Skip to main content

Social and identity mobility in the Slovenian territory between the late Middle Ages and the disintegration of the Habsburg Monarchy


“Social and identity mobility” roughly encompasses three basic elements: 1) social mobility of individuals, communities, and groups over relatively short and long periods of time; 2) changes in their identity that are directly or indirectly related to social mobility, and 3) the mobility of collective identities as determinable over longer periods of time. All three of the listed elements are also included within so-called confessional mobility (changes in confessional affiliation), which has its own unique characteristics, and is often closely related to social or identity mobility and to the question of confessional identity as such.

The subject of the proposed research project will be the phenomena and processes accompanying or (co)constituting long-term social movements. Namely, most phenomena or processes studied within the framework of the proposed project span several centuries: some have their roots in the Middle Ages, others began to disappear in the 19th or 20th century. Tracing these processes over a longer period of time proves to be an indispensable methodological tool in gaining a deeper understanding of some of the key questions raised by such phenomena or processes.

The proposed project covers the period from about 1400 to the first few years after World War I and encompasses three thematic clusters, with the main focus on the first on. Each thematic cluster will prioritise problems and problem complexes that have proved highly deficient in previous attempts to describe individual periods, social groups, communities, and individuals.

The main objective of the proposed research project is to improve the quality and scope of the understanding of problems that are crucial for providing a comprehensive, synthetic account of the history of the Slovenian territory and have been identified as “blind spots” in Slovenian historiography. The project aims at a balanced interpretation of various periods, social segments, and the entirety of Slovenian territory, with special emphasis on border areas.

Project Stages

Cluster 1 – Substantive basis, legal status, education, and personal and social ties as a driving force for changes in social status and identity

Study 1: Social and identity mobility in light of the tax register for free estates – imenjska knjiga
Researchers (3): Bizjak, Seručnik, Kos.

Study 2: Progressive and regressive mobility of the nobility in Slovenian territory from the 15th to the 19th century
Researchers (5): Kosi, Preinfalk, Golec, Kos, Makuc.

Study 3: The social and identity mobility of two special categories of land-owning farmers from the 15th to the 19th century – “kosezi” and freemen
Sodelavci (2): Bizjak, Oset.

Study 4: Social and identity mobility in urban settlements with specific non-agrarian activities up to the 20th century
Researchers (1): Golec.

Study 5: Intellectuals in the registers of the Ljubljana Jesuit College in light of social and identity mobility
Researchers (1): Makuc.

Study 6: Social mobility and self-representation of high clergy members of common birth in Slovenian territory in the early modern period
Researchers (1): Žnidaršič Golec.


Cluster 2 – Confessional Mobility and Confessional Identity

Study 7 – Confessional and identity mobility of individuals and social groups in Slovenian territory during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation
Researchers (1): Žnidaršič Golec.

Study 8 – The multiconfessionalism of Prekmurje as a basis for the diversity of identities in the easternmost Slovenian region
Researchers (1): Vörös.

Study 9: Integration and adaptation of Eastern Christians and Muslims into Slovenian society from the 16th to the 19th century
Researchers (1): Golec.

Cluster 3 – WWI – A Catalyst for Social and Identity Mobility

Study 10: Demobilization and reconstruction after the war
Researchers (1): Svoljšak.

Study 11: The Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 and 1919 as a driving force for regressive and progressive social mobility
Researchers (1): Keber.

Study 12: The formal, legal termination of noble status in 1918 and 1919 and its consequences for the nobility in Slovenian territory
Researchers (1): Preinfalk.


Boris Golec, Posebnosti nastanka in razvoja fužinarskega trga Bela Peč. Kronika 2016, 64/3.
Boris Golec, Cerknica - pozni nastanek in specifični razvoj največjega slovenskega trga. Kronika 2018, 68/2.
Boris Golec, Vzpon in zaton Dienerspergov. Štajersko potomstvo Janeza Vajkarda Valvasorja v luči svojih genealoško-biografskih in spominskih zapisov (1278-1908). Ptuj, 2017.
Boris Golec, Trg Jesenice - od kdaj zakaj in ali res trg? Kronika, 2019, 67/1.
Boris Golec, Matevž Režen, pl. Segalla (1665-1722) - od podložniškega otroka s Sorškega polja do zgornjesavskega gospoda. Kronika 2016 64/3.
Boris Golec, Special types of self-government in towns and market towns in Slovenian territory from the end of the middle ages to the abolition of town and market town self-governments.
Boris Golec, Šentvid pri Stični - ugasli srednjeveški trg. Šentviško tisočletje. 1000 let Župnije Šentvid pri Stični. Šentvid pri Stični, 2017.
Boris Golec, Terezijanske reforme - gibalo sprememb občutka pripadnosti in povezanosti ter identitet v slovenskem prostoru. Marija Terezija med razsvetljenskimi reformami in zgodovinskim spominom.

Research Project

confessions (religion)
personal and social bonds
legal status
material situation
Slovenian territory
identity mobility
social mobility

Research Fields
Zgodovina in umetnost H003