Time with or without death: Researching death in Serbian ethnology during the second half of the 20th century

Aleksandra Pavicevic
2008 Glasnik Etnografskog Instituta SANU  
Topics of ethnological research, as well as scientific discourse in general, often represent the mirror of social reality. This paper researches the ways in which dealing with death and current ethnological approaches in Serbian ethnology during the second half of the 20 th century, reflect the Zeitgeist. The intensity and the quality of interests for this important anthropological theme varied during the researched period, wherefore it is possible to differentiate two types of works and
more » ... : those who write about funeral rituals, and those who "read" them. From 1980s until nowadays there are three subgroups of contributions to this theme that reflect critical moments of the contemporary Serbian history. The issues raised in this paper are the following: The way in which state/society regards death, the way in which it structures death, the way in which it gives meaning to death, as well as the usage of death for political purpose and the constant effort of civilization to repress it into oblivion. This paper is a part of the project 147020: Serbia in between traditionalism and modernizationethnological and anthropological studies of cultural processes, financed by the Serbian Ministry of Science and Technological Development.
doi:10.2298/gei0802023p fatcat:pax67hjbfbbcpea4tkglroxxv4