: 1. records made by the Austrian state authorities; 2. Church documents. They must be viewed and analyzed with great care because they do not correspond directly to the necessity to establish ethnic identities. The documents that are available to us do not allow for an accurate determination of a person’s ethnicity. Given the lack of a variable on nationality from the few censuses conducted by the Hungarian State, we propose based on analysis of other documents (particularly those of ecclesiastical origin) to: a. check the mother tongue, b. establish religious identity and c. run an onomastic study.
Keywords ethnicity; identity; Transylvania; Romania; ethnic structure; religion; political factors; religious factors; wedding; intermarriage; ethnic relations
Classification Social History, Historical Social Research; Population Studies, Sociology of Population
Free Keywords censuses; ecclesiastical documents
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 89-104
Journal Eurolimes (2011) Supl. 2
Issue topic Ethno-confessional realities in the Romanian area: historical perspectives (XVIII-XX centuries)
ISSN 1841-9259
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution