Immigrants from Serbia who came to Denmark in the 1970s and 1980s found a large number of shared values between Yugoslav ideals of brotherhood and unity and the Scandinavian welfare model. As a result, they felt well integrated into Danish society, almost to the point of being invisible. This invisibility is upheld through a constant emphasis on sameness between themselves and the majority population in the public sphere, while the cultivation of difference has been relegated to the private realm or to cultural associations such as the Yugoslav Clubs. Over the last decade, this 'sharing of values' has been contested from several points of view. During their absence, Yugoslav migrants have witnessed the destruction of their homeland and have been forced to take on a new Serbian identity. In what remained of their former homeland, social and political instability has stimulated a re-traditionalisation of society. Meanwhile, the growing attention given to religion and origins has changed the room for manoeuvre of immigrant families in Denmark, challenging the tight networks hitherto maintained with the home village. Through interviews with members of the Serbian community in Denmark, I explore how they manoeuvre between strategies of visibility and invisibility in their quest to become full members of Danish society while maintaining their cultural particularities. I also look at the often contradictory ways in which the transformation of values and norms in Serbian and Danish society have impacted on the cultural and social practices of Serbian families in Denmark.
- transnationale livsformer