From Danish Yugoslavs to Danish Serbs: National Affiliation caught between Visibility and Invisibility

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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.
Translated title of the contributionFra danske yugoslaver til danske serbere: Synlighed og usynlighed i relation nationalitet og tilknytning
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMigration, Family and the Welfare State : Integrating Migrants and Refugees in Scandinavia
EditorsKaren Fog Olwig, Birgitte Romme Larsen, Mikkel Rytter
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
Publication date2012
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-50759-2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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