Tagungsbericht Workshop Europäische Ethnologie Berlin, 29.111. - 2.IV. 7982


From March 29 till April 2 the "European Ethnology Workshop" was held in Berlin. About fifty "Volkskundler" and "Völkerkundler" from German-speaking countries as well as several foreign specialists in European Ethnology attended this conference. The aims of the organisers (Heide Nixdorff and Thomas Hauschild, European Dpt., Museum für Völkerkunde Berlin) were to review recent developments in German and international European Ethnology and to discuss the special contribution of German "Volkskunde" and "Völkerkunde" in this realm. The results of the discussion, in summary, are: It is useless to try to draw a strict border-line between the two German ethnological disciplines. The German term "Ethnologie" (often wrongly used as a term synonymous with "Völkerkunde") should be applied to efforts to combine the methods and achievements of both disciplines. There is a desire to bring together more closely the historical-philological perspectives developed in "Volkskunde" and the structural-functional approaches often applied in "Völkerkunde", in order to achieve a genuine "ethnological" perspective on European problems. This tendency towards a unified approach can also be seen in the development of Swedish, British, Portuguese and Italian Anthropology since the 1950s and in American Cultural Anthropology since the incorporation of criticism from the fields of folklore and "Volkskunde" in the 1960s (all these foreign disciplines had been represented in this workshop). There is a new trend towards self-reflecting ways of carrying out fieldwork in Europe that involves new problems of scientific epistemology and ethics and a new appreciation of the responsibility of the researcher for the ethnic group he studies. Instead of systematic forms of co-operation and changes in the terminology denominating their disciplines, German European Ethnologists favour close contacts between specialists from both sides. The contact areas are only broadly defined as those interests in theory and subject that are common to German "Volkskunde" as well as "Völkerkunde" - for example the synthesis of historical and functional explanation, problems of fieldwork, foreigners and minorities in Germany, history of family-structure, etc. The Workshop will be continued with the discussion of one of these topics.

How to Cite

Hauschild, T., (1983) “Tagungsbericht Workshop Europäische Ethnologie Berlin, 29.111. - 2.IV. 7982”, Ethnologia Europaea 13(1), 104-109. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.1847


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Thomas Hauschild (Museum für Völkerkunde)



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