41 / 2015
Andreja Vezovnik

Ex-Yugoslavian Immigrant Workers in Slovenia: Between Balkanization and Victimization

This article explores how the identity of immigrant workers (mostly ex-Yugoslavians) in Slovenia is constructed in the Slovenian print media. The article focuses on the interplay of the two main discourses on immigrant workers – Balkanist discourse and victimization discourse. The analysis shows how Balkanist discourse still constructs the immigrant as the other but avoids explicitly negative connotations by framing immigrant workers’ identity within a discourse of victimization. The article explains how this interplay of discourses serves to normalize the immigrant worker in order to make him acceptable to the majoritarian Slovenian society. The article closes by exploring the victimization discourse as a process of desubjectivizing of the immigrant workers and argues that aspects of the victimization discourse reaffirm the long-standing power relations between Western Europe and the Balkans. 
KEY WORDS: immigration, Balkanism, victimization

More ...