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Concentration Camp Rituals: An Extreme Case of Insecurity: Rituali u koncentracionim logorima: ekstremni slučaj nesigurnosti
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy. Lund University. (Kriminal- och socialvetenskapligt nätverk; Institutet för kunskaps- och metodutveckling inom ungdoms- och missbruksvård (IKM); Centrum för specialpedagogisk forskning (CSF))ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6151-0934
2014 (English)In: Journal of Criminal Justice Issues, ISSN 1512-5505, Vol. 14, no 5-6, 21-33 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Reason(s) for writing and research problem(s): This article analyzes the experiences retold by former concentration camp detainees who were placed in concentration camps like civilians at the beginning of the Bosnian war in the 1990s. Aims of the paper (scientific and/or social): The article aims to describe the recounted social interaction rituals after time spent in a concentration camp as well as identifying how these interactions are symbolically dramatized. Methodology/Design: The empirical material for this study was collected through qualitative interviews held with nine former camp detainees and four close relatives. Research/paper limitations: The analyzed empirical examples revealed how the camp detainees’ victim identity is created, recreated, and retained in contrast to ‘the others’ – the camp guards. The camp detainees’ portrayal of their victim identity presents their humiliated self through dissociation from the camp guards. Results/Findings: The detainees’ new (altered) moral career is presented as a result of the imprisonment at the camp and the repetitive humiliation and power rituals. The importance of the camp guards was emphasized in these rituals, in which the detainees’ new selves, characterized by moral dissolution and fatigue, emerged. General conclusion: In their stories of crime and abuse in the concentration camps, the detainees reject the guards’ actions and the designation of ‘concentration camp detainee’. The retold stories of violation and power rituals in the camps show that there was little space for individuality. Nevertheless, resistance and status rituals along with adapting to the conditions in the camps seem to have generated some room for increased individualization. To have possessed some control and been able to resist seems to have granted the detainees a sense of honor and self-esteem, not least after the war. Their narratives today represent a form of continued resistance. Research/paper validity: The interviewees’ rejections of the guards’ actions and their forced “camp detainee” status could be interpreted as an expression of de-ritualization, leading away from their own earlier experiences. The subsequently illustrated myriad of everyday interactions, which can be distinguished analytically in the interviewees’ stories, expose rituals of humiliation, power, resistance, and status. Through these, we see the interviewees’ loss of identity, others’ recognition of one’s identity, emotional involvement, and different symbols of resistance.

Abstract [bs]

Inspiracija za rad i problem(i) koji se radom oslovljava(ju): Ovaj članak analizira prepričana iskustva bivših logoraša koji su kao civili odvedeni u koncentracione logore početkom rata u Bosni i Hercegovini 1990-tih godina. Ciljevi rada (naučni i/ili društveni): Cilj članka je opisati prepričane rituale socijalne interakcije poslije vremena provedenog u logoru, kao i identifikovati kako su te interakcije simbolično dramatizovane. Metodologija/Dizajn: Empirijski materijali za ovu studiju su prikupljeni primjenom kvalitativnih intervjua provedenih sa devet bivših logoraša i četiri bliska rođaka. Ograničenja istraživanja/rada: Analizirane empirijske sekvence prikazuju stvaranje identiteta žrtve u kontrastu sa drugim kategorijama, primjerice u kontrastu sa kategorijom čuvara logora. Bivši zatočenici u logorima prezentiraju svoj identitet žrtve kroz poniženje i kroz disocijaciju od postupaka čuvara logora. Rezultati/Nalazi: Bivši logoraši predstavljaju svoju novu (izmijenjenu) moralnu karijeru kao rezultat boravka u logoru i kao rezultat rituala poniženja i rituala moći. Značaj čuvara u ritualima poniženja i moći je naglašen tako što bivši logoraši sebe predstavljaju kao ponižene i demoralisane. Generalni zaključak: U svojim pričama o zločinima i zlostavljanju u koncentracionim logorima, logoraši odbacuju postupke čuvara kao i taj naziv ‘logoraš’. Priče o ritualima sile i moći pokazuju da je prostor za individualizam u logorima bio veoma ograničen. Ipak, rituali otpora i statusa su naizgled, zajedno sa adaptacijom na uvjete u logoru, generirali prostor za povećanu individualizaciju. Imati malo kontrole i moć pružanja otpora naizgled je dalo logorašima osjećaj časti i samopoštovanja, naročito poslije rata. Njihove priče u današnjici predstavljaju jedan oblik nastavljenog otpora. Opravdanost istraživanja/rada: Disocijacija od postupaka čuvara logora i od naziva/statusa ‘logoraš’ se može protumačiti kao izraz deritualizacije, u odnosu na prijeratna iskustva. Deritualizacija je vidljiva i kombinaciji sa ostalim interakcijama, ali se analitički može izolirati u pričama ispitanika kroz analizu rituala poniženja, rituala moći, rituala otpora i rituala statusa. Kroz ovu analizu je jasno vidljiv gubitak identiteta logoraša, priznavanje identiteta drugoga, emocionalni angažman, i različiti simboli otpora.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sarajevo University, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2014. Vol. 14, no 5-6, 21-33 p.
Keyword [en]
humiliated self, emotions, stigma, sacred symbols, de-ritualization
Keyword [bs]
poniženje, emocije, stigmatizacija, uzvišeni objekti, deritualizacija
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology; Social Sciences, Social Work; Social Sciences, Social Psychology; Social Sciences, Criminology; Social Sciences, Peace and Development Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-58137OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-58137DiVA: diva2:1046828
Available from: 2016-11-15 Created: 2016-11-15 Last updated: 2016-11-16Bibliographically approved

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Basic, Goran
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