Circulation and Dissent in the Hungarian Cultural Elite

This research project aims to detect changes and continuity in the Hungarian cultural elite. With the help of a quantitative elite survey that combines positional and snowball sampling (N=450), we will document changes and continuity in the Hungarian cultural elite in the last eight years, in terms of recruitment, status access and the possession of different capitals, comparing our data to previous datasets of our elite research stream. We seek to explore how generational change and the circulation of the political elite after 2010 affected the cultural elite group, which had shown considerable stability and meritocratic recruitment patterns during the decades of transition and post-communism.
Our main hypothesis is, that the actions of the political elite create a crisis in the Hungarian cultural elite, with uneven consequences for different elite groups. Reputational elite members cannot be changed with political measures, while positional elite members are easier to replace. The uneven circulation of the elite causes an increasing dissent in the attitudes, norms and identities of the re-composed cultural elite. We assume that the new members of the elite have significantly different career trajectories, and the composition of the resources they use to reach their elite position is also different: they rely on external resources in a greater measure.
 Hence, besides continuing to examine elite recruitment, career history and social mobility, economic, cultural and social capital, attitudes and reputation, we add a stronger focus on the questions of political patronage and the network relations of the elite, both in terms of strong and weak ties.

Principal investigator: Luca Kristóf