Title "Being Muslim the Bosnian Way: Identity and Community in a Central Bosnian Village"
Author Bringa, Tone
Publisher Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press
Annotation In her book based on field research in a mixed Catholic-Muslim Bosnian village not far from Sarajevo Bringa presents classical anthropological account of life of a Muslim community. Although the book was published in 1995, the research was made in the late 1980s the author warns the reader that the book does not provide an explanation for the Bosnian war. This study compliments anthropological material (on the community that does not exist any more, because all Muslims from the village were either killed or forced to flee in 1993) with historical analysis and provides analytical framework for the discussion of the ways Muslim identity was constructed in rural Bosnia. The book opens with an overview of how identities have been constructed and contested in the Balkans since the Middle Ages, but the emphasis is put on the socialist period and Tito’s politics towards Bosnian Muslims. Bringa discusses in considerable detail social structures, gender roles and marriage practices as she witnessed them being performed and lived through in the Bosnian Muslim community. The last chapter of the book “Debating Islam and Muslim Identity” closes theoretical framework opened at the beginning of the monograph. The author examines the contestations between Bosnian Muslim customs and an identity based on them on the one hand, and an identity based on more conformity to Shari’ at Islam on the other. Overall, Bringa’s book is an excellent study of an anthropologist who succeeded to locate her materials in a historical context as well, and provides valuable insights into the complex relationship between religion, ethnicity and nationality in Bosnia.
Author of Annotation Maria Falina
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