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Playing with Jews in the Fields of Nations: Symbolic Contests in the Former Yugoslavia

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The collapse of socialist Yugoslavia and the rise of independent states in its place brought out interesting and disturbing phenomena involving Jews and Jewish symbols. This paper examines the following processes: 1) the loss of Jewish submergence in the political and symbolic orders of that socialist state; 2) a short-lived philosemitism; 3) an appropriation or ‘functionalization' of Jews and Jewish symbols in contests over the moral superiority of one's nation; and 4) the return of classic anti-Semitism aimed at local Jewish places and individuals and at spreading ideas of Jewish political and cultural domination. Also described is how Jews engaged in welcoming or contesting encroachment on their own symbolic space.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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