Edna B. Denny

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




David Counts


C. E. Stortroen




In the traditional method of ethnology, field work in a Danish agricultural village was carried out by the candidate. On the basis of data obtained from the field wlork, the assumption is made that certain forms of behaviour have continued for at least several generations, that other forms of behaviour have changed in that time span, and that these conditions have existed and do exist within a changing social structure in a wider sense.

A comparison is drawn between periods defined as "the old days" and "modern times", according to the memory of residents of the village. Such comparison indicates change in some parts of the total social structure, as well as both change and continuity in behaviour.

To demonstrate the continuity of certain forms of behaviour, a specific event is described to which a generative model of transactional behaviour is applied. It is asserted: that the system of values on which the behaviour is based is related to land ownership and to bonds of kinship, friendship, and community; data are presented in the descriptive chapters in support of this statement.

On the theme of behavioural continuity and change within a changing social structure, two anthropological field studies are referred to and briefly related to the theoretical analysis and findings in the Danish village study.

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