Socialist countries like Yugoslavia garnered legitimacy through appealing to social equality. Yet social stratification was characteristic of Yugoslav society and increased over the course of the state's existence. By the 1980s the country was divided on socio-economic as well as national lines. Through case studies from a range of social millieux, contributors to this volume seek to 'bring class back in' to Yugoslav historiography, exploring how theorisations of social class informed the politics and policies of social mobility and conversely, how societal or grassroots understandings of class have influenced politics and policy. Rather than focusing on regional differentiation between Yugoslav republics and provinces the emphasis is placed on social differentiation and discontent within particular communities. The contributing authors of these historical studies come from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, linking scholarship from the socialist era to contemporary research based on accessing newly available primary sources. Voices of a wide spectrum of informants are included in the volume; from factory workers and subsistence farmers to fictional television characters and pop-folk music superstars.
Rory Archer is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Graz where he works as a researcher at the Centre for Southeast European Studies. Igor Duda is Assistant Professor at the Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, where he teaches at the Department of Humanities and works as a researcher at the Centre for Cultural and Historical Research of Socialism. Paul Stubbs is a Senior Research Fellow at The Institute of Economics, Zagreb, Croatia.
'...the volume presents valuable new insights and manages to make a forceful argument for a new research agenda: we need to take the social more seriously when explaining how Yugoslavia worked (and how it failed).'
Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg, Germany
Southeastern Europe 42 (2018)