Ethnic relations and the Production of Social Space : An ethnographic study of Ethnicity in Kumanovo, Macedonia

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Title: Ethnic relations and the Production of Social Space : An ethnographic study of Ethnicity in Kumanovo, Macedonia
Author: Dudumi, Olsi
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Research
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2018
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Sosiologia
Abstract: This Master's thesis examines the ethnic relations in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) through an ethnographic study based on a four-month fieldwork in the city of Kumanovo, where communities have been recently displaced from their traditional neighborhoods. More broadly speaking, this research addresses the increase of everyday life violence and physical separation of the Albanian and Macedonian communities. To this end, it employs two current theoretical developments in social sciences to show the insight into people's actions and everyday life situations: on the one hand, the cognitive turn proposed by Rogers Brubaker in the study of ethnicity, regarding the process as a primary focus of analysis, and the spatial turn of Henri Lefebvre, giving space a crucial role in determining social relations. The thesis analyzes data gathered from a four-month ethnographic fieldwork in Kumanovo, northwest FYROM. In these fourth months data were gathered through a combination of various ethnographic tools. Participant observation was used with young people in the city and during an internship position that I took during the first three months. Formal and informal interviews were used in locations outside the working place. Virtual and spatial ethnography assisted in mapping, recording and understanding more deeply the everyday spatial life of actors. The analysis revealed how ethnicization happens through the production of social space in the city. Despite the state's provisioning of a multiethnic legal framework, ethnic division remains persistent. Top-down multicultural policies have transformed once-existing social relations. My analysis shows that a keener focus on the production of social space gives profound insight in the ethnicization process.
Subject: ethnicity
social space
ethnic relations

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