PERCEPTION OF ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS IDENTITIES IN A MULTICULTURAL AREA: THE CASE OF TETOVO
Republic of Macedonia is a specific social millieu, culturally very diverse, with two more strong political and cultural elements, Macedonian and Albanian, with very ethnocentric and basically nationalistic perception of identities (Agelopoulos, 1995: 249). Tetovo is one of the Macedonia’s biggest cities, reflection of the whole countries reality, multicultural area, with the great number of the young population, since there are two universities (SEEU and SUT), and the same problems with the otherness perception, living in two different lebenswelts, with little communication (Pajaziti et.al., 2015), ethnically homogenous microenvironments based on the perspective of minority or majority.
This paper deals with self-perception and identity perception of adult young Tetovars, based on a research done in Tetovo, a focus group with 11 young participants (respondents), 7 males and 4 females from 21 – 27 years old and a case study with a young Macedonian female. The research is done in the second half of 2015 within a RRPP project, using survey, focus group and case study. This paper discuss only focus group and case study results. The researcher was interested to understand how identity perception effect ingroup-outgroup boundaries and inter-group relations. Qualitative results show that Albanians in Tetovo expressed very complex social identity, strong identification with religious group and ethnicity.
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