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Ethnic identity and reconciliation. Two main tasks for the young in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Journal article
Authors H Hjort
Ann Frisén
Published in Adolescence
Pages 141-163
Publication year 2006
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 141-163
Language en
Keywords ethnic identity, reconciliation
Subject categories Psychology


The saliency of ethnicity and ethnic identity is influenced by contextual circumstances. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, due to the current ethno-political situation, ethnicity and ethnic identity is most likely an important aspect in adolescents lives. The main purpose of this study is to describe a group of young Mostarians in relation to ethnic identity and reconciliation. Focus is on the participants’ perspectives on the topics and the personal meanings they attribute to the concepts of ethnicity and reconciliation. A total of 89 young Mostarians are included in the study. A third of the participants are members of a local peace- and reconciliation-building organization, Koraci Nade. Results show that ethnic identity is highly salient for the group. While participants demonstrate strong emotional attachment to ethnic group, exploration of ethnic identity is less reported. As regards reconciliation, the participants perceive it as very desirable and show a personal and integrated relation to the concept. However, their definitions of the concept are vague as regards to what constitutes the process of reconciliation. Although of great importance to the members, participation in the peace-building organization was not found to enhance either ethnic identity or crossethnic friendships.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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