Individualising Socialism. Individual Agency and Social Change in Socialist Yugoslavia's Periphery, 1950s-1970s — INDSOC

Projektmitarbeiter: Pieter Troch

The project was supported by the Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship .

From the mid-1950s through the 70s, the notion of the ‘good life’ associated with increased socio-economic prosperity for the broad population in socialist East and Southeast Europe generated individualising dispositions that foreground the individual and presuppose a differentiation between the individual and the social milieu. Starting from the hypothesis that post-World War II paradigms of socialist modernity and in particular the Yugoslav model of self-management socialism were shaped by such an individualising habitus, this project examines individual agency, expectations and memories, and emotions of ordinary citizens in interaction with the socialist transformation of society: It focusses on four axes: socialism as an ideological paradigm, the political endeavour of establishing Yugoslav statehood, identification and collective solidarity, and memory. Drawing on the methodology of Alltagsgeschichte, the project conducts a micro-historical study of individual agency and emotions in relation to intersecting temporal, spatial, and institutional processes in the city of Mitrovica in the North of Kosovo from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s. It carries out archival research, oral history, and focus groups, and situates these findings against statistical data on the socio-economic situation in the area under scrutiny and secondary studies of the socialist transformation of society in East and Southeast Europe.