Reinhard Bodner/Margret Haider:
Mining and its Criticism. Their cultural Ambivalence in the Case of the Rock-Slips at the Eiblschrofen
The article deals - from an ethnological point of view - with the local population's perception of the rock-slips at the Eiblschrofen, which in 1999 caused the temporary evacuation of more than 250 inhabitants in the city of Schwaz. Up to the present day, scientists and engineers are still not certain whether the rock-slips were caused or influenced by the underground mining of dolomite in the Falkenstein district. For a majority of the city's population, however, from the very beginning there was no doubt that such a causal relation existed. Their demand for a definite stop of the mining activities was successful, although the miners themselves argued that the rock-slips had been caused by natural conditions and the mining activities in former centuries. The conflicting interests of both sides is analysed on the basis of archival studies, taking also into account the results of two series of interviews given by 55 representatives of the neighbourhood and 18 former employees. Particular attention is paid to the historical context, the social conditions and the cultural meaning of the conflict. By interpreting the accusation and the defence of mining activities as two opposite strategies existing at the same time, it becomes necessary for a cultural analysis of mining to understand its criticism, too, as a separate cultural effort.