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oung people from Bosnia and Herzegovina in Norway: Migration, Identity and Ethnicity

Dragana Kovacevic

University of Oslo, E-Mail:



This paper has been presented at the Third International Conference on Nordic and Baltic Studies in Romania: European Networks: the Balkans, Scandinavia and the Baltic World in a Time of Crisis hosted by the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies and Valahia University of Târgoviste, and sponsored by the Romanian National Research Council, May 25-27, 2012.



The article focuses on young people originating from Bosnia and Herzegovina, permanently residing in Norway, who first came to Norway as children and conflict refugees in the 1990s. It investigates how they relate to their identity and origin, and how they discursively represent nationalism(s) and wars in the sending society. It also discusses their integration into Norwegian society and poses a question how ethnicity is contextualized in a receiving society in which it is generally socially desirable to express values of tolerance and respect for multiculturalism. Material from the interviews with young Bosnians and the participant observation of relevant events makes it possible to reflect on such phenomena as transnational belongings and the so-called long-distance nationalism, leading to the discussion about the contested claims of victimhood in the post- Yugoslav immigration context.



Lucrarea se concentrează asupra tinerilor care provin din Bosnia ?i Her?egovina, cu re?edin?a permanentă în Norvegia, care au venit în primul rând în această ?ară țară în calitate de copii ?i refugia?i ai conflictelor din anii ’90. Aceasta investighează modul în care aceștia se raportează la identitatea ?i originea lor, precum ?i felul în care reprezintă discursiv na?ionalismul (naționalismele) ?i războaiele din societatea din care provin. Este abordată, de asemenea, integrarea lor în societatea norvegiană ?i este observată modalitatea în care identitatea este contextualizată într-o societate primitoare în care acesta este în general de dorit a fi exprimate în cadrul social valori de toleran?ă ?i de respect pentru multiculturalism. Materialul din interviurile cu tineri bosniaci ?i observa?ia participativă a evenimentelor relevante permit să se reflecteze asupra unor fenomene cum ar fi identitățile transna?ionale ?i a?a-numitul na?ionalism de distan?e lungi, ceea ce aduce în discu?ie postura disputată de victimă în contextul imigrației post-iugoslave.


Keywords: Ethnicity, Identity, Long-distance Nationalism and Migration


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