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How have mobilisation and conflict transformed religious and ethnic identities in Kosovo? Free essay! Download now

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How have mobilisation and conflict transformed religious and ethnic identities in Kosovo?

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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 2000 | Submitted: 17-Dec-2004
Spelling accuracy: N/A | Number of pages: | Filetype: Word .doc


In this paper it is argued that clearly defined ethnic and religious identities do not exist within Kosovo. Integrates theory with empirical evidence. In particular the essay will concentrate on how the Serb community has come to regard the Kosovan province as its own through the Kosovan myth, which, through its strong references to the suffering and conflict of the Serb people, has come to shape the identity and self-image of the Serb people.


The idea of identity is complex and there are strong disagreements over what the exact factors which constiture an identity. Jenkins (1996) bibliography maintains identity is the process of assicating or equating oneself with something else. Others maintain that identity revolves around more simple rigid ethnic lines. Such a stress on ethnicity is to miss the wider picture and ignores the more dynamic, ever changing nature of identity There are many more factors at play. As Duijzings (2000) makes clear, placing too much emphasis on the importance of ethnicity can lead cultural and political analysis to ignore such important factors such as gender, religion and class. In using the concept of identity instead of ethnicity these different types of association tend to overlap and correlate with each other. In a similar way, not all religious differences are at the same time ethnic and in a similar way, ethnic divisions may not be closely related to religious differences. The importance and relevance of religion, and not just simply ethnicity, to the Kosovan problem cannot be underestimated. Albanians and their nationalist ideology does not subscribe to one particular religion but despite this, religion has been the cause of great schisms in the Albanian identity over the years. Albanian religious animosity in Kosovo has eisted between Catholics and Sunni Muslims for instance.

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