Feels Like Home Again: The ‘Balkanness’ of Hungarians from Vojvodina in Hungary

Krisztina Rácz
Univesity of Ljubljana, Slovenia

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Ingår i: Current Issues in European Cultural Studies; June 15-17; Norrköping; Sweden 2011

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 62:45, s. 439-449

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Publicerad: 2011-11-22

ISBN: 978-91-7519-993-1

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


’Balkan music’ is well known in Hungary; as everywhere in Central and Western Europe; but often not as much to those who actually come from the region that produces this style. Many Hungarian students from Vojvodina; Serbia who study in Budapest have either never heard of this music before; or have expressed a negative opinion about it; but upon their arrival to Hungary a lot of them get converted to the ’Balkan ideology’: they attend Balkan parties; consume so-called Balkan popular cultural products and identify with a ’Balkan’ community.

After a brief discussion of the Vojvodina Hungarians in the context of the discourses of multiculturalism; ’Otherness’ and ’Balkanness’; this paper explores the process of this conversion and the socio-cultural motives of the old/new identification. The paper argues for the existence of ambiguous identities that can at the same time be strongly Hungarian and obviously Balkan. To understand it; I call for a complex view on ethnic identification taking into account the flexibility and playfulness of cultural identification. The paper looks at identity formation from various angles; from theories of internalizing ‘Balkanness’ to social stigmatization and social capital. Combining empirical data with post-structural theory; this research aims at explaining the nonexclusivity of Hungarian and Balkan identities of Vojvodina Hungarians living in Hungary more generally it explores the nature of multiple identities.


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