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Victimhood, Forgiveness and Reconciliation: in Stories of Bosnian War Survivors

Basic, Goran LU (2015) In Forgiveness: Social Significance, Health Impact and Psychological Effects p.105-130
Abstract
In this analysis of the retold experiences of 27 survivors of the war in northwestern Bosnia, the aim is to describe the informants’ portrayal of “victimhood”, “forgiveness” and “reconciliation” as a social phenomenon as well as analyzing the discursive patterns that contribute to constructing the category “victim” and “perpetrator”. When, after the war, different categories claim a “victim” status, it sparks a competition for victimhood. All informants are eager to present themselves as victims while at the same time the other categories’ victim status are downplayed. In this reproduction of competition for the victim role, all demarcations that were played out so successfully during the war live on. The stories of forgiveness and... (More)
In this analysis of the retold experiences of 27 survivors of the war in northwestern Bosnia, the aim is to describe the informants’ portrayal of “victimhood”, “forgiveness” and “reconciliation” as a social phenomenon as well as analyzing the discursive patterns that contribute to constructing the category “victim” and “perpetrator”. When, after the war, different categories claim a “victim” status, it sparks a competition for victimhood. All informants are eager to present themselves as victims while at the same time the other categories’ victim status are downplayed. In this reproduction of competition for the victim role, all demarcations that were played out so successfully during the war live on. The stories of forgiveness and reconciliation are connected to the past; the interactive consequences of war-time violence are intimately linked to the narrator’s war experiences. The interviewees distance themselves from some individuals or described situations. It is common that the portrayal of possible forgiveness and reconciliation is transformed into a depicted implacable attitude, thus the interviewees negotiate their stances: they articulate between reconciliation and implacability statements. In these stories, “the others” are presented as external actors in the context. Throughout their narrations, some individuals can make a confession or exert a certain self-esteem; others can take the chance to explain for themselves and the audience, to express regret over their actions and possibly restore their social status. Without this type of processing, war victims risk living an existence without confession, and the war perpetrators risk becoming permanently bound to their acts – clearly an unstable future foundation for a post-war society. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
war, victimhood, crime, forgiveness, victim, perpetrator, reconciliation
in
Forgiveness: Social Significance, Health Impact and Psychological Effects
editor
Olsen, Eugene L.
pages
105 - 130
publisher
Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84956704012
ISBN
978-1-63483-334-9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6d90bd4a-5c22-4ca3-b912-76a7eff75395 (old id 5276983)
alternative location
https://www.novapublishers.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=55547
date added to LUP
2015-06-22 16:43:44
date last changed
2016-10-13 04:38:37
@misc{6d90bd4a-5c22-4ca3-b912-76a7eff75395,
  abstract     = {In this analysis of the retold experiences of 27 survivors of the war in northwestern Bosnia, the aim is to describe the informants’ portrayal of “victimhood”, “forgiveness” and “reconciliation” as a social phenomenon as well as analyzing the discursive patterns that contribute to constructing the category “victim” and “perpetrator”. When, after the war, different categories claim a “victim” status, it sparks a competition for victimhood. All informants are eager to present themselves as victims while at the same time the other categories’ victim status are downplayed. In this reproduction of competition for the victim role, all demarcations that were played out so successfully during the war live on. The stories of forgiveness and reconciliation are connected to the past; the interactive consequences of war-time violence are intimately linked to the narrator’s war experiences. The interviewees distance themselves from some individuals or described situations. It is common that the portrayal of possible forgiveness and reconciliation is transformed into a depicted implacable attitude, thus the interviewees negotiate their stances: they articulate between reconciliation and implacability statements. In these stories, “the others” are presented as external actors in the context. Throughout their narrations, some individuals can make a confession or exert a certain self-esteem; others can take the chance to explain for themselves and the audience, to express regret over their actions and possibly restore their social status. Without this type of processing, war victims risk living an existence without confession, and the war perpetrators risk becoming permanently bound to their acts – clearly an unstable future foundation for a post-war society.},
  author       = {Basic, Goran},
  editor       = {Olsen, Eugene L.},
  isbn         = {978-1-63483-334-9},
  keyword      = {war,victimhood,crime,forgiveness,victim,perpetrator,reconciliation},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {105--130},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x952a148)},
  series       = {Forgiveness: Social Significance, Health Impact and Psychological Effects},
  title        = {Victimhood, Forgiveness and Reconciliation: in Stories of Bosnian War Survivors},
  year         = {2015},
}