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Everyday Ethno-National Identities of Young People in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Jessie Hronesova

This book examines the salience and role of ethno-national identities of young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina fifteen years after the end of the Bosnian War. The underlying argument is that ethno-national identities and boundaries in Bosnia are not constituted and maintained through intensive social contact as constructivists such as Fredrik Barth and Thomas Eriksen have argued, but rather through a lack of it. The author shows that cross-ethnic contact is a critical mechanism that helps, rather than hinders, the building of multiple and complimentary identities. She proposes that contrary to the constructivist arguments, the actual content of identities such as descent and religion matter for the intensity and malleability of identities. The fieldwork material demonstrates that identities can become multilayered in situations where the «other» is personalized and experienced.

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