Movement of the People

Hungarian Folk Dance, Populism, and Citizenship

by Mary N. Taylor

Published by: Indiana University Press

344 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 21 b&w illus., 3 maps

  • Paperback
  • 9780253057839
  • Published: October 2021


  • Hardcover
  • 9780253057815
  • Published: October 2021


  • eBook
  • 9780253057846
  • Published: October 2021


Since 1990, thousands of Hungarians have vacationed at summer camps devoted to Hungarian folk dance. This exploding folk tourism takes place against the backdrop of increasingly nationalist movements in Hungary.

In Movement of the People, Mary N. Taylor takes readers inside the folk revival movement known as dancehouse (táncház), which is championed by expatriates and UNESCO while also serving as a springboard for more threatening nationalist impulses. Most camps are not in Hungary, but across the national border in the Transylvanian villages of neighboring Romania, where well upward of a million ethnic Hungarians reside. Contextualizing táncház in a deeper history of populist and ethnonational interest groups, Taylor examines the movement's emergence in the socialist projects of the 1970s, its transformation through the postsocialist period, and its recent recognition by UNESCO as a best practice of heritage preservation.

Distinguishing "populist" practices of folk revival as a form of national identity, Movement of the People interrogates the ideologies, institutional contexts, and relationships that contribute to the cultivation of Hungary's future as well as its past.