Volume XVIII (2013), no. 2

IDEAS • BOOKS • SOCIETY • READINGS

Contents

Studies

Zeno GOZO
Institution:
Faculty of Psychology, Tibiscus University of Timişoara, Romania
Email:
zenogozo@yahoo.com
Abstract

Eric Fromm’s[1] work – “To Have or to Be” – allows at least some reflection and elaboration of ideas especially as we stand at a certain distance in time of its appearance. We will follow up, based on the main axes provided by the author, possible elaborations of the “to have” and “to be” paradigms. Some fundamentally different existential areas involve different philosophies of life, powered by autogenous backgrounds, self-sufficient, clearly bounded by an area with strong axiological and epistemological accents.

We shall also follow some nuances that enrich the German author's original theses: the shift from having to “to be”, the description of horizons that are specific to both paradigms, conceptual extensions of the sociological perspective (adopted by the author) as possible interpretative returns from the domain of “to be” towards the one delineated by the “to have”. A fruitful direction of our exploration is the highlighting of the impersonality (collectively determined) of the world of “to have” and the need to customize the existence (in a selective and sober philosophical point of view) for a solid settlement of “to be”.

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[1] Erich Fromm (1900-1990) psychoanalyst, sociologist and philosopher; he developed social studies impregnated with Freudian vision on human behaviour. Forced to immigrate into the United States (in 1934), Fromm got to experience the consumer society. Established, at the end of his life, at Locarno (Switzerland), he wrote “To Have or to Be” as an advocacy for re-analyzing the situation of the contemporary human being regarding consumerism.

Mihai Stelian RUSU
Institution:
Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work
Email:
mihai.rusu@ubbcluj.ro
Abstract

Collective memory, despite its status as patrimonial notion within sociological tradition, recently escaped this rigid disciplinary straitjacket, becoming a cardinal concept in the contemporary discourse of social sciences and humanities. Understanding the nature of collective memory cannot be reached before clarifying the relation between memory and history. This paper analyzes the different configurations under which the relationship between history and collective memory evolved throughout time. The central argument advances the idea that collective memory crystallizes at the area of confluence between history and mythistory, taking historical facts from the former, and organizing them according to the mythical logic of the latter. [1]

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[1] This work was possible with the financial support of the Sectoral Operational Programme for Human Resources Development 2007-2013, co-financed by the European Social Fund, under the project number POSDRU/107/1.5/S/76841 with the title „Modern Doctoral Studies: Internationalization and Interdisciplinarity.”

Alina ŢIŢEI
Institution:
“Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Iaşi
Email:
alina83titei@yahoo.com
Abstract

The construction of identity, in the case of the turbulent history of Hispanic American states, was a process which involved the proliferation of authoritarian figures and an unremitting adaptation to local conditions. A distinctive landmark of this identitary crystallization, caudillismo was intimately bound to the disintegration of the colonial system and to the mass-scale social turmoil that escalated during the first half of the 19th century. Its entire phenomenology was highly influenced by the social, economic and political superstructures formerly created by the Spanish authority whose collapse represented a turning point for Hispanic America’s faltering political culture.

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Raluca-Simona DEAC
Institution:
Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich, Germany
Email:
raluca.deac@ubbcluj.ro
Abstract

The present article analyzes a selection of Romanian memoirs of the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) in order to reveal the images of our fellow participants in the conflicts and sources of identities and representations that have been formed along the years. The study of these writings in the context of the gripping subject of alterity brings original insight in a matter that is still particularizing South-Eastern Europe. Considering the diversity of perspectives in the selected memoirs, we can paint an overall picture of the conveyed representations that may still overshadow the collective mentality. [1]

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[1] This work was possible with the financial support of the Sectoral Operational Programme for Human Resources Development 2007-2013, co-financed by the European Social Fund, under the project number POSDRU/107/1.5/S/76841 with the title “Modern Doctoral Studies: Internationalization and Interdisciplinarity”.

 

Cosmina-Maria BERINDEI
Institution:
Babeş-Bolyai University
Email:
cosminamariaberindei@yahoo.com
Abstract

The present paper proposes a qualitative analysis of the discursive strategies of traditional gold mining memory in two mining villages of the Apuseni Mountains. The three analyzed discourses were registered using as research method the “life story” interview. I followed the way the memory of traditional mining experience was objectified, a profession that disappeared with the nationalization; I also followed the way each of the three interlocutors made use of the period they experienced comparing it to their whole life. The discourses are nostalgic; they emphasize the disappearance of a work culture and the identification of certain survival strategies in a very short period of time. Thus, migration in the area increased a lot. [1]

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[1] This work was possible with the financial support of the Sectoral Operational Program for Human Resources Development 2007-2013, co-financed by the European Social Fund, within the project POSDRU 89/1.5/S/60189 with the title „Postdoctoral Programs for Sustainable Development in a Knowledge Based Society”.

Angelica PUŞCAŞ
Institution:
Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca
Email:
angelica.puscas@yahoo.com
Abstract

The Romanian traditional village, within a historical reality that validates the concept of “tradition” regarding the entire rural geospace with a multi-millenary, as well as multicultural habitation, is abruptly eradicated, during the middle of the 20th century, synchronously, the millenary values of the community fading away in increasingly dim touches, assumed by censorship and self-censorship, coordinates of a “hygienic mentality”, shaped from conventions, rules, customs and common laws. Two of the major categories responsible for the functional capacities of censorship–self-censorship, likened one to another, enter within an area of vulnerability. These two categories are equally impropriated by the official institutions (the church, political and administrative structures), respectively by the levers of the community (the council of the elders, evening village sittings, group work, the fair, to become the talk of the village, customs and traditions characterized by a significant and crucial impact…).

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Zsuzsa SELYEM
Institution:
Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj
Email:
selyemzsuzsa@lett.ubbcluj.ro
Abstract

Minor literature is mainly characterized, according to Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, by linguistic and political creativity. Contemporary financial ideologies are interested in individualizing the problems shared by many, who otherwise could form communities. I analyze a happening of a contemporary poet and playwright, Krisztián Peer, which, due to a typical frame of capitalism, became an isolated and pathetic manifestation enforcing financial ideologies, although it could have been a strong contemporary act of minor literature.

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KASSAY Réka
Institution:
Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj
Email:
reka.kassay@ubbcluj.ro
Abstract

In the current study, I analyze cultural tendencies, preconceptions about cultural differences among Hungarians from Romania that are present in the virtual space. I have tried to explore the way this community treats different situations, conflicts resulted from cultural differences. The examined interface is a community blog written by Hungarians from Romania, where users share their stories considered typical for Balkanic culture. Because of the negative pejorative meaning, the site functions as a book of complaints, but also gives place to heated debates about Balkanic identity. As a result of the three years of research (from November 2008 to October 2011) I have tried to describe the trend of westernization in the Eastern European cultures, taking into consideration the characteristics of online communication as well. [1]

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[1] This work was possible with the financial support of the Sectoral Operational Programme for Human Resources Development 2007-2013, co-financed by the European Social Fund, under the project number POSDRU/107/1.5/S/76841 with the title “Modern Doctoral Studies: Internationalization and Interdisciplinarity”. I would also like to express my thanks to Márta Fingermann for the correction of the text.

 

Maria ROTH, Florina POP, Sergiu RAIU
Institution:
Sociology and Social Work, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj
Email:
mroth@socasis.ubbcluj.ro; raiu.sergiu@yahoo.com; pop.florina@ymail.com
Abstract

The article is based on research with different age segments of Roma children and youth, whose self-concepts are marked by the perceptions of the Roma identity in the public opinion. The authors look at vulnerabilities reflected in the identities of Roma school children of different ages, as they appear in children's self-esteem and future orientation. We show fragments of testimonials of children living in Roma communities and interpret them according to different psychological, psychoanalytical and social approaches. We reveal some of the unifying elements of all children’s identity formation, but also some of the context specific differential elements related to the development as a Roma child, living in a specific neighbourhood and learning in a certain school. Our goal is to draw attention to the mechanisms that can lower the educational aspirations of Roma children and adolescents and might contribute to the appearance of frustration and thus the reproduction of feelings of alterity and marginality.

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VINCZE Enikő
Institution:
Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj
Email:
eniko_vincze@euro.ubbcluj.ro
Abstract

The article describes urban marginality in Cluj (Romania) as it has developed in recent years and has transformed the town’s landfill into an inhabited area that hosts today approximately 1500 persons. The author observes that Anti-Gypsy racism becomes an important building block of neoliberalization as it “justifies” evictions and residential segregation by racializing ethnic Roma. She states that in cases when residentially segregated spaces are located nearby polluted areas (landfills, water treatment plants, chemical factories or deposits) the analysis of the phenomenon should observe how environmental racism dehumanizes poor Roma and pollutes the milieu where they are forced to live. [1]

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[1] This article is linked to the author’s presentation at the series of events organized by the doctoral school “European Paradigm” at Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, with the topic “University for a just society”. The series aimed at offering occasion for critically discussing on the social role of knowledge production, on university education as public good, on the function and positioning of the university in today’s society, but as well as about the public intellectual who practices his/her academic carrier assuming social and moral responsibilities. On April 23, 2013 our debates focused on the topic “Landfill and environmental racism” (with the participation of Mihaela Beu, expert in environmental protection, sociologist dr. Cristina Raţ and anthropologist dr. Enikő Vincze, university teachers at BBU, founding members of the Working Group of Civil Society Organizations). By this very event the organizers were also marking the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (28th of April), observing the inhuman conditions in which informal landfill workers labour, among others in the city of Cluj, Romania. Most importantly, this article builds on experiences gained by the author from her involvement into local civic activism against segregation (www.gloc.ro) and into research concerning spatialization and racialization of social exclusion (www.sparex-ro.eu).

Lorin NICULAE
Institution:
Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest, Soros Foundation Romania
Email:
lorinniculae@soros.ro; lorin_c_niculae@yahoo.com
Abstract

This paper is a manifesto for the practice of social participatory architecture. It focuses on the need to understand in a different manner the relationships established in the field of social architecture between architects and their clients and users. What does ethics mean when it comes to designing for a community that lives in extreme poverty? Should architects design for the client or for the user? What resources should be used and how? These are just a few questions that this short text tries to address, while sketching the political context of contemporary social architecture. In this article I am going to present an antithesis between social participatory architecture and authoritative architecture for mass housing.

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Dana POP
Institution:
Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning
Email:
dana.pop@arch.utcluj.ro
Abstract

Starting with a theoretical approach, the presentation will focus on the new environment which we shape in order to respond to our newly born needs. Buildings do not focus anymore on cultural or local identity, instead they become an interactive environment that can be controlled and reshaped through a touchscreen; it is a sophisticated environment, but at the same time, it lacks identity – in the traditional sense of the word. We are designing intelligent buildings, which are more likely to focus on inventing their own fictional identity, rather than on the context. These multifunctional buildings, which host a wide range of functions – starting from coffee shops up to airports – are designed in such a way that from the moment that you set foot in them, they take over the control. The building actually decides for you.

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Cristian RADU
Institution:
Babeş-Bolyai University, Departament of Communications and Public Relations
Email:
ch_radu@yahoo.com
Abstract

This study aims to identify the writer’s specific narrative technique and to situate his literature in a certain typology. We have detailed his doctrine about art and literature, as it is expressed during his career. Literature is seen as a privileged technique of knowledge, the instrument through which the vocation for absoluteness can be best satisfied. In order to emphasize the characteristics of his work, we draw a comparison with the works of some modern known writers, which are united in their conception about literature, the formula of the novel of ideas, as well as Erich Auerbach’s concept of “figural representation”. The best definition for the metaphoric novel, which aims to meditate upon the human existence, is smoothed by remarkable theoretical contribution, marked inside of this study.

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Rodica FRENŢIU
Institution:
Faculty of Letters, Babes-Bolyai University
Email:
rfrentiu@hotmail.com
Abstract

The premise of the present study is identifying the main characteristics that render the haiku poem perceptible as “artistic peak” of Japanese language potentialities. By turning poetic and cultural-semiotic perspectives to advantage while discussing a literary text, the following analysis tries to probe the way in which haiku retrieves a world of concentrated emotion and of creative spark created by trivial facts, and transforms them in poetry capable of orienting the spirit towards satori, or Zen enlightenment. All this is done using an extremely reduced lexical inventory. Through the diffuse and ineffable, but especially through silence, a unity between the never ending, varied and complex “seen”, and an enlivening, simple and impenetrable “unseen” is realised within the haiku. Also called “a model for an aesthetic of silence”, the haiku proposes living and intuitively discovering reality which unfolds infinite silences by recording a graceful moment, and thus offers the reader considerable freedom in his own intervention to create meaning. Only a language characterised by “ambiguity” and “high dependence on context”, together with a culture highly imbued by Zen philosophy could create, we believe, a favourable context for the birth of a type of poetry whose shortness could guarantee formal perfection and whose simplicity could stand proof for semantic depth.

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Irina-Ana DROBOT
Institution:
Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest, Department of Foreign Languages and Communication
Email:
anadrobot@yahoo.com
Abstract

The paper aims to analyze when characters in Woolf and Swift imagine stories about other characters and why, as well as what the other implications of this are. What part does imagination play in creating fiction? What theories of imagination best explain their characters’ attitude? How is imagination connected with lyricism?

I try to find the occasions which lead to characters’ imagining stories about other characters in both Woolf and Swift. It seems that in both authors we may speak about common aspects such as metafictional concerns or about the creative imagination of the Romantics. Imagining stories about other characters (in fact, brief scenes) leads to the underlining of the subjective aspect in both authors which is a feature of lyricism. Poetic aspects of prose are highlighted by the use of imagination, artistic creation, and subjectivity.

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FEHÉR István M.
Institution:
Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Andrássy University, Budapest
Email:
feher@ella.hu
Abstract

In Gadamer’s hermeneutics the relationship of philology to philosophy, viz., hermeneutics, often became a focus of his reflection. Thereby he underlined “the inner connection between the words ‘philology’ and ‘philosophy’”: philology is “the love of the logoi” and philosophy means “the love of the ‘sophos’.” Philology seems to precede hermeneutics, but the establishing of a text always involves necessarily interpretive work. It is a positivistic prejudice to believe that philology can do without interpretation, that is, hermeneutics. What Gadamer calls “conceptual history” [Begriffsgeschichte], and what he is pursuing as such, is precisely this inner interconnectedness of philology and philosophy, or philology and hermeneutics. This is in some sense Gadamer’s “method.” The first part of the paper argues that the interconnectedness of philology and philosophy, with each side referring to the other, is central to Gadamer‘s work; it is the “element” in which Gadamer‘s writings move. The second part investigates the relation of philology to history, concentrating on Gadamer’s thesis according to which philology is “Freude am Sinn, der sich aussagt”, while history is “Forschung nach Sinn, der verhüllt ist.” The third part centres around Gadamer’s characterization of the relation of philology to philosophy. Both share a love for the logoi, viz., wisdom expressing itself in words, and that constitutes their neighbourhood. But something such as “text” has a different meaning for philology or philosophy. It is the wording of a text that philology concentrates upon, whereas philosophy aims at “meaning.” Philosophy does not possess a language of its own, and that is why the effort of the philosophical concept does embody in ever newer linguistic forms. Philology tends to be true to (the wording of) the text, while philosophy is interested first and foremost in the sense or meaning of what is being said by the text. Philology is interested in the word, philosophy aims at understanding the matter. Philosophy is thus an unended conversation, where there is no first word any more than there is a last one. The lover of wisdom must be a lover of words, for there is no wisdom without words. Still, wisdom is not exhausted in words. Those who love words or speeches are not necessarily friends of wisdom. Wisdom is, for Plato, beyond the words. Love of words and love of wisdom, therefore, overlap, but do not totally coincide with one another. [1]

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[1] This research was supported by the European Union and the State of Hungary, co-financed by the European Social Fund in the framework of TÁMOP 4.2.4. A/1-11-1-2012-0001 ‘National Excellence Program’.

 

Miscellanea

Irina PETRAŞ
Reviewed by
Adriana TEODORESCU
Institution:
1 Decembrie 1918 University of Alba Iulia
Email:
adriana.teodorescu@gmail.com
Abstract
Bogdan Suceavă
Reviewed by
Adriana STAN
Institution:
Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj
Email:
adrstan@yahoo.ca
Abstract
Doru POP
Reviewed by
Andrei SIMUŢ
Institution:
Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj
Email:
andrei.simut@gmail.com
Abstract