Border living and identities of the Hungarian-Serbian borderlanders

Kriska, Olivér: Border living and identities of the Hungarian-Serbian borderlanders. In: Belvedere Meridionale, (31) 4. pp. 101-114. (2019)

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Abstract

Diverse types of borders, like physical, social, personal or symbolic ones manifest themselves through a lot of different ways in political, social, cultural or economic discourses (BAUDER 2011). There is no singular perspective neither a theory to approach the borders, because they are determined by different local factors (PAASI 2005, 2011, NEWMAn 2006). However, there are some common phenomena which are present at all existing borders be it any type of them. Borders created by insitutions or the society, impacts the lives of local residents, who are constantly reproducing these borders by making interactions with different actors and the border itself. Thus, borders shape the identity of local residents regularly (HOUTUM 1999, NEWMAN 2006, YNDIGEGN 2006), thereby, the constant state borders have different meanings for different people (BALIBAR 2002). These narratives of the borders and their spatial extension have become more widespread, turning into more and more layered, and more and more identifiable in different areas and places of life, often separated fromstate borders (BALIBAR 2002, RUMFORD 2012). Bordering is an essential factor of defining self-identity, which is a Janus-faced phenomenon by constructing a community and at the same time by exclusion of the Others (HOUTUM–NAERSSEN 2002). Thus the exist of the borders inevitably build distance between the two side of it, enacting the stereotypes and then the behaviour of the borderlanders. However, the greatest effects of the border politics and the existence of borders have on those who are living close to them. Hence the research of them has great significance. The most important questions of my paper are: What does it mean to live on one side of the border, and what on the other side? Along what kind of dimensions are the differences emphasized, and along which factors the similarities take shape. This paper shows the evolution and the narratives of the Hungarian–Serbian borderland and focuses on social and mental borders perceived by people living close to a state border, where different normative values meet. The study area of the research is the Hungarian–Serbian border region. Two survey research in 2019 (N = 777) was conducted in some settlements of this borderland. This revealed that the most vigorous mental border derives from the different mindset, however the economic and the cultural differences were mentioned also. These outcomes show different pictures if we examine two of the sides of the border separately. From the Hungarian side smaller number of the respondents mentioned any perceived differences between them and those living on the other side. On the other hand, respondents from Serbia felt that different mentality is the strongest factor of their mental border towards the other side.

Item Type: Article
Heading title: Studies
Journal or Publication Title: Belvedere Meridionale
Date: 2019
Volume: 31
Number: 4
ISSN: 2064-5929
Page Range: pp. 101-114
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14232/belv.2019.4.9
Uncontrolled Keywords: Kisebbség - magyar - Szerbia, Nemzeti tudat - magyar
Additional Information: Bibliogr.: p. 113-114. ; ill. ; összefoglalás angol nyelven
Date Deposited: 2020. Apr. 15. 09:57
Last Modified: 2020. Apr. 15. 09:57
URI: http://acta.bibl.u-szeged.hu/id/eprint/68556

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