Serbia imagined: what it means to be a contemporary ‘Serb’

Samardzija, A 2016, Serbia imagined: what it means to be a contemporary ‘Serb’, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Global, Urban and Social Sciences, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Serbia imagined: what it means to be a contemporary ‘Serb’
Author(s) Samardzija, A
Year 2016
Abstract In this thesis I analyse the contemporary Serbian national imaginary. Combining theories of nationalism and the social imaginary with fieldwork in Belgrade 2013 and 2014, I document and analyse the resurgence of Serb nationalism since the Yugoslav wars. Data suggests that there is a strong Serbian identification with an ethno-religious imaginary that asserts Serbs are a unique people who have achieved their long-held goal of national self-determination despite overwhelming historical obstacles. There is also an emphasis on 'inherited' markers that suggests Serbs are essentially a certain kind of people: those 'who do the good'. Their fundamental goodness translates into actions for the ‘right’ reasons. This way any self-perceived negative behaviour of Serbs is attributed to unfavourable circumstances. This imaginary rests within a significant sense of disappointment with the present state of Serbia in a context of declining living standards, widespread corruption and distrust of political elites. The post-Yugoslav civic project of European integration exemplified by the push for European Union (EU) membership of successive Serbian governments, has met with declining popular support and uncertainty. Despite some Serbs hoping for a powerful authority to 'clean up' Serbia and provide the means for a better future, they are deeply suspicious of EU integration and what it may mean for national integrity. I analyse these Serbian dilemmas in this thesis.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Global, Urban and Social Sciences
Subjects Race and Ethnic Relations
Keyword(s) Nationalism
National identity
Social imaginary
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Created: Thu, 06 Apr 2017, 10:59:18 EST by Adam Rivett
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