The contribution deals with the value as a topic in the social sciences discourse.The authoress concentrates on a group of questions concerning the transformation of values as a result of modernisation, the on-going globalisation and, in the Slovak context, a post-communist transformation. She mentions the place given to the research into values by Slovak ethnography and stresses that despite the fact that there are only few earlier research studies concerning the issue of values, some of them have delivered large numbers of precious facts enabling to draw a picture of cultural standards based on the ideas, phenomena, objects, etc. Thus, these earlier ethnographic works might serve as a 'starting point' for the development of the topic - the process of constituting values in the pre-modern pre-industrial world of the Slovak countryside. Although the 'pre-capitalist world' of Slovak small towns and villages was slowly dying away at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries (at certain places only in the first half of the 20th century), it was still an omni-present principle of the Slovak micro-cosmos. Concentrating on a corpus of empirical data of the village of Cicmany it was also possible to draw a picture of the village and its inhabitants, and then seek to interpret what values they had, how these values related to how they could satisfy their material and partially also non-material spiritual needs, or whether the local people had their own concept of what was desirable in their social environment. Obviously the approaches to the assessment of their own values reflected the features of a pre-modern society, others changed during capitalist, socialist and post-socialist processes of modernisation. The authoress has highlighted cultural aspects of pre-modernity, which still had a great influence on the everyday life of the village of Cicmany at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. In his everyday life, a villager of the pre-modern world, preoccupied by his worries about getting his everyday living, had much respect for standards, conventions and authorities. He firmly stuck to an idea that the division line between the good and the evil was predetermined. He judged events and actions according to whether they complied with what the usual state of affairs should be. Any deviation from the accepted norm caused dissatisfaction, criticism, or was taken as an offence against morality. In this context, an easier way to being knowledgeable of traditionalist pre-modern world values leads through an identification of negative attitudes rather than positive ones. They seem to be more clearly expressed in a disapproval of certain events, phenomena, actions, and objects which do not compare with habits and expectations than in an approval of them.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.