Hopes and Visions: Business, Culture and Capacity for Imagining Local Future in Southeast Serbia

  • Ildiko Erdei Odeljenje za etnologiju i antropologiju Filozofski fakultet Univerzitet u Beogradu
Keywords:
Knjaževac, regional inequality, local development, economy and culture, hope

Abstract

Knjaževac and its surroundings represent a local region that shares the destiny of the ‘global south’. The inhabitants perceive the region as neglected and forgotten by the state and political structures from the Belgrade ‘center’, claiming that Knjaževac is one of the poorest and most underdeveloped regions in Serbia. Nevertheless, in the last couple of years some fresh business and social development projects have been initiated, which has opened up prospects for imagining a new future for the local community. The aim of the paper will be to present the current state of affairs in the domain of economic development in the region and to point to the cultural dimension of that process. Following Appadurai, I argue that economic development can not be accomplished without the capacity to imagine the future, and this capacity, in turn, gets stronger as development plans gain their real effects. I will try to show how new business actors use common traditional cultural forms, such as belief in the skills and the power of fortunetellers, in imagining and legitimating a sense of self. I will also point to the other ways of evocation and "capturing" of the orientation toward future, as "project-oriented" thinking and acting of the local NGO, and "visionary" capacity reated to civic activism.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Appadurai, Arjun. 1996. Modernity at Large, Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press.

Appadurai, Arjun. 2004. The Capacity to Aspire: Culture and the Terms of Recognition. In: Culture and Public Action, eds. Rao Vijayendra and Walton Michael, 59-84. Stanford University Press.

Crapanzano, Vincent. 2003. Reflections on Hope as a Category of Social and Psychological Analysis. Cultural Anthropology 18(1): 3-32.

Douglas, Mary and Isherwood, Baron. 1979. The World of Goods: Towards an Anthropology of Consumption. London and New York: Routledge.

Erdei, Ildiko. 2004. “The Happy Child” as an Icon of Socialist Transformation: Yugoslavia’s Pioneer Organization. In: Ideologies and National Identities, The Case of Twentieth-Century Southeastern Europe eds. John Lampe and Mark Mazower, 154-179. Budapest, New York: CEU Press.

Erdei, Ildiko. 2007. It Takes Two to Tango: Encounters of „East“ and „West“ in Everyday Economies in Postsocialist Serbia. In: Places of Encounter, In memoriam Borut Bruman, eds. Rajko Muršič, Jaka Repič, 151-168. Ljubljana: Zupanjčeva knjižnica.

Hann, Chris. 2005. Postsocialist societies. In: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, ed.Carrier, James. Cheltenham, UK – Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar.

Kazimirović, Radovan. 1989 (1940). Tajanstvene pojave u našem narodu. Beograd: Novo delo.

Kovačević, Ivan. 2005. Iz etnologije u antropologiju (Srpska etnologija u poslednje tri decenije 1975-2005). In: Etnologija i antropologija: stanje i perspektive, Zbornik EI SANU 21, ur. Dragana Radojičić, 11-19. Beograd: SANU.

Meyer, Iris. 2008. Hope as the Conscious Action toward an Open Future. In: Hope: Probing the Boundaries (Papers presented at the Second Global Conference on Hope), eds. Rochelle Green and Janet Orrigan, 99-116. Oxford, UK: Interdisciplinary Press.

Miller, Daniel. 1995. Worlds Apart – Modernity Through the Prism of the Local. London and New York: Routledge.

Miyazaki, Hirokazu. 2006. Economy of Dreams: Hope in Global Capitalism and Its Critique. Cultural Anthropology 21(21): 147-172.

Naumović, Slobodan. 1997. The „Double Insider Syndrome“ or: Is Romanticist Heritage the Primary Source of Ideologized Discourses in Balkan Ethnology. U: Zbornik Filozofskog fakulteta XIX, Spomenica Mirka Barjaktarovića, 319-351. Beograd: Beogradski univerzitet.

Naumović, Slobodan. 1998. Romanticists or Double Insiders? An Essay on the Origins of Ideologised Discourses in Balkan Ethnology. Ethnologia Balcanica 2: 101-120.

Naumović, Slobodan. 2005. Nacionalizacija nacionalne nauke? Politika etnologije/antropologije u Srbiji i Hrvatskoj tokom prve polovine devedesetih godina dvadesetog veka. U: Problemi kulturnog identiteta stanovništva savremene Srbije, ur. Senka Kovač, 17-60. Beograd: Odeljenje za etnologiju i antropologiju, Filozofski fakultet.

Radulović, Lidija. 2007. Okultizam ovde i sada, Magija, religija i pomodni kultovi u Beogradu. Beograd: Srpski genealoški centar.

Roubal, Petr. 2000. Display and Disguise: the Place of the Czechoslovak Spartakiads in Socialist Regime and Society. M.A. Thesis, Budapest: CEU.

Studdard, L. Nareatha. 2006. The Effectiveness of Entrepreneurial Firm’s Knowledge Acquisition from a Business Incubator. International Entrepreneur and Manager Journal, 211-225.

Verderi, Ketrin. 2005. Šta je bio socijalizam i šta dolazi posle. Beograd: Fabrika knjiga.
Published
2009-12-10
How to Cite
Erdei, Ildiko. 2009. “Hopes and Visions: Business, Culture and Capacity for Imagining Local Future in Southeast Serbia”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 4 (3), 81-102. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v4i3.5.