Discourses on Identity in 'First' and 'Other' Serbia

Social Construction of the Self and the Other in a Divided Serbia

Ana Omaljev

ibidem Press

Discourses on Identity in 'First' and 'Other' Serbia

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Pub Date: April 2016

ISBN: 9783838207117

250 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $48.00

Pub Date: April 2016

ISBN: 9783838267111

250 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $30.99

Discourses on Identity in 'First' and 'Other' Serbia

Social Construction of the Self and the Other in a Divided Serbia

Ana Omaljev

ibidem Press

Serbia is still widely thought of as an unfinished state, whose people struggle to establish a compelling identity narrative in answer to the question 'who are we?'. While existing literature has over-analyzed Serbian nationalism, the Serbian public sphere remains largely ignored. This engaging and timely book fills this gap by giving context to the persistent and overwhelming dialogue between opposing factions on the identity spectrum in Serbia. Omaljev's focus on elite discourses provides a fresh perspective on this contentious subject. It offers an original understanding of the competing arguments surrounding 'First' and 'Other' Serbia and of the contested visions of Serbian national identity and broader European identity.By closely examining the identity vocabulary of Serbian elites and the opposing ways in which these elites view the use of labels such as 'anti-Serbian', 'patriot', and 'traitor', this book provides a vital lesson in post-conflict nation-building and raises important questions about the symbolic representations of political and cultural identities. A much-needed and compelling intervention in the Serbian identity discourse, Omaljev's work is a must-read for any researcher on the Western Balkans.
Who are the 'nationalists,' who are the 'liberals,' what do they think of the world, and what do they think of each other? Ana Omaljev guides us through political confrontations in post-2000 Serbia to show contrasting understandings of identity, the position of the country in the world, and the meaning of Europe. Her book mobilizes methods of analysis from literary theory, international relations, anthropology, and linguistics. The resulting interpretation has implications not just for understanding of political and cultural conflict in Serbia, but for varied understandings of Europe in an environment of political confrontation. Eric Gordy, University College London, UK
This engaging and empirically rich study offers a new insight into Serbia's political discourses. It moves away from seeing notions of 'Europe' and 'liberal' or 'conservative' Serbia and investigates instead how the meanings of each are (mutually) constructed through public debate and contestation enacted through the media, the academe, and politics. Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik, Aston University, Birmingham

About the Author

Ana Omaljev is an independent researcher and writer specializing in different aspects of identity politics and discourse analysis in Southeast Europe.