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8. The Hungarian tanyas: persistence of an anachronistic settlement and production form

8. The Hungarian tanyas: persistence of an anachronistic settlement and production form

The process of rural transformation: Eastern Europe, Latin America and Australia: 175-190

The chapter: (1) offers a brief historical overview describing the evolution of the Hungarian tanyas; (2) outlines government policies regarding them; (3) describes the presently existing forms of the tanyas; (4) analyzes contemporary economic and social conditions on Hungarian tanyas; (5) examines the forces that encourage their persistence; (6) describes the attempts of the government to assist them as an alternative form within the Hungarian agricultural system; and (7) describes the dynamic relationship between ideology and practicality in reference to the persistence of the Hungarian tanya structure and the new policies of the current communist leadership. It is concluded that the tanyas are likely to continue to exist for some time. The matter of ideological acceptance of them is precarious. While the regime has stopped overt campaigning against them, it has a long way to go before this form of economic activity is regarded as ideologically legitimate. It is currently accepted as a compromise. Faced with the financial impossibility of eliminating the tanyas, the leadership has accepted their existence out of practical necessity. It remains to be seen whether proposed social improvements will actually be implemented. Whatever ideological stance is taken, however, the tanyas are likely to continue to exist much as they have for two hundred years.

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