Main Concepts and Research Traditions


The main questions in European ethnology today are: (1) Why do people behave in a certain manner? (2) How do they interpret and describe their world? (3) What are they looking for? These questions entail assessing tradition and culture.Tradition comprises more and more cultural patterns which are not visible, sowe now have the broader but problematic mentality beside the concept of tradition. Passing phenomena may be expressions of a specific ideology and situation, seeming like tradition without being so in the conventional sense. Today’s mixture of cultural patterns of short duration requires new methods of conceptual analysis. Subcultures come and go in quick succession. Information technology etches fleeting cultural patterns in the mind, and the broader between real life and virtual reality is blurred.

How to Cite

Lönnqvist, B., (1996) “Main Concepts and Research Traditions”, Ethnologia Europaea 26(2), p.97-98. doi:

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  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.



Bo Lönnqvist (University of Jyväskylä)



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