That people are forced to flee from war is nothing that belongs only to the history books – it is also very true today. But what problems that people have brought with them from their war-torn countries are they wrestling with today? Goran Basic has performed a study on this in a recently-published book, using the war in Bosnia as his starting point.
After many wars, the memories of violent situations continue to live their own lives and, therefore, continue to have an impact on individuals and society. The material in Goran Basic's book is based on interviews with people who were camp prisoners, perpetrators, victims or passive bystanders during the Bosnian war. He has investigated how they describe their own experience of the war based on the categories war violence, victimhood, and atonement after the war.
In the stories, a picture is drawn in which the societal order has been destroyed. Instead, a new social order has been established, an order in which violence becomes an organised ritual. In Goran Basic's interviews, a picture is painted of violence becoming the norm in society during the war, rather than an exception. The ones exposed to the violence had been dehumanised and were considered the "enemy" or as people constituting a threat to the societal order. The book contains a lot of strong stories. One recurring theme is how neighbours change how they behave towards each other, almost overnight.
"One day people could be dressed as civilians, happily greeting their neighbours – and then all of a sudden, the day after, banish those same neighbours with guns", says Goran Basic.
Even though the research presented in the book is based on analyses from the war in Bosnia, it can be linked to the society of today.
"The book describes social phenomena that we can see in society also today, that a lot of people are forced to leave their home and come to Sweden. They too have memories from war that lingers with them", explains Goran Basic.
Goran Basic is associate professor in sociology and senior lecturer in pedagogy at the department of pedagogy at Linnaeus University.
The title of the book is Krigets sociologi: Analyser av krigsvåld, koncentrationsläger, offerskap och försoning and is published by Bokbox publishing house.
Goran Basic, associate professor, +46470-70 89 59 /firstname.lastname@example.org
Tove Nordén, communications officer, +4670-367 14 53