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Balkanization of identity: Rebuilding fragmented identities through narratives

Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Despite extensive research on the politics of war and Yugoslav refugees during the civil war, there has been scant research on identity building in their children. I present the term, "balkanization of identity" to conceptualize experiences of 1.5 generation Balkan women in diaspora. This describes the fragmentation of identity through violence and/or trauma. In this population, this primarily occurs through transgenerational trauma, patriarchal violence, and migration. Women have long been silenced in collective narratives and national identity-building in the Balkans. Yugoslav feminists have used the re-appropriation of gendered oral traditions as resistance against patriarchal violence. Following their tradition and that of narrative therapy, narrative inquiry was used as a methodology. Transcription was guided by the feminist methodology, the Listening Guide, and data analysis followed the Thematic Content Analysis Method. Findings suggest that for this population, identity is relational and transgenerational, rooted in history and politics, and dynamic and uncertain.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Goodwill, Alanaise
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