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Post-war identification: everyday Muslim counterdiscourse in Bosnia Herzegovina

[phd thesis]

Kolind ,Torsten

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Abstract Post-war identification is a unique ethnographic study of the remaking of post-war life in a small ethnically mixed town in Bosnia Herzegovinia. During the war in the 1990's the local Muslim population was expelled, but today has returned to live alongside former enemies. These people are trying to piece together a life from broken fragments that consists of war-related traumas, nationalist propaganda, ruined economies, disappointment, and memories of pre-war life. In this shattered world Torsten Kolind identifies an everyday based, anti-nationalistic counterdiscourse strongly rooted in pre-war life. This resistance is seldom outspoken, but consists rather of a steady insistence on not using ethnic or national categories in identifying oneself and/or others. In a world of despair, the Muslim everyday counterdiscourse gives hope for future coexistence, and points to the intriguing fact that reconcilement often develops from the bottom up, rather than in the political corridors of power. Torsten Kolind's focus on everyday resistance is a highly relevant contribution to contemporary anthropological discussions of the relation between discourse, power, nationalism, and violence.
Keywords Bosnia and Herzegovina; nationalism; ethnography; post-war period; Muslim; ethnicity; national identity; ethnic relations; cultural identity; coming to terms with the past
Classification Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology
Document language German
Publication Year 2008
Publisher Aarhus Univ. Press
City Aarhus
Page/Pages 315 p.
ISBN 87-7934-760-1
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works