The aim of this article is to analyze verbally portrayed experiences of 27 survivors of the 1990’s war in northwestern Bosnia. Focus lies on describing how the interviewees portray the social phenomenon of ”victimhood”, and to analyze discoursive patterns which contribute to constructing the cathegory ”victim”. When, after the war, different actors claim this ”victim” status it sparks a competition for victimhood. Cathegories appear and they are: ”the remainders” those who lived in northwestern Bosnia before, during and after the war; “the fugitives” those who driven into northwestern Bosnia during the war; “the returnees” those who returned after the war and “the diaspora” those who were driven out from northwestern Bosnia and remained in their new country. The competition between these cathegories seems to take place on a symbolic level. All interviewees want to portray themselves as ”ideal victims” but they are all about to loose that status. The returnees and the diaspora are losing status by receiving recognition from the surrounding community and because they have a higher economic status, the remainders are losing status since they are constantly being haunted by war events and the refugees are losing status by being presented as strangers and thus fitting the role of ideal perpetrators. It seems that by reproducing this competition for the victim role, all demarcations, which were played out so skillfully during the war, are kept alive.
Social Sciences (hsv)
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) (hsv)
Sociologi (exklusive socialt arbete, socialpsykologi och socialantropologi) (hsv)