Reconstructions of Serbian National Identity in the Post-Yugoslav Era: A Thematic Survey
Keywords:Serbia, history, homogeneity, hybridity, identity, culture, ortodox, religion, nationalism
This paper surveys some of the challenges facing Serbia in reconstructing elements of its national identity following the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Unlike most of the other republics that comprised the federation, Serbia fought to maintain the Yugoslav federation, and so to that extent was the least nationalist of the republics at the beginning of the 1990s. However, as Yugoslavia disintegrated in that decade, Serbia was forced to reconstruct its identity in ways that reflected the unprecedented circumstances it was confronting. This paper explores elements of the ongoing process of Serbia’s identity-reconstruction since the 1990s, focussing on notions of hybridised national identity, the influence of historical tropes, and the tensions between cultural homogeneity and the subversive effects of globalisation on this identity. What emerges from this study is that contemporary Serbian national identity has consequently become a dynamic and evolving construct, and is continually being redefined as it responds to internal tensions and external pressures.
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