37 / 2013
Mario Bara, Aleksandar Vukić

The Importance of Observation, Classification and Description in the Construction of the Ethnic Identity of Bunjevci from Bačka (1851–1910)



ABSTRACT

This paper considers the influence of ideological, scientific-ethnographic and census classification schemes and descriptions on the formation of the ethnic identity of Bunjevci from Bačka during the period from 1851 to 1910. Starting from the standpoint of a theory of social systems and institutions, the influences of observational apparatuses, observations, classifications, and descriptions on the construction of ethnic identity are discussed. It is shown that transformations in the social order lead to changes in the construction principles of perception and classification schemes. Accordingly, the interaction of commonsensical, ideological, scientific, and official statistical classification schemes and descriptions in the modern social order created an ethno-nationalistic discourse that strongly affected the formation of the ethnic identity of Bunjevci from Bačka.

KEY WORDS: Bunjevci, classification, social system, population censuses, identity