The Convergence of Cultures and Creating Distance Between the Young and the Old

THE CONVERGENCE OF CULTURES: FROM SOCIALISM TO CAPITALISM

PRASNIKAR, J., PAHOR, M. AND SVETLIK, J.V.

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=4035813

Serbia was once in an in-between state, in which it demonstrated a brotherhood type of unity amongst its many ethnic backgrounds and even some elements of market policies. It embodied a balance of values from the West and the East, until Balkanisation separated Yugoslavia into smaller, feuding countries. However, studies have gone into observing how much similarity and difference there is within these individualised states considering how new technology has led to an information/knowledge driven global community wherein values, and thus cultures, are converging into one another across continents. Prasnikar et al suggest that the clusters of countries once known as Yugoslavia have recently come to share the same values by following the same trends and patterns that the Internet age incites. They suggest that the Balkans may only remain separated in today’s age by lingering historical enmity and politics, but not by values or morals. The younger generations of the Balkans are the living examples of this as they live through the remnants of the war understanding only others’ previous experiences and memories of the era. “If societies are changing, we can expect to find evidence of those changes among young people first. Young people’s reactions to social change are a great barometer and announce the future social flows” (2006: 154).

Prasnikar et al stipulate that communist revolutions usually all take on the same paths and, consequently, produce similar outcomes. “The issues on the agenda of most post-communist governments were stabilisation, privatisation and liberalisation and other structural reforms… The results were that the expectations of a ‘better life in capitalism’ were not met” (2006:155). The only ones to prosper seem to be the nouveau riche, who overtake numerous companies during the inevitable collapses of economic systems, and the young people living in the socialist dream who educate themselves and travel to the West to use their business knowledge and mobilise up the financial and social strata. In doing so, they consume and disseminate products of Western values.

Young people from every continent are plugging into virtual communities, sharing and consuming each other’s experiences and values and becoming citizens of the world. Globalisation and technology is allowing their cultures to steadily converge into one much larger experience. Prasnikar et al identify the shift in young people from a materialistic and career-oriented lifestyle towards one that seeks out affective relationships and enjoyment of the intangible qualities of life. They note that the value systems operating today are much more fluid and thus difficult to directly pinpoint, however they are more concerned with individual expression, creativity and hedonism as opposed to any loyalty to institutions or social conventions. “Young people often respond with a mixture of seen pessimism and inner personal optimism, which is a paradox of this generation… However, they want to be independent, free of fear, but not haughty” (2006: 156). Prasnikar et al describe this as the stepping out of dionysic values in the post-communist transition period.

 

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They argue that this is also encouraged by the converging cultures found in the formal education system and the greater access younger generations have to this. Older generations will have had a shared experience of education within their country, and so culture and identity was founded and stable within these institutions. However, advancements and in communication and relationships between certain countries means that formal education has come a long way in the advent of new technology and has contributed to the shaping of a new economic system, new value system and new lifestyle for the young people of today.

The Convergence of Cultures and Creating Distance Between the Young and the Old

Serbian Radio

Radio

It is very early to build a Radio station in Serbia, it started in Sept 19th, 1924. The first radio station tried to broadcast the program an hour a day and third a week. After that, the Serbia radio became a part of World Broadcasting. Have to say, this radio station is only later than BBC in Britain about 2 years, and earlier than Radio Tokyo and Radio Moscow a year. So it is not too behind some of the established countries in the world in Radio.

The first radio station in Serbia named “Rakovica”, it broadcasted the songs, articles from the famous books, operas and some news about political. Although is not the official radio station, it prepared for the official Belgrade radio station in 1929. And only one year, there are over 23500 people registered people and it keeps a good status until now. The programs about the radio station inherited the “Rakovica” and there is 60% music program, 13% education program, 13% literature program, 2% opera or news about political.

Serbian broadcasting industry development situation analysis:

From the statistics of the Republic of Serbia National Broadcaster showed in 2011: There are 321 official radio stations, include two republic radio stations which are Radio-Television Serbia, RTS and Radio-Television Vojvodina, RTV. That is very surprised for the Serbia because it only 7000000 people.

In first half of the 2012, there are 44.1% Serbian listen to the radio everyday and the age between 30 from 44. With the development of Internet, more and more Serbian will use Internet to listen to the radio. And there is a surprising data that 80% Serbian use the Internet to listen to the live, which is much higher than other European countries.

Broadcasting in Serbia is about to change. In July 2015 the country will switch to digital television, one of the last European countries to do so and three years behind schedule. The delay was due to a combination of the economic crisis and two consecutive elections. And when it happens, rather than leading to more choice, digital switchover is likely to force Serbia’s overcrowded media market to shrink, as local broadcasters compete for a limited number of digital licenses……
http://en.ejo.ch/9133/media_economics/serbian-tv-threat

http://www.ratel.rs/upload/documents/Pregled_trzista/An_Overview_of_Telecom_Market_in_the_Republic_of_Serbia_in_2012.pdf

http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/serbia.php?aid=622

This link is the International Broadcast radio website.
http://voiceofserbia.org/content/history-radio

Serbian Radio

Utopia & Expectation

Utopian Socialism: (Ref:): https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1880/soc-utop/ch01.htm)

Engles, F. (1880) The Development of Utopian Socialism

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/download/pdf/Manifesto.pdf

Marx & Engles: Socialist and Communist Literature

Despite Marx and Engles defining their own socialism in opposition originally to Utopian Socialism they began to describe how people would live if everyone adheared to the socialist ethic. According to Utopians and Marxists, like Fourier and Owen, Utopian Socialism inspires the oppressed to struggle and sacrifice in order to peruse a better life; gives clear meaning to the aim of socialism and demonstrates how socialism is ethical without exploiting everyone despite Marx original theoretical approach.

Engles (1880) points out that extreme revolutionists did not recognise any external authority of any kind whatsoever, reason became the sole measure of everything. Considering the identity of the UK, considered no more than the ‘idealised kingdom of the Bourgeoisie’ (Engles), which reduces equality. Revolutionary uprising of class developed within Serbia however it is interesting to consider the future for Serbia and how the culture maintains is sole independent collaboration with mainly countries that were once main allies during political conflict, eg Russia.

http://eucenter.wisc.edu/Media%20System.pdf – Curran media system and public knowledge

mapping of digital media http://www.fpn.bg.ac.rs/wp-content/uploads/mapping-digital-media-serbia-20111215.pdf

Digital media and Public Expectation:

Public expectation has altered in Serbia considerably, for a country that is thought of to be under developed in terms of digital technology and communication, digital media has had a huge impact upon the way in which journalists and newsrooms operate. An example of this is by reporter Zorić (2010) who ensures her digital camera and at times mobile phone is ready to go live at any time, in case of an emergency. An interview conducted by Surculija with Zorić (2010) engaged with her understanding of security in Serbia, especially when considering public relations and identity. Zorić admitted that she no longer needs to ‘worry about people’s security or co ordinate with a camera crew’ because of her ability to advance mobile technology and adapt. Zorić   therefore understands her audience’s specific needs and requirements and their desires when it comes to broadcasting types of information, despite her own admission that she lacks knowledge and experience ‘to get a clear picture or a proper frame every time’, though claims to be available 24/7. However, it is interesting to consider that Surculija does not include any male reporters and only focuses on the positionality of the female researcher and her apparent self assured security with mobile technology rather than being flanked by camera men. It is also noted that sensitive issues in Serbia include religious; sexual minorities and abuse of women and children that appears to be traditionally diverse taboo topics.

Impatience begun to materialise during a workshop in 2010, according to Surculija, lead writer of ‘Mapping Digital Media’. News that was broadcasted until 5pm was becoming too eagerly anticipated by a global audience who were going online to gain the information instead of waiting, convenience of digital technology was clearly a priority. The editor in chief of a local radio station in Serbia, reportedly feared to publish any news upon the internet before the 5pm broadcast because of the public’s preference of reading it in ‘real time’. The following month after this workshop, according to Surculija (2010), the radio station decided to alternatively change and publish information as it arrived, which actively developed more listeners.

Utopia & Expectation

380MC Methodology: The Lure of the Marginal

  • The three temptations on how we approach this international research project: The local, the marginal and the cosmopolitan.
  • Considering this will enable us to position our mind set in a specific way of thinking about the research we will be carrying out: what exactly will we focus upon and why? Will these interests determine what is priority?
  • Each temptation is problematic, it is only a mere thought process in order to begin an objective thought process but not to be given into.
  • The Local:
  • What is the reason why we are studying and researching Serbia ?
  • What is at our disposal in Serbia such as museums but what can we uncover ourselves? Such as already we have been able to uncover not only a student who lives locally to Novistad but also an academic who has worked and research and lived in Belgrade : both will provide huge assets to our growing understanding of Belgrade and Yugoslavia countries.
  • The local will remain to be “a subject of sympathy” as their voices are ultimately de valued or ignored/ subordinated under regimes of (often) political power. This is the centre has pushed the local voice into the margin, the question of the local cannot be separated from the question of cultural translation itself.
  • The best way of thinking of contextualising these issues is to turn to Fritz Fanon have pointed out to the psychic mutilations and self mutilations of the local voice. (post colonial identity). Giving space to the local voice, we are drawn to the voices that have suffered. Colonial past of oppression. The notion that this voice of the oppressed once liberated in a post colonial space is not a liberated voice; it is common for the discourse of the oppressed to still talk in the register of the oppressor and to consider themselves in that voice.
  • Fanon identifies going to a post colonial country that has been under post colonial force and then to discuss the local and discover the people after the oppressor has been forcibly removed.
  • Temptation of the Marginal:
  • Post modern condition, strategies for resisting the master discourses, scientific and legitimated. Lyotard has framed the research for post modern conditions. Central to his proposition here, drawing upon the proposition of the post colonial spaces as interesting spaces for identity, is this strategy: resisting the master discourses.
  • This proposition that there are legitimate truths that govern and competently dominate our way that we think about the world eg the way in which we are taught about Serbia (historically we are not educated formally about Yugoslavia and certainly not in depth) but what we know about Serbia has been told for a reason what has been left out (and un mediated) is for a more specific reason.
  • These master discourses for Lyotard are hugely problematic so the focus should be on the marginal. Not his ‘story’ but we should look into the marginal for local knowledge and narratives in order to form grounding. These certain discourses, acc to Lyotard are occupied by the privileged. Colonial past is absent in educational history. The frame work for Lyotard is what he is putting forward in a variety of research methodologies in a variety of disciplines: focusing on the margins, the purpose and position of the researcher.
  • The issue of who will (and has been) targeted to be interviewed –
  • Marginality is avant-garde romance of researchers. How is it defined who is marginalised? Thus hugely problematic.
  • Baudrillard (1982) suggests the Beauborg Effect: implosion and deterrence. 
  • By focusing on the margin the centre can acknowledge and thus diffuse the marginal, we as researchers run the risk of acknowledging the marginal as a mere token, by labelling it we are simply conforming to a social construction. The margin is in some way an oppositional voice to the centre which has been presumed that there will be something different – why wouldn’t it be the same? These presumptions have become culturally and socially constructed.
  • Baeauborg Effect : a form of deterrence that re confirms the centre as the centre, not a form of resistance or movement elsewhere – Baudrillard suggests that this movement is not progressing but is debilitating and that the marginal is stuck in stagnation, therefore the argument remains in stationary until progressive position. To stagnate the margin.
  • Temptation of Cosmopolitanism:
  • Drawing upon the work of Hannerz (1990) who distinguishes the cosmopolitan from the tourist – a state of mind, an interest and toleration for otherness.
  • An interest and toleration of the other, Hannerz suggests that we live within a age of “one world culture. The issue with this is that it is slightly ambiguous. Hannerz suggests this one world culture is marked within a cosmopolitan space.
  • For example a cosmopolitan space: New York. 
  • Universalism sees all culture in one in a utopian assertion of equality. World culture (globalism) is not the same as one culture. The cosmopolitan space is the most attractive. This proposition that it is the most tempting of all that we start form a space where we believe that we are in some way part of the local and part of the marginal because we have already previously encountered it. The cosmopolitan could typically be “bag packer”. Who becomes more than a tourist because they have engulfed their selves into the culture and welcomed it by adapting to it by remaining their own culture.
  • Gibbon – the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.
  • A critique on writing history. Gibbon identifies the a “falsifier”, the tourist and a nationalist, they focus upon the post colonial. Sometimes things that are at the centre can be very difficult for these (people) to identify and to see. These things are not always made the most of.
  • Additional: Gillette – 
  • The inventor and pioneer of the safety razor (America) ‘King Camp’
  • The Human Drift (1894) Gillette contrasted this in order to describe his position and world view
  • Utopian Socialism : term by Marx and Engles in “The Comunist Manifesto” (1848) Gillette has been pigeonholed as a utopian socialist. The Razor  Represents the ideology of Gillette – progress and making life better for the citizens and the people the drive, easier. Architecture and inter connected, contextualised by modernity of looking to the future – this is how the razor has been designed. Integrated for productivity and for speed.

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The Human Drift
The Human Drift
  • Futurism- 
  • Originally found in Italy at the turn of the 20th C. Which is completely connected to the work of Gillete – a social, political and artistic movement.
  • The cityscape replaces the landscape as a space for artistic movement, design and invention. Each subsequent generation is expected to build their own city rather than inheriting the architecture of the past. Futurism suggests machine culture and efficiency, that everything should be progressing and now stagnate. Rejected the romanticism of the past.
  • Future led directly to Fascism (Italy).
  • Russolo (1911) ‘The Revolt’ – Fascism is a mass movement of the bourgeoisie that serves the interests of imperialism and monopolies. Though in order to enlist the support of the masses it must disguise itself with radical and socialist demagogy.
  • The effects and influence becomes progressive in a style that becomes represented in art but can also be seen in an alternative way – workers become abstract. Faceless with no identity and no individualistic tendencies. The worker is glorified as an ideal machine. The worker itself becomes a machine. But can it really be viewed as that? Similar, in a way, to Hasinoff (2012) research suggesting sexting as a media production and how we become more dominate upon having a ‘faceless’ identity online. Projecting ourselves, perhaps, in a misunderstood way.
  • This proposition of futurism and utopian socialism linking into Fascism can be seen how it places through the space within a city – through architecture and the way in which individuals engage socially. Aesthetic within the future. As researchers we must approach what the ideology is behind this.
380MC Methodology: The Lure of the Marginal

The state of media in Contemporary Serbia

Case studies on B92

In 2001, after two BBC documentaries “A cry from the grave” and “Abduction” broadcasted in Serbia by B92. Serbs finally believed they have done the past war crimes. This can definitely can see how powerful media is. This research will also focus looking on Foucault’s works on power. http://www.aimpress.ch/dyn/trae/archive/data/200107/10723-002-trae-beo.htm

The current and previous government in Serbia spent years and want to erase the “butcher” image for the war crime. Radojkovic (2009) has stated, ‘Civil society media are not growing in Serbia’. Before examining the state of media in contemporary Serbia, we can trace back the history of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was a republic by six related Slavic groups. Among those places, Serbia was the most powerful group. Due to the ethno-nationalism, the six Slavic groups announced disintegrations one after another, therefore, wars outbreaked afterwards.

Timeline:

1991 Serbia left the Yogoslavia republic

1995 Srebrenica Massacre

– killed more than 8000 mainly men & boys, it was portrayed as the worst massacre in Europe after Second World War II

1995 Dayton Agreement

  • agreement for peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina

1998 Kosovo Serbs War

1999 Kosovo conflicts

In, 1999, North Altantic Treaty Organization (NATO) decided to bomb Serbia to stop the ethnic genocide. Ironically, during 78-day genocide, it also killed a lot of innocent Serbian. One of the bombs killed 16 Serbs in a television station. Afterwards, a monument was placed next to the TV station and was craved a question mark on the monument. It gave a strongly echo from the international societies that questioned why impose collective punishment to them? Is it the whole nation citizens have their guilt? Therefore, how to resolve the “Butcher” image in Serbia? I focus looking on the role of media.

The journalists avoid reporting some government bad news because they are afraid losing their jobs. In 2014, some well-known TV shows were taken off the air due to discuss politics and economy. Radisic (2014) has indicated, “The pressure became more evident to the public and it finally began to affect the public directly, with some social media users being brought in for police questioning and sometimes detained for tweeting critically about the government”.

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/05/25/serbians-fight-online-censorship-of-flood-response-criticism/

Serbian Bloggers Censored for Criticizing Flood Relief Efforts

One of the well-known show named “Impression of the Week” which is hosted by journalist Olja Beckovic for over 20 years. Beckovic has begun openly speaking about receiving telephone calls from Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, pressuring her to change guests and topics on her show.

http://www.ifj.org/nc/news-single-view/backpid/34/article/serbia-b92-to-drop-critical-talk-show-amidst-political-pressure/

Serbia: B92 to drop critical talk show amidst political pressure

The state of media in Contemporary Serbia

Gender Mediation in PostSocialist Culture

Revisiting a post socialist political culture and considering its mediation of gender, the media began to mis appropriate femininity. This is by allowing simplistic representations of what is supposed “real” political women look like, in order for a global consumer culture to identify and define. McRobbie (2008) suggests that specific and traditional gender discourses were conformed to in order to maintain traditional representation of “femininity”, this is suggested to be seen as ‘fashionable, attractive, heterosexual’ woman.
Kaneva & Ibroscheva (2012) focus on a ‘new generation’ of female politicians and comment on their diverse agendas. This took for, in self exposure that was intended to raise critical questions about the gendered nature of post socialist political culture of which Serbia ultimately conforms to.
Serbia remains to be considered as a post socialist culture, conforming to ‘ownership’ in a post capitalist society. Therefore I wish to consider Serbia as a visually owned and modern society based from and currently in a commodity culture.
Kaneva & Ibroscheva (2012) identify that the region (post socialist countries such as Estonia / Serbia etc) have seen a rapid and pervasive commercialisation of its media sphere. They continue to point out that this includes western genres (reality TV, tabloids, magazines and a variety of soft and hardcore pornographic products) which therefore provides relevance to the private and public spheres interconnecting which disrupts social patterns – similarly to the modernised communication of intimacy (sexting).
Attwood reminds us that we are dominantly a ‘self pleasing society’ therefore Serbia quickly embraced westernised values in terms of highly sexualised way and commodity. In Foucault’s terms, the cumulative effect of these trends is that the ‘subject positions’ for women to participate in post socialist political life have become severely constrained and restricted. Resulting in traditional gender discourses beginning to alter, ‘a transition period’ that Kaneva & Ibroscheva (2012) suggest the available public roles (for women) had changed from communist worker/ mother to post communist ‘slut’ and sex kitten house wife.
Roman (2001) points out that female politicians who refused to conform to these ‘new’ roles were and have been treated by the media as ‘unattractive, undesirable and unfeminine’.
I will explore the role of the successful business woman of which had emerged as an alternative image and representation to the traditional housewife. Despite being an alternative role, and highly sexualised within the media, it is a role where women are gaining independence, empowerment and social power (Foucault) through their physical assets.
A example of this self exposure that was purposefully mediated, was former Estonian president Anna-Maria Galojan (2009) appearing nude in the Estonian edition of Playboy – the headline under her name read “The Naked Truth” which was clear to representing the scandal that surrounded her at the time, of the restraints of being a woman in political power. Further case studies will provide a greater understanding of why women have had to result to to self exploitation within post socialist countries.

Gender Mediation in PostSocialist Culture

Serbia, A Media Blackout – Identity and Culture:

Serbia has always been occupied as a country by Britain, Ottoman Empire, nazis and Soviet Union. A state of ethno nationalism occurred during the reign of Serbian prime minister Siobodan Milosevic (80s) he aimed to make Yugoslavia whole again, a secondary intention to unite the people of Serbia but these neighbouring countries resisted. Resulting in smaller countries erupting in genocide. Belgrade therefore became a economic build up during this period that the president wished to create the Capitol of not only Serbia but the Capitol of Yugoslavia, “Belgrade is the world”.

Milosevic lost his power because he was later viewed as, “corrupted”. He ultimately set the chain reaction of genocides within Yugoslavia and turned to post soviet countries for support for example Russia.

A continuation of consistent institutional blackout of mediated information occurred, (WW2) so that Serbia had little resistance though they wished to retain their identity and nationalisation despite radio and news distribution being absent. Resulting in the culture being “told” of their identity in order to retain security. A clear cut identity of who they were in order to identify the ‘enemy’ and who they were not was vital.

As westernised individuals, our position of how we perceive and represent the history of Serbia is vital. History of Yugoslavia culture is not interjected into mainstream education therefore it is made to be seen as propaganda, how can we understand the genocide that occurred if it is portrayed in the way we wish to view it? (Episteme) what is there and what is not.

Milosevic had Russia on good terms though what is known of the perceived threat to NATO (who supported Croatia) from Russia has little information and knowledge. This perspective is interesting to consider, why we don’t know enough of the attempted threat from Russia on behalf of Serbia ? (Who where against Britain during this period) a westernised view. In terms of Russia’s perspective, violence was a focus, not on how they will resolve their culture when this should be (westernised view again) the first things that should be resorted and reported upon: it should be how it affects the identity of the culture, why haven’t we bee told this? Because as a westernised culture it dosnt concern us – the nationalist mindset is within every country to a degree though if the media decides to distribute who we should perceive to fear, endorsed by the material traces of history (Serbia), the media becomes a “reality maker”. From what is shown to us in the media, including film, games and music. Such as the Hollywood representation of “behind enemy lines”. War turned into entertainment.

Continuing from this concept of a media blackout and a national identity can be analysed through Foucauldian in order to understand power and discipline (The Panopticon) stemming from this Serbia as a spectacle can be understood, evaluated.

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Serbia, A Media Blackout – Identity and Culture: