Review: Roland Girtler (Ed.) (2007). Das letzte Lied vor Hermannstadt. Das Verklingen einer deutschen Bauernkultur in Rumänien [The Last Song before Sibiu. The Fading of a German Peasant Culture in Romania]
The Viennese anthropologist and sociologist Roland GIRTLER has researched the rapidly changing culture of the "German" minority in Romania for more than 15 years. Every year he travels with a group of students and close friends to Transylvania to work with them on ethnographic studies and the findings of this research are summarized in the volume reviewed here. Very picturesque, complex, and informative, the book covers the life of the German minority in Transylvania. Apart from a few points of criticisms, such as minor formal faults or occasionally inadequate referencing, it is a very fine volume and highly recommended for those interested in fieldwork methods, in cultural minorities, or who want to know about the "German" minority in Transylvania.
ethnography; field research; marginal cultures; social change; thick description