Identity, ethnic boundaries, and collective victimhood: analysing strategies of self- victimisation in postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina

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Characteristics from the social construction of ‘self’ and of ‘others’ in Bosnia- Herzegovina show that the creation of a positive self-image in this post-war society is strongly connected with collective self-victimisation of one’s own in- group. An objective hermeneutical analysis of narrative interviews conducted with Bosniaks, Bosnian Croats, and Bosnian Serbs reveals five self-victimisation strategies: Two dissociative strategies, which conspicuously reproduce the dichotomy of victim and perpetrator along ethnic lines and candidly reinforce the ethnic boundaries – moral alchemy and double relativisation – and three strategies, which seem to transcend the boundaries between ethnic in-group and out-group – the associative strategies of subjectification of war, the exter- nalisation of responsibility, and silence. A subsequent contextualisation of the identified strategies indicates, however, that, ultimately, associative strategies are equally conducive to the further manifestation of ethnic boundaries.
Seiten (von - bis)472-491
FachzeitschriftIdentities.Global Studies in Culture and Power
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2021

ÖFOS 2012

  • 504001 Allgemeine Soziologie