Erdélyi Fiatalok: The Hungarian village and Hungarian identity in Transylvania in the 1930's

Keith Hitchins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Erdélyi Fiatalok (Transylvanian Youth), a group of young Hungarian intellectuals in Transylvania, undertook in the 1930s to know the Hungarian village. They did so in order to know themselves better as Hungarians because they were convinced that the essential qualities of the race had been preserved in their purest form in the village, far removed from the cosmopolitan, modern city. Just as urgent, in their minds, was the need to establish close links between the intellectuals and the rural population, if the Hungarian community in Transylvania was to survive. Their way of achieving their goals was to carry out the systematic investigation of village life in all its diverse aspects and to base their work on up-to-date sociological theory and research methods. While drawing on the experience of their Hungarian colleagues elsewhere, they were perhaps most indebted to the ideas and practices developed by the sociological school of Bucharest, headed by Dimitrie Gusti, professor of sociology at the University. Gusti and his team of researchers welcomed the participation of the Transylvanian Hungarians in their work, and the resulting common labors offered an encouraging example of Romanian-Hungarian cooperation. In the end, the initiatives of the Erdélyi Fiatalok were thwarted by events beyond their control and perhaps by their own idealism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-99
Number of pages15
JournalHungarian Studies
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Ethnic identity
  • Intellectuals
  • Minority
  • Peasantry
  • Race
  • Sociology
  • Village research
  • Young generation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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