I have chosen to discuss some aspects of peasant studies because they constitute the focal point of interest of Hungarian ethnology and because vanishing peasant subculture constitutes a subject for urgent anthropological study.
The first section of this paper will be devoted to a discussion of some fundamental changes which characterize peasant culture, the second section to a discussion of some of the methods which have been applied to recent peasant studies by Hungarian ethnologists.
It is by now axiomatic even to the nonscientist that the relation of the Hungarian agriculturalist to his fellow man and to society at large has changed dramatically as a result of accelerated industrialization, greater mobility, and government-directed change. Rural society in general has changed in composition, structure, wealth and prestige categories, with respect to the role of women, and in many other respects. In fact, the impact of these spectacular changes has been considered so compelling as to have resulted in the disappearance of the peasant subculture.