Presentation Title

Returning to the Ancestral Homeland: The Identity and Language Use of American-born Hungarians from New Jersey

Abstract

My presentation will focus on a qualitative study that formed a subchapter of my Ph.D. dissertation about the identity maintenance and transnational relations of Hungarians living in the surroundings of New Brunswick, NJ. Between 2011 and 2017, I interviewed ten Hungarian Americans who were either born or raised in New Jersey and who chose to live in Hungary for an indefinite period of time. The interviews took place in Budapest and one of them took place over Skype. Previously, I had already interviewed four of them in New Brunswick as a part of my master’s thesis in 2008. Although not all of my informants belonged explicitly to the New Brunswick community, they all had some form of connection to it.

From a sociological point of view, my questions to the interviewees were the following: to what extent were they able to integrate into local Hungarian culture? Did they experience any shift in their identity after moving to Hungary? Did they join the local Hungarian scouts? From a sociolinguistic point of view, I investigated whether there was any shift in their language use, especially with their children and whether there were any noticeable changes in their speech pattern after moving to the ancestral homeland.

Author Biography

Dr. Katalin Pintz, Department of American Studies, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary

Start Date

26-3-2022 12:30 PM

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Mar 26th, 12:30 PM

Returning to the Ancestral Homeland: The Identity and Language Use of American-born Hungarians from New Jersey

My presentation will focus on a qualitative study that formed a subchapter of my Ph.D. dissertation about the identity maintenance and transnational relations of Hungarians living in the surroundings of New Brunswick, NJ. Between 2011 and 2017, I interviewed ten Hungarian Americans who were either born or raised in New Jersey and who chose to live in Hungary for an indefinite period of time. The interviews took place in Budapest and one of them took place over Skype. Previously, I had already interviewed four of them in New Brunswick as a part of my master’s thesis in 2008. Although not all of my informants belonged explicitly to the New Brunswick community, they all had some form of connection to it.

From a sociological point of view, my questions to the interviewees were the following: to what extent were they able to integrate into local Hungarian culture? Did they experience any shift in their identity after moving to Hungary? Did they join the local Hungarian scouts? From a sociolinguistic point of view, I investigated whether there was any shift in their language use, especially with their children and whether there were any noticeable changes in their speech pattern after moving to the ancestral homeland.