Violence and Identification

Everyday Ethnic Identity in Bosnia and Herzegovina

in Conflict and Society
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  • 1 Aarhus University tk.crf@psy.au.dk
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ABSTRACT

Structurally inspired anthropological analyses of war and violence tend to claim that conflicts have an inherent potential to create unambiguous identities. Based on ethnographic data from everyday life among the Muslim population of Stolac in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina the article shows that this is not necessarily the case. Instead of resorting to the politically created dichotomous categories of ethnic exclusion, the Muslims of Stolac favored ambiguous identifications highlighting coexistence and interethnic respect. In this way of refraining from exclusive ethnic antagonistic identifications they experimented with ways of inhabiting the world together with the ethnic others; mainly the Croat population of Stolac.

Contributor Notes

TORSTEN KOLIND has a PhD in anthropology and is a professor at the Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research at Aarhus University, Denmark. He has written on violence, war, and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is the author of the Post-War Identification: Everyday Muslim Counterdiscourse in Bosnia Herzegovina from 2008. His current research focuses among other things on ethnic identity, marginalization, prisons, and drug use. He is editor of the journal Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy.

Conflict and Society

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