Worker – Society – History: Social History of Labour and Hungarian Workers Society in the 20th Century from a Central European Comparative Point of View

Funding: OTKA 
Duration: February 2, 2016 — January 31, 2019 (35 months)

It is undoubted that the changing role of work is one of the most important topics in modern societies. Studies which analyze the social history of modern Hungarian work and working class in a long-term period both on micro and macro level through the political, economical and social changes of the 19th and 20th century, have been missing so far. Basically we would like to study this topic in our project. First, the research team is going to examine the social history of the workers of the biggest Hungarian heavy industrial plant, Ózdi Kohászati Művek (Metallurgy Plant of Ózd) from the dynamic beginning in the turn of the 19th and 20th century until the end of the 20th century when the plant was shut down. Besides, they are going to study how the miners’ community of a township called Rudabánya changed during this period. On the other hand, as a bases of the project, the team would like to build a network for researchers who study the social history of industrial workers.

The researcher would also like to compare—first just as an attempt—the experiences and results of their Hungarian case studies with the similar history, mainly Central-European industrial/urban/local worker groups on the score of relevant literature. Therefore their task is two-sided: to write a summarizing monography about the social history of modern Hungarian work and working class based on archival, statistical and register sources, and to write a Central-European comparative study regarding the relevant international literature. That means they will accomplish basic research in the field of social history.


Judit Acsády, Zsófia Kisőrsi, Andrea Papp, Péter alabán, Péter Nagy

Selected publications: 

Alabán, Péter. 2018 “A társadalmi dezintegráció társadalomtörténeti összefüggései Ózdon és környékén a rendszerváltozás után” [The social historical correlations of social disintegration in Ózd and its environs after the 1989/90 change of regime].PhD dissertation, Eszterházy Károly University, Eger, Hungary.

Valuch Tibor (szerk.): Workers, Labour and Labour History in Modern Central-East-Europe – special issue of East Central Europe Journal vol. 46. 2019/1.

Principal investigator (PI):

Tibor Valuch

Research Chair 
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