27 / 2008
Tanja Petrović

Serbs, Albanians, and Those In Between: The Gradation of Otherness and Identity Management in the Nation-Building Process

The article outlines the attitude of the Serbian nation, whose identity is to a great extent built on the belonging to Orthodox Christendom, towards Muslims – both towards Albanians, who are perceived as “undeniably other,” as well as those who are perceived as “less other,” such as the Gorani in Kosovo and the Bosniaks in the region of Sandžak and Kosovo. While this gradation is based on two relatively stable (at least at the synchronic level) categories – language and religion, the ethnic/national category often reveals itself as subject to negotiation, change, convergence and divergence. These processes engage both majority communities – i.e. those engaged in the nation-building process, and minority communities, i.e. those who negotiate their own status and position in this process driven by others.
KEY WORDS: Serbs, Albanians, Muslims, Other, identity, nation-building