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A local account of cultural challenges to Balkan modernization: Metropolitan Belgrade: culture & class in interwar Yugoslavia

Abstract : To write history and understand the past, one may put cultural preferences to the center of attention. What distinguishes her approach is the importance given to the cultural interests and the formulation of preferences of a group or class, especially upper-middle-class, to the means, mainly radio, which normalize these preferences, and to space, i.e. segregation of leisure zones as an expression of the embodiment of social and cultural preferences in practice. For Babovic changing cultural and social preferences and practices are rooted, entangled and trapped in the transnational historical context of the time, while representing particular social and cultural environments in Belgrade. These environments are to be seen more than just places of entertainment practice. In highlighting the class nature of the exhibited entertaining practices, the author is convinced that the making and the interpretation of what happened and how is part of activities which are interconnected with other activities happening in other European capitals. However, similarities cannot be well understood if they are reduced to mere descriptions. It should be emphasized that the preferences of Belgrade bourgeoisie for foreign performances and ghettoizing urban landscapes should be considered as signifiers of a class or group identity, in so far they are assumed as indicators of the level of Europeanization of social life in the capital. In this perspective, the preferences for European cultural practices, products, and performers are linked to the fact that they are decisive for the national and transnational social processes that profile certain representations while challenging other predominant ones. In other words, what is at stake are not cultural acts of isolated individuals, but cultural practices carried out by some people with a class agency and intentionality.
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Contributor : Enika Abazi <>
Submitted on : Sunday, February 3, 2019 - 6:47:06 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 11:26:42 AM




Enika Abazi. A local account of cultural challenges to Balkan modernization: Metropolitan Belgrade: culture & class in interwar Yugoslavia. Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2019, 27 (1), pp.128-130. ⟨10.1080/14782804.2019.1564873⟩. ⟨halshs-02005189⟩



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