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Survival of Utopias – Weiterlebende Utopien

Life Reform and Progressive Education in Austria and Hungary – Lebensreform und Reformpädagogik in Österreich und Ungarn


Edited By András Németh, Claudia Stöckl and Beatrix Vincze

Life reform and progressive education developed various utopias and projected new ways of cultural, social, religious and political living. This book studies how these utopias lived on until World War II, how they still affect present life in Austria and Hungary, and it examines continuities and differences within the political, educational and cultural movements of both countries. The main focus lies on interrelations between educational utopias and strategies and the development of a collective identity in times of radical political and social changes.

Lebensreform und Reformpädagogik entwarfen Utopien für das kulturelle, soziale und religiöse Leben. Dieses Buch untersucht das Weiterleben dieser Utopien bis zum Beginn des zweiten Weltkrieges, ihre Wirkungen bis in die Gegenwart in Österreich und Ungarn und beleuchtet Kontinuitäten und Differenzen innerhalb der (bildungs-)politischen und kulturellen Strömungen beider Länder. Im Zentrum steht die Frage nach Zusammenhängen zwischen pädagogischen Utopien und Strategien und den Entwicklungen von kollektiver Identität in Zeiten politischer und gesellschaftlicher Umbrüche und Verunsicherungen.

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Young women in the applied arts and the problem of dilettantism in the first half of the 20th century in Hungary (Júlia Tészabó)


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Júlia Tészabó

Young women in the applied arts and the problem of dilettantism in the first half of the 20th century in Hungary

In recent decades, numerous academic studies have focused on women’s move towards artistic careers. Yet one specialised area, the so-called “applied arts”, has largely eluded the interest of researchers.

This area, which is difficult to define due to its extremely varied manifestations in practice, often presented itself as either a career chosen out of necessity, one that women were compelled to follow out of need, or as a vague desire in – mostly young – women’s vision of the future. Even if they did actually engage in the applied arts, the activities of women in this field rarely exceeded what might be called the level of an enthusiastic amateur. Those who were referred to as “dilettantes” often started out without any training, and sought to establish themselves in this field by relying solely on the needlecraft skills that they had acquired at home, the so-called polgári schools (higher elementary girls’ schools) or obscure “applied arts classes”. It was around this time that certain fields opened up to women, but the institutions and schools that provided education for them in this period did not actually prepare women for these fields, even though from the end of the 19th century onwards they were often forced to take a job because of their circumstances and changes in women’s social...

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