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Drew University

Publication Date

Spring 2006

Program Name

Central Europe: Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Culture

Abstract

Cultural, religious and ethnic divisions are nothing new to the Slavic people of the southwest Balkans. The region once known as Yugoslavia has experienced periods of assimilation and peaceful coexistence as well as ethnic hatred and aggression. In recent years, the majority of this has been concentrated inside Serbia, the nucleus of the former Yugoslavia. While it may appear that Serbia has overcome the ethnic hatred that has plagued its social and political culture, there continues to be ethnic discrimination in both the social sphere and government institutions. This prejudice is most evident in the relationship between the Serbian majority population and the minorities living within Serbia.

This paper aims to illuminate several angles, and varying perspectives, of the situation of ethnic hatred that exists as an oppressive force against the Roma minority in Serbia in the education system.

While the Serbian government has developed initiatives with the supposed goal of creating equality within the education system, the initiatives have failed because they have been developed in an atmosphere of extreme nationalism and ethnic discrimination. This type of attitude, which pervades much of the country, is considerably detrimental to the advancement of education within Roma’s population. In turn, it can be assumed rather easily that the lack of education corresponds with the Roma people’s lowly status within Serbia. Although some of the most recent developments in the education system have the potential to benefit the Roma minority, the Serbian government has a blatant neglect for their plight, however muffled and unrepresented their voice may be.

Disciplines

Education | Inequality and Stratification | Race and Ethnicity

 

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