Vernacular Multiculturalism: Hungarian Youth in Vojvodina

JVF Conference Papers

The paper combines the scholarly literature on multiculturalism, youth and ethnic identification in the context of postmodern identity politics.

The aim of the paper is to discuss the applicability and the shortcomings of these three bodies of literature with regard to the case study of Hungarian youth in Vojvodina, Serbia. The paper presents the main points of the above-mentioned three theories in the context of the case study focusing on the ambiguity between on one hand fluid identities as explained by postmodern theories of identification and on the other hand the still very present ethno-national communal focus of young people. What this means for the case of Hungarian youth in Vojvodina is that while in official discourses of multiculturalism ethnic communities are seen and presented as actively interacting, in practice, social contacts often are reduced to individuals sharing ethnic belonging.

After linking the implications of the outlined theoretical debates with some key topics hat have emerged from the interviews with young Hungarian people in a community in Serbia, the paper calls for an analytical framework that can account for the gap between the theory and practice of multiculturalism that can explain the process of identity construction among the informants of the research.

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