The Journal of Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania
Extreme metal music is held to be a destructive genre of popular culture, treated as a pariah for many. Being a seriously misunderstood genre, I would like to highlight that metal music is a result of conscious work process that cannot only be noticed on the level of the music but on the level of verbal and pictorial expressions too. In my paper, I would like to show the working mechanisms of the so-called “(neo)pagan/mythological metal” movement, focusing on the rhetoric side of its mentioned expressions, searching for the ways these bands rewrite ancient myths and legends.
For my research, I will use three main threads: 1) history of religion (looking for the connections of the reception of ancient topics in contemporary society, e.g. New Age Cults and New Religious Movements); 2) reception theory, as the thoughts of Northrop Frye, Wolfgang Iser (1972), and John Fiske (2011) all should help to understand the general processes behind reading and producing texts; 3) subculture studies – e.g. the works of Richard Schusterman and Deena Weinstein (2002) to have a deeper insight to the genres standing on the edge of mass and high culture.
After a general introduction, I would like to demonstrate the above mentioned through some case studies. The chosen mythological cultures are going to be the world of the ancient Middle East (Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Old Testament), the classical Roman world, and the Viking Era, also showing some Hungarian and Romanian examples in the last section. In each section, the following issues should be examined: band and stage names connected to the topic, album titles, lyrics, and album covers. All these together will show us many clear patterns from romantic nostalgia to allegoric concepts, all revolving around the essence of metal music: being a Stranger in a familiar society.
Rozália Klára Bakó and Gyöngyvér Erika Tőkés
With the growing importance of digital practices in young children’s everyday routines, parents and educators often face frustration and confusion. They find it difficult to guide children when it comes to playing and learning online. This research note proposes an insight into parents’ and educators’ concerns related to children’s and their own digital literacy, based on two exploratory qualitative inquiries carried out from March 2015 to August 2017 among 30 children aged 4 to 8 from Romania, their parents and educators. The research project Digital and Multimodal Practices of Young Children from Romania (2015–2016) and its continuation The Role of Digital Competence in the Everyday Lives of Children Aged 4–8 (2017–2018, ongoing) are part of a broader effort within the Europe-wide COST network IS1410 – The Digital and Multimodal Practices of Young Children (2014–2018). Parents and educators are disconnected from young children’s universe, our research has found. The factors enabling adults’ access to “Digiland” and ways of coping with the steep learning curve of digital literacy are explored through parents’ and teachers’ narratives, guided observation of children’s digital practices, and expert testimonies.
Fake news texts often show clear signs of the deceptive nature; still, they are shared by many users on Facebook. What could be the reason for this? The paper tries to answer the question by collecting the linguistic and non-linguistic characteristics of fake news. Linguistic characteristics include among others the exaggerating, sensational title, the eye-catching, tabloid-style text, the correct or incorrect use of terms, and the fake URLs imitating real websites; non-linguistic characteristics are expressive pictures often featuring celebrities, the use of all caps, excessive punctuation, and spelling mistakes. The corpus was compiled using snowball sampling: manipulative news not originating from big news portals were collected from the social networking website Facebook. The aim of the study is to identify the characteristics of Hungarian fake news in comparison to the English ones and to elaborate a system of aspects which help identify fake news.
Art Spiegelman’s MAUS, a Pulitzer-prize-winning two-volume graphic novel, zooms into wartime Poland, interweaving young Vladek’s – the author’s father – experiences of World War II and the present day through uncanny visual and verbal representational strategies characteristic of the comics medium. “I’m literally giving a form to my father’s words and narrative”, Spiegelman remarks on MAUS, “and that form for me has to do with panel size, panel rhythms, and visual structures of the page”. The risky artistic strategies and the “strangeness” of its form, to use Harold Bloom’s term, are essential to how the author represents the horrors of the Holocaust: by means of anthropomorphic caricatures and stereotypes depicting Germans as cats, Jewish people as mice, Poles as pigs, and so on. Readings of MAUS often focus on the cultural connotations in the context of postmodernism and in the Holocaust literature tradition, diminishing the importance of its hybrid narrative form in portraying honest, even devastating events. Using this idea as a point of departure, along with a theoretical approach to traumatic memory and the oppressed survivor’s story, I will cover three main topics: the “bleeding” and re-building of history, in an excruciating obsession to save his father’s – a survivor of Auschwitz – story for posterity and to mend their alienating relationship and inability to relate; the connection between past and present, the traumatic subject, and the vulnerability it assumes in drawing and writing about life during the Holocaust as well as the unusual visual and narrative structure of the text. The key element of my study, as I analyse a range of sections of the book, focuses on the profound and astonishing strangeness of the work itself, which consequently assured MAUS a canonical status in the comics’ tradition.
György Molnár, Zoltán Szűts and Katalin Nagy
In social context, a stranger can be identified as one who is excluded from a group. This group can sometimes have only a few members, while in other cases it can consist of a whole nation or of an entire society. From a digital perspective, there are two kinds of citizens: first, those who are members of the digital information society. They are able to take part in social and public communication on several levels. Their habits often make life easier, and the pace they live their lives at is faster than of those before them. They are the digital natives. Second, there are those who designed the digital world, but ironically they are the ones who do not really understand how it works in practice. They are the digital immigrants, the strangers. In our study, our key point is that digital immigrants, who have been in this world longer than the so-called digital natives, are perceived as strangers as they are in many ways excluded from today’s digital information society. The rituals of their daily interaction, routine, and media consumption as well as information gathering differ from those who are “full members” of the information society.
The social learning theory emphasizes that model giving or guiding has always been one of the most powerful means for transmitting values, for demonstrating and accentuating the expected attitudes, habits, thinking, and behaviour (Bandura, 1986; Crosswhite et. al., 2003). Studies have shown that a role model could motivate a teenager’s sporting habits and performance in a positive way. They also found that the top athletes, those celebrities who appear frequently in the media, can become role models. Do Szekler teenagers have role models? Do they choose their role model from their physical environment or the international popular media stars or mediatized persons become their idolized model? We wanted to find out who those teenagers are from our region who choose as their role model a star, a famous person, a media celebrity – a well-known person but still a stranger for the teenagers of Szeklerland. If so, who are their icons and role models? Who are those people that have an exemplary behaviour in their eyes? To whom they would like to compare themselves when they grow up? And what are those characteristics which have decisive roles in choosing as role model a person they have never met before? The analysis is based on three important surveys conducted among teenagers from Romania (Covasna, Harghita, and Mureş counties). The surveys took place in the springs of 2012, 2014, and 2016. About two thousand pupils in the 7th and 11th grades were involved each time. On the basis of variables, such as age, gender, and type of residency, we will present general profiles and general types of Szekler teenagers regarding the role models of their choice.