Bilingual Carinthia tends to encompass the Jauntal, Rosental and Galital valleys. However this is too limited a definition. The legal definition pertains to the areas which are subject to the School Language Ordinance of 1945 and the area where elementary level language education was organised between 1945 and 1958. It is sometimes claimed that for the Carinthian Slovenes this area outlines their autochthonous territory. It covers 41 municipalities and three other municipalities mentioned in the legislation but not acted upon.
In the middle of the 19th century Southern Carinthia was a homogenous Slovene speaking area with the city of Klagenfurt being an centre of German-speakers. Within Carinthia two thirds of the population spoke German and the remaining third spoke Slovene. By 1880 the area north of Klagenfurt had been germanified whereas the rest of the area remained a compact area of 85,000 Slovene-speakers. By the end of the Hapsburg Empire in 1918 many of the Slovene-speakers in the industrial belt had relinquished the language. The lower part of the Galital, Rosental and Jauntal valleys were dissected by regions within which Slovene-speakers were a minority.
A recent telephone survey of 1,000 respondents indicates that there are 40,000 Slovene-speakers in Carinthia. Of these 14,500 claimed to speak the language habitually as enquired in the 1991 census. Five thousand vote for the Slovenian political party, and readership of the main Slovene language publications is about 4,000. This suggests diminishing levels of involvement ranging from acknowledged language ability to high level of activity and involvement which stand at somewhere between 5,000 and 8,000. A second enquiry undertaken through the estimations given by the Catholic priests within the region suggested that as many as 50,000 understand the language, with 33,000 speaking it on a fairly regular basis. The area of highest density of speakers is to the south east of a line between Klagenfurt and Vilach.
In 1910 a total of 66,463 spoke Slovene, this number almost being halved by 1923, increasing to 43,179 in 1939, a figure which held until 1951. Thereafter there has been considerable decline to 24,911 in 1961 and to 14,850 in 1991 mainly as a consequence of out-migration and the impact of negative identity upon reproduction. This later process appears to have declined in recent years.
As recently as 1950 two-thirds of thepopulation of Carinthia was engaged in agriculture, and linked to the co-operative movement.The subsequent economic restructuring has resulted in a relatively high level of unemployment which varies seasonally, high emphasis upon the service sector, and firms which tend to consist mainly of SMEs with very few large employers.
Currently there are about 7,000 enterprises in Carinthia employing about 200,000 workers. Thus language related labour market segmentation has a significant impact.
About 13% of the work force is employed in the manufacturing sector, less that 1.5% in agriculture, forestry and fishing; and between them news providers, the health and social services, retail workers, energy providers and management within the service sector account for about 50% of employment. The unemployment rate in the region currently stands at 7.9% which compares with the rate of 4.2% for the entire Austrian labour force. This is partly the consequence of 1,000 or so becoming unemployed through recent changes in the political-economic relations with Slovenia. It is the region with the second lowest rate of economic growth of the Austrian regions while also having an extremely high rate of out-migration, mainly involving the highly qualified.
The Slovene language group tends to be older than might be expected within a normative production/reproduction context. It is, of course, demonstrative both of past contexts and present difficulties. Also there is a higher incidence of the Slovene language group employed in agriculture and forestry, a comparative tendency not to be employed in the information service occupations; and among women, but to be more prominent in the personal and social services. In Klagenfurt the higher incidence of German-speakers in the tertiary sector is reversed, with three of every four male Slovene speaker being thus employed compared with less than two of every three non-Slovene speaker. The difference is visible among women but not to the same extent. A more detailed analysis suggests that the focus here is upon the personal and social services. This is partly a manifestation of the way in which language segments the labour market.
The independent Dukedom of Carinthia was established in the 6th century and remains the symbolic source of any aspiration for Slovene independence. It was integrated with the Frank Empire in 828 in a process which replaced the Slovene leadership with a Bavarian-Frankish leadership. By the end of the 9th century the initial autonomy disappeared and Carinthia was absorbed into the Frank feudal system. It was at this time that the first texts were published in Slovene. In 1335 the territory was absorbed into the Hapsburg Empire which absorbed all of the territory occupied by the Slovenes. The area was constantly drawn into the conflict between the Hapsburgs and the Turks.
The first religious Slavonic language publication was a Catechism which appeared in 1550. The Bible was translated into Slovene in 1584. This was a period during which attempts were made to promote the Lutheran religion in the area. This failed and the region has remained staunchly Catholic. It was also the time when the Easter Passion Plays enacted in Slovene began to be performed.
The spread of rationalism within the emergence of the modern European state during the 18th century engulfed the Slovenes leading to an interest in the 'scientific' promotion of Slovene culture, focusing primarily upon literature. The neighbouring nationalist movement involving the work of Mazini in Italy and Kosuth in Hungary attracted much interest in the area and fuelled a significant independence movement which argued for the emergence of an independent Slovene state. The language was codified and standardised as a feature of the link between the drive for literacy and the rationalism of modernism. The overlap between language and 'people' led to an argument that the Slovene-speakers of Carinthia were part of the Slavonic 'folk' and as such were part of the wider kinship of pan-Slavism. This was also the time when the first Slovene medium education system was established, mainly under the auspices of the Catholic Church which incorporated Slovene nationalism. In some respects this period is regarded as the 'golden age' during which Klagenfurt became the cultural centre of all Slovenes. Central in this respect was the founding of the 'St Hemagoras' brotherhood which, since the middle of the 19th century, has played an important role in Slovene language publishing. Nationalism was constructed out of culture and a range of cultural circles were established, organising theatrical, dance and choral activities, while the overlap of democracy and nationalism led to the idea of a relationship between the rational citizen electing the state government which governed her/him, this being the cornerstone of the drive for statehood among Slovene-speakers.
Under the Hapsburgs all Slovenes were subject to the same political system. Following the First World war the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes which was later to become Yugoslavia was established, part of the territory occupied by Slovene-speakers being assigned to Austria. This was the consequence of careful manipulation by the victorious powers in the First World War. Immediately after the war there were a series of confrontations within the region and the establishment of a Carinthian movement for 'self-defence'. In 1920 a plebiscite was held in Carinthia to determine whether or not the region should belong to Austria or to the Kingdom. This was a consequence of the inability of the conquering powers to reach agreement at the Paris conference about the precise location of the frontier between the two political entities. Among the population of Carinthia 59% voted in favour of remaining part of Austria. However the rights which the Slovene-speakers had enjoyed under the Hapsburgs were curtailed or abolished and those which derived from the Treaty of St Germain replaced them.
The emergent germanicism and the associated nationalism coincided with this development. Bilingual place-names were suppressed, Slovene language meetings were prohibited and those who advocated union with the Kingdom in the plebiscite were abused and even obliged to emigrate. This gave free reign to the opposing organisation the Kartner Heimatbund or the Carinthian Patriotic League which overlapped with the emerging Nazi nationalism. The period between 1925 and 1930 was one of considerable debate concerning cultural autonomy that focused upon the regional government. In 1922 these authorities had prohibited reopening two private Slovene language schools and bilingual schools established under the Hapsburgs were closed. Slovene as a language of instruction was abolished by 1936 and political and economic associations were banned. However cultural activities remained, and in 1927 there were 46 Slovene cultural associations in Carinthia as well as 36 cultural circles, 26 choirs, 11 musical groups using Slovene traditional instruments and 14 Slovene youth groups. The limited degree of autonomy which the Slovenes were given during this period was accompanied by an insistence upon registering all members of the language group!
In 1938 Austria was annexed to the Third Reich. The safeguards of the St Germain Treaty were abolished and many Slovenes were persecuted. The census of Slovene-speakers undertaken in 1939 revealed a higher figure than hitherto and was used as a means of identifying whom to persecute. With the invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941 all Slovene organisations were prohibited and deportation began in the following year. The 'line of blood' between the Germans and the Slavs had been drawn. All written use of Slovene was prohibited, all bilingual schools were closed, even though the teachers knew little Slovene, any display of Slovene culture was prohibited and thirteen cultural centres were destroyed. Germanification became the predominant theme in the nursery schools.
It is hardly surprising that the Slovenes played an active role in the resistance. This overlapped with an involvement with the Yugoslav Partisan movement and with the goals of socialism. Following the Second World war the 'blood line' between Germans and Slavs was replaced by the establishment of a bulwark against Communism. The British occupying forces remained in the region until 1955. During that time they established a policy of 'defending the west' against Communism. It was in effect a stand against the Resistance Movement, many of whom were Slovene-speakers and whom had fought side by side with the Yugoslav Partisans. As Slovene nationalists the Conservatives and the Socialists found no contradiction in joining with the Partisan movement and both socialism and Catholicism were introduced into their schools. In 1945 there was only a single Slovene Association in the region. Despite the anti Stalinist position of Yugoslavia the British occupying forces placed more importance upon fighting Communism than upon undoing the thrust of Nazi nationalism. To this end the media which was used for explicit propaganda, broadcasting in Slovene and publishing a Slovene language journal while refusing permission the Slovene nationalists to do the same. Members of the resistance movement were not allowed to use these media as a basis for discussion of regional affairs. In response Yugoslavia recognised the bulwark and explicitly stated that it would relinquish any claim to Carinthia if Austria was to accommodate Socialism but would continue to do so if this was not the case. The Slovene-speakers of Carinthia once again became a political football between diametrically opposed ideologies. British involvement was such that the British editor of the Slovene language publication was removed from his position for being too involved in regional matters - he had married a Slovene speaker!Their interference in local affairs was largely responsible for the splitting of the unified Slovene movement into polarised camps. Despite the willingness to present the referendum on state affiliation the occupying forces had no intention of permitting any change in the pre-war political frontier. At the same time, and with the same ideological thrust, bilingual schools were established in 62 local authority areas,a move which engendered considerable resistance among many. The debate about whether or not Carinthia should be part of Yugoslavia or Austria was reopened. The goal of the occupying forces was one of separating the language from a specific ideological commitment, be it nationalist or socialist or both. The end result was the development of two distinctive factions of Slovene-speakers out of a united movement.
What is clear is that these events during the 20th century have left a legacy of strong undercurrents of opposition between Germanicism and Slavism. It is true that they are rarely represented as such and that there are other objects which colour the process of subject construction. Nonetheless it is far too simplistic to disregard these historical discursive interventions and the effects which they have upon the struggle over the normative as it pertains to the respective languages and language groups.
The Slovene language group, in common with other 'ethnic' groups in Austria is subject to the constitutional law which derives from the Treaty of St. Germain. Three Articles of that treaty are most relevant: Article 66 which conveys equal rights and includes reference to language use by context. Article 67 which guaranteed legal equality and the right to establish private schools where any language may be used and any religion preached. Article 68 which affords public primary education through the medium of the minority language.The Treaty also guaranteed linguistic and other minorities which represented a considerable proportion of the regional population a share of public funds for education, religion and charity.
In 1955 the Austrian State Treaty was implemented. Article 7 states that Slovenes in Carinthia have the right to have their own organisations, press and public meetings in Slovene; to receive primary level education in Slovene and a modicum of secondary level education in that language as well as their own Inspectorate of Education. Slovene was to be treated as an official language in Carinthia, bilingual road signs could be erected, and would have a role in thecultural, administrative and juridical systems. Anti Slovene organisations were outlawed.
The Ethnic Groups Act of 1976 established Ethnic Advisory Councils which act as consultative authorities and can submit proposals to the Federal government as well as the regional government. They also play a role in the funding of the groups to which the Act pertains. These Councils consist of a 50% representation consisting of appointees of the representative organisation of the ethnic group, and the other 50% by the political parties or the church respectively, providing they are members of the ethnic group. The advisory board of the Federal Chancellery thus consists of the Catholic Church, the political parties at the state level which have seats in the regional parliament and the two Slovene groups - ZSO and NSKS. Its function is merely consultative.
The Federal Chancellery funds Slovene activities to the tune of about three quarters of a million ECU, which is only half of the level of support given by the Slovene government.
The original intention of bilingual education in the region from the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was to facilitate the teaching of children through the medium of the state language.Prior to the law of 1869 which permitted the population of the Empire to use their own language in education, the Church was the main provider of education and ran 28 schools in southern Carinthia alone, mainly through the medium of Slovene. In 1891 the Carinthian authorities established the 'utraquistic' schools in which the initial two years were taught through the medium of both German and Slovene, with third level education in Slovene being available for three hours a week. The learning of Slovene was optional. In 1920 the language was taught only as a second language. When Austria was annexed to the Third Reich in 1938 all minority language teaching was abolished. In 1945 it was reintroduced, being compulsory in 107 schools in the Slovene area, all primary school subjects were taught simultaneously in German and Slovene, with all children to learn both languages in school if nowhere else. Thereafter German was the sole medium of instruction and Slovene was only taught as a subject. In 1958 as a consequence of pressure by non-Slovene-speakers even this limited concession was rescinded and thereafter parents had to opt into Slovene language education at the primary level. As a consequence 10,000 out of 12,700 children relinquished bilingual education, over half of them being mother tongue Slovene-speakers. Only about 20% of the children in the region attended bilingual primary school classes. Of late this figure has increased to about 25%.
Kindergarten education which is optional is not provided by the state through the medium of Slovene although it is provided by all three state levels through the medium of German. Within Carinthia there are five such bilingual kindergartens, the first to be established being private, while two further municipalities have expressed the intention of providing this service. Two of these are in Klagenfurt and the other three in one or other of the surrounding villages. They are subsidised from state resources specifically designated for minorities. However, faced with the limited provision some have sought to establish independent service provision. Staff are trained at the upper secondary level within a structure which includes an optional Slovene language set of courses.
In 1988 an amendment to the Education Act was passed which provided for separate bilingual and monolingual classes at the primary level while retaining access to bilingual education for non-Slovene-speakers if the parents opt in. If the number of children seeking provision is insufficient to justify separate classes a mixed class is to be established, with a second teacher entering the class for between 10 and 14 hours weekly. This has had a profound impact upon the exposure to Slovene medium education for the population of Carinthia. It means that there are 81 primary schools within the bilingual area which provide the service, together with two further schools in Klagenfurt, one of which is privately run. During 1996/97 a total of 1,427 pupils attended bilingual classes in 64 of these schools, comprising 25% of the pupils in the area. In Klagenfurt the two schools catered for a further 102 pupils. Beyond this there were 156 children who registered for learning Slovenian as a subject without formal assessment.
From the third grade onwards a modern foreign language must be included in the curriculum. This is mainly English. However in the bilingual schools Slovene becomes part of the core curriculum. In such schools the rest of the curriculum during the first three years is meant to be taught by using both German and Slovene to the same extent. In practice Slovene tends to be used less than German, this depending upon the ability of the children, the commitment of the teachers, and the involvement of parents. In the fourth year German becomes the sole medium of instruction and Slovene is taught as a subject only.
The recent increase in demand for bilingual education at the primary level, together with the decrease in the degree of family based reproduction means that the issue of immersion education arises. Textbooks tend to be premised on the idea of a homogenous audience which is fluent in the language prior to entry. Individuals have sought to develop new materials with varying degrees of success.
At the Secondary level provision exists for children aged 10 to 19. This involves streaming into the general secondary school which caters for about 70% of entry and the academic secondary school which caters for the remainder. Whereas the legal system does provide for the possibility of bilingual general secondary school education with Slovene used as a medium of instruction, the language is only taught as a subject. This can be achieved by demanding it, by choosing it in preference to English where it is offered, or by opting to take it as an optional additional subject. Given the low level of uptake the tendency is for all categories of students to be taught together, this extending at times to teaching across age group and educational levels. Only 298 pupils or 5.3% of the total attend such classes. The switch between primary and secondary level is alarming.
Within the academic secondary school stream only one school, founded in 1957 and located in Klagenfurt, provides Slovene medium instruction. Since then about 3,000 pupils have attended the school. During 1996/97, 459 pupils were enrolled, being taught by 50 teachers. In some other academic secondary schools it is possible to choose Slovenian as a core subject and during the same year 101 pupils chose this option while a further 235 pupils opted for Slovene as an optional additional subject.
Again at this level there is a paucity of adequate teaching materials. Despite the legal responsibility on the state to subsidise schoolbook provision the situation is such that often German language books are used. Publishers and authors are sometimes reluctant to enter a non-profit making market. Where Slovene language texts are available they are often outdated because of the relatively low consumption level. Some co-operation with the Slovene state has existed since 1990 but curricular differences tend to be a stumbling block.
Vocational training through the medium of Slovene is restricted to agriculture and home economics, but some of the enterprises which use Slovene as the language of work do participate in apprenticeship schemes. In 1990 a higher bilingual secondary college for commerce was founded in Klagenfurt providing for education at the post 14 level. Both German and Slovene serve as media of instruction. During 1996/97 the school had an enrolment of 143. There is also private, bilingual, church run vocational school in St Peter providing vocational training for tourism and similar subjects. This had an enrolment of 126 pupils in 1996/97.
At higher educational level Slovene can be studied as a subject for Slovene philology at Klagenfurt, Vienna and Graz, teacher training, interpretation and translation, the later two at Graz only. Within teacher training it is sometimes claimed that experience and knowledge of immersion teaching methods is inadequate. On the other hand teachers working with bilingual classes must pass a special examination and prove their knowledge of the language, culture and literature as well as the didactics and methodology of Slovene language and bilingual teaching. In service training is carried out on a voluntary basis.
Adult education is left to the voluntary sector. In this respect there is a considerable provision but a range of agencies which have a long standing involvement in this field. The two cultural organisations organise courses and cultural activities conducted through the medium of Slovene. These include management courses and courses which aim to promote local and regional entrepreneurial activities. They also include Slovene language courses for adults.
A number of difficulties pertain to educational provision in Slovene:
i. Opting in v opting out: In 1958 the prior obligatory bilingual education yielded to a situation where Slovene-German bilingual education had to be requested.
ii. The inability to serve as an agency of production: The limitation of kindergarten provision and, at times, the limited ability of teachers to accommodate immersion methods, means that the achievement levels of children who lack family and community support structures is limited. This problem is intensifying with as many as half of the school entrants to the bilingual schools having no knowledge of Slovene, a further 20% only a passive knowledge, and the remaining 30% being mother tongue speakers of the language.
ii. Inaccessibility: The concentration of the Slovene education beyond the primary level in Klagenfurt means that it is not possible for most Slovene-speakers to access this provision other than by boarding. This can be expensive and also isolates the child from the family for much of the year. It means that they bypass their own local schools to take their children over considerable distance to board for the week. Thus the right to education is available only when accompanied by specific sacrifice on the part of the parents.
iv. Supply and demand: The argument often used by reference to this issue is that demand is insufficient to create a more accessible provision structure. This not only avoids the search for alternative provision possibilities but also ignores the fact that demand is structured by the lack of supply. Parents who begin their children on a bilingual educational career are obliged to confront the difficulties they will encounter at the secondary level when making this decision.
The Carinthia Diocese Synod sponsored a conference on language group relations in 1972 and, to an extent, this became the basis for subsequent policy. One of the outcomes was the establishment of the Carinthian Catholic Adult Education Institute which sought to deploy educational activities as a means of the entry of Slovene into public life. Slovene language courses are offered and working papers relevant to adult education are translated into Slovene. It also seeks to insure that materials and publicity are available bilingually.
The major problem here pertains to the related issues of rights and enablement on the one hand, and legitimisation and institutionalisation on the other. The implementation of legal requirements at the local level is problematic. In many locations the infrastructure to cope with the implementation of these rights is not in place. It means that materials have to be translated, leading to delay and inconvenience. This in turn means that exercising the right demands considerable perseverance and self confidence and a staunch unwillingness to take the easy route of opting for a German language service. This is complicated by the tendency to resort to translation as a solution for the demand rather than insuring that service provision can cope with the demand. That is, no serious attempt is made to insure that enablement accompanies rights. A trained lawyer appointed to safeguarded the interests of Slovene-speakers is obliged to resort to translation in order to insure that these rights are preserved!
An appeal process exists. It involves the Volksgruppen Buro, established in 1972, which can offer legal support and can place pressure on the offending institution. In 1990 it was reinstituted giving it greater status but no more power. Appeal to the Constitutional Court means that the appellant must employ a legal representative. If the complaint does not pertain to the letter to the law but to the manner in which it is applied the appellant can appeal to the Ombudsman who can order an enquiry but no more. They have authority but no power.
Consequently, the relationship between legitimisation and institutionalisation is weak. The solution is seen as expecting the cultural groups to inform their members of their rights. There are as many as 80 state institutions where the right can be exercised but they rarely advertise their obligation. The institutions which use Slovene as a public display are few in number. However, at the local level most people have an intimate knowledge of their neighbours, including their extent of language ability, and it is this information which guides practice. Furthermore the Slovene newspapers often report about the success of Slovene-speakers in certain offices. It is this knowledge and not legitimation that structures institutionalisation. Whereas the goal of legislation and legitimation is to generate change it will not be effective without reference to some process of implementation which leads to institutionalisation. Rights have to be enabled and not merely granted.
Slovene is used in the three media contexts - radio, television and print media, but its use in broadcasting is limited to a daily radio broadcast of 50 minutes and a weekly 30 minute television broadcast. Some locations can receive broadcasts from Slovenia via cable in the Klagenfurt and Vilach areas, and both the Austrian Broadcasting authorities and the state resist extending this service. The current movement of Slovenian state broadcasting to a satellite platform will extend to Carinthia but decoders will be necessary. The relatively small audience for Slovene language programmes limits commercial possibilities, at least until integration with the potential audience in Slovenia. Broadcasting deregulation led to applications by a bilingual broadcasting group but was rejected on the grounds that it was insufficiently representative. This decision was reversed upon appeal but led to strong protest in the German language press. At the moment one of the two local stations intends to broadcast in Slovene but seek 1.2 MECU to begin the service.
As many as 50,000 listeners are claimed for radio, many attracted by the music content. Radio programmes involve about 15-20 minutes of news items most of which pertains to the minority identity, magazine items concerning culture, Slovene institutions, children's programmes and music as well as items of personal and local interest.
A thirty minute television programme is transmitted during the early afternoon on Sundays to between 12,000 and 14,000 viewers; the comparatively low figure partly being accounted for by the asocial transmission time. Experiments are currently taking place to modify and extend the transmission time but expense eliminates the most obvious solutions of voice over or sub titling. The content of the television programme focuses upon minority issues as follows - local politics (49%), local events (5%), local sports (10%), European affairs (11%), local music and cultural features (23%), education (2%), and regional items (1%). Its target is the family and people who are highly concerned about how they are represented. This conditions the conservative nature of the programme.
Since 1960, newspaper content has shifted to minority issues as much as 75% of the contents pertain to the region with a focus upon information about events and activities and information about individuals. Three stand out - Nedelja which first appeared in 1926, Slovenski Vestnik dating from 1946 being the publicity organ of the Liberation Front between that date and 1955 before becoming the main publicity medium of the ZSO; and the Nas Tednik controlled by the National Council of Carinthia Slovenes since 1949. The last two have a circulation of about 3,000 each. The church weekly - Nedelja has a circulation of 3,500. It started as a strictly religious publication before becoming a more secular organ and is very popular with young. Most people read all the later three.
Other publications include a general leisure publication - Druzina in dom which appears monthly with a circulation of about 1,500 and Celevoski zvon a diverse intellectual magazine published quarterly with a circulation of 1,200. Both are published by the Hermagoras publishing house in Klagenfurt which extends its operation to include a student's college, a private elementary school, a bookshop and other cultural initiatives.
About sixty Slovene language books are published annually within Carinthia selling an estimated 120,000 copies. Half of these are published by the Hermagoras Verlag, consisting mainly of school books and children's books. They have an outlet in Ljublijana to market their books and also an arrangement with outlets in Trieste. They draw upon the popularity of Austrian television in Slovenia in producing and selling related materials in that country. The finance for many of these activities derives from the Austrian or Slovene state. The latter finance three titles for Hermagoras alone, while the school books are underwritten by the Austrian state. The later are obliged to last for ten years which means that there is a danger of being out of date by reference to curricular and pedagogic changes. Only 300 are printed annually for the Volkschule and 50 per year for the Gymnasium. For the more general books the maximum sale is of the order of 5,000 copies. There is a limited amount of music production at the commercial level with CDsS expecting to sell about 2,000 copies each.
Cultural activities are closely aligned with political and community based activities - see below.
An extensive network of banks and credit and commodity co-operatives that play a crucial role for the language group has existed since 1872. It is the oldest co-operative credit institution in Austria. Originally it was part of the broader Slovene region, but after the founding of the 1920 frontier it developed separately, with the southern region being modified within the different political systems that emerged. It now has thirty branches in southern Carinthia, a balance of 6 billion schillings (c. 430 MECU), a turnover of 300 million (c. 21 MECU). It operates at three levels: the local level where the seven Posojilnica banks with seventeen branches overlap with the activities of the co-operatives and warehouses; the regional level through the banks' centre in Klagenfurt, the Zveza Bank; and at the state and international level through membership of the Vienna based Raiffeisen Group.The bank served as the umbrella institutions for seven credit co-operatives with 17 branches, six commodity co-operatives with eight branches and one cattle breeding co-operative. The bank itself was established in 1921 after the establishment of the new frontier.Its main business activities are in the bilingual area of Carinthia, Slovenia, Croatia and northern Italy.
The Zadruga markets, or commodity co-operatives, offer a range of high-quality products to their members. They have extended from agricultural production to include department stores offering a wide range of commodities., technical workshops, agricultural machinery sales and local agricultural produce. The reorganisation of the Slovenian commodity sector began in 1992 and was completed by 1995. The bank now offers credit to Slovenian entrepreneurs against Slovene bank guarantees. In some of the border areas the weakening of the frontier means that Slovenes are integrated into the local co-operatives. As a Slovene language institutions it has an advantage over its competitors.
The structure belongs to the language group and employs its members. Slovene is the language of work for the 300 or so employees while the bank uses whichever language its customers want to use. Its multi-layered activities serves as a strong integrating force while also having a multiplier effect beyond the direct activities. It sponsors Slovene language cultural and sporting activities, and is extremely important for the integration of the group around economic activity while guaranteeing the solvency and economic security of group members who use it. As we shall explain below it is also important by reference to language prestige.
Linked to this structure is a community development enterprise established in 1988 - Slovenska Gospodarska Zveza. It is a non-profit, apolitical organisation, with about 200 members. It represents over 70 companies which between them employ 2,000 people. All members must be Slovene-speakers but non-speakers can help the enterprise and they, in turn, will offer their services to anyone regardless of language. Its promotes Slovene language group companies within the regional business structure, helps its members to obtain subsidies, develops entrepreneurialism through the Slovene language, offers business and management training through the medium of Slovene, provides investment advice in the language, and promotes business literature through the medium of Slovene. It also helps to establish companies and to network existing companies. In this respect it seeks to broker between the local region and Slovenia.
Language prestige is fairly high by reference to the language group. However this has to be seen in two contexts. The fact that there might well be in excess of 4,000 jobs within the region which carry a Slovene language qualification is of considerable significance for a group of about 40,000 speakers of whom perhaps 16,000 might be in employment. On the other hand it is too small a number to have any significant effect on the segmentation of the regional labour market to the extent that it will have a widespread reaction, either positive or negative, on non-speakers. It is one thing to discuss local labour markets and their segmentation, but it is of less significance if the structures such as education that support labour market activity are organised at the regional level. Nonetheless this prestige, together with the relatively closed economic integration of the group, means that both the security of the individual and the potential for social mobility is closely linked to the language.
It is only possible to make general statements about language use from the available evidence. There is a hard core of activists who are sustaining language use around a fairly coherent and institutionalised structure of agencies. There is also a body of perhaps as many as 35,000 speakers who do not have the same commitment and whose level of ability varies considerably. On the other hand there is also evidence that the damaging negative identity is receding and that the prestige of the language is increasing and with it a recognition of the value of the language.
Within the core group Slovene remains the language of the family. In the community there is considerable difference from one location to another. The opportunity to use Slovene remains but there is a decreasing obligation for non-speakers to learn the language in order to be incorporated into village affairs. That is, the community is losing its production capacity. Nonetheless specific institutions remain aligned with the language and remain as the focus of community based interactive activity.
There is indication that language group exogamy is increasing because of the high out-migration, and the low level of language use in the family associated with negative identity in the past and it effect upon reproduction. In-migration seems to focus upon language group exogamy involving partners from outside the region, involving half of the marriages in the area. In some cases the Slovene speaking partner will use the language in the family whereas this was not the case in the preceding generation.
The distinction between culture and politics is often blurred. The Slowenischer Kulturverband (SPZ): a grassroots cultural movement has an elected representation on the advisory board of the Federal Chancellery and tends to be seen as the cultural wing of the Zentralverband slowenischer Organisationen in Kartnen (ZSO); while the Christlicher Kulturverband (KKZ) tends to be associated with the political Rat der Kartner Slowenen (NSKS). The difference between SPZ and KKZ derives from the political climate following the second World war. The ZSO was founded under the auspices and with the support of the Communist government in Yugoslavia, while NSKS is the inheritor of the strongly Catholic Carinthian tradition. In more recent years this ideological polarisation has diminished partly because the issue of whether or not Austria is a part of a German nation is dormant. The alliance of Austria and Germany immediately prior to the second world war led to the intensification of viewing the Slovenes as deviants from the Aryan norm, this leading to the deportation of many Slovenes and the prohibition of their institutions. The ZSO has moved closer to the Austrian Social Democratic Party but has members with links to the Green Party. The NSKS has advocated an autonomous voice for Carinthian Slovenes while establishing links with parties from the Conservative end of the political spectrum. In this respect the opposition revolves around different nationalisms, one aligned with state nationalism and the other with autonomous nationalism.
Both the SPZ and KKZ promote cultural activities at the local level. The KKZ recognises the need for the community to play a reproduction role at a time when the family is rapidly failing to play such a role, whereas the SPZ places emphasis upon political representation and promotion. Both press for increased educational facilities for the production and reproduction of the language and claim that without a specific support structure at the community level production becomes an impossibility. Polarisation is receding but tends to be institutionalised at the family and community level. Both promote similar activities at the village level - theatre, choirs, puppet shows etc. These local groups operate independently by reference to KKZ which only operates if invited to. KKZ organises exchanges with Slovenia, including summer schools.
The Slovene Sports Association (SSZ) is the umbrella organisation for 21 different sports clubs. The most important of these is the relatively successful soccer team - Slowenische Athletikklub located in Klagenfurt and the Zahomec, Dob and St. Janz clubs.
Those who argue for a uniform political platform on behalf of the language group organise themselves into what is called the 'Unity List' and in 1991 won fifty seats at the local level with a total of 5,074 votes. They also seek similar representation through strategic voting within the regional Chambers of Commerce. At the regional level they are insufficiently numerous to win representation.
In many respects it can be claimed that Slovene nationalism was a creation of the Catholic Church. It is estimated that about a quarter of the 95% of the population of Southern Carinthia that is Catholic attend the Church on a weekly basis but secularisation is also in progress. Carinthia is a single Diocese with the relevant pastoral responsibilities. Outside of southern Carinthia the German influence is strong but defers to the Slovene language in the south, partly because of the importance of the Church in this area and the extent to which language and religion are intertwined. On the other hand within the Church hierarchy ascendancy to the highest positions has evaded Slovene speaking candidates. Within the general ecclesiastical structure there is a degree of autonomy for the Bishopric by reference to Slovene-speakers, giving a loose parallel structure within the organisation. Whereas on the surface the Church preaches the theme of 'peaceful coexistence' between the two language groups it is evident that there are differing degrees of militancy by reference to each group within the Church. In about 80% of the parishes both German and Slovene are used side by side in all activities whereas in the remaining 20% there is a tendency to separate the relationship between the two languages. There is reluctance to exclude Slovene from religious practice and the main trend is towards bilingualism. Masses are conducted in both languages within the same mass and it is felt that singing must be conducted in Slovene.
Singing is a core activity with choirs of different age groups being organised by the Church. Theatre activities also prevail. These and other activities overlap with the cultural work of the SPZ. Its activities extends to formal education where they assume responsibility for the teaching of religion. Their policy here is to insist that the relevant teachers must have a knowledge of the history and of inter-cultural relations and that all teachers should be able to teach prayers and songs in Slovene. For the priests operating in southern Carinthia Slovene is more than a regional phenomenon and relates to the wide Slovenian context which is regarded as a cultural area with its own literary culture and tradition expressed through the medium of Slovene. Priests are active in promoting links with the Italian Slovene language group.
There is close contact between the Slovenian state and the language group in Carinthia, links that have tended to relate to the office for foreign relations located in Ljubljana. These links are increasingly being channelled through Vienna. There are also long standing cultural links between the two populations and the focus of many cultural activities continues to be thus aligned.
There is increasing involvement with what is referred to as Alpe-Adria, a region which incorporates six states - Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bavaria and Hungary. Included are the Slovenes of Italy which have close links focusing upon cultural exchange, mainly through the Church, with the language group. There are broader links within this conception, links which at times bring both the Slovene- and non-Slovene-speakers from Carinthia together in trans-regional interaction. There has also been a considerable emigration from the region, mainly to the USA. Thus the Slovene population of Cleveland, Ohio is only one of several such clusters. These relationships tend to be on an informal and familial basis.
The Slovenes in Austria are a relatively small numerical group which has a strong institutional structure. Members of the group interact within very close social networks with a high degree of multiplexity which relates to a highly relevant institutional and organisational structure involving cultural and economic contexts which affords high prestige to the language group.
There is an increasing tendency towards language group exogamy and the need to produce rather than reproduce the language. Despite the high degree of legitimation it is not transferred into institutionalisation. Neither does it operate in such a way that production is guaranteed. As a consequence the group is in a delicate position, having a fairly strong support structure related to a reproduction context, but facing a rapid restructuring context deriving from the negative identity which is quickly reversed, and being unable to generate the support structures necessary to iensure an effective production process.