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“From the Café We Went to War”: Political Manoeuvring and Protest in Pristina's Public Spaces

DIMING, CHRISTOPHER,JOHN (2016) “From the Café We Went to War”: Political Manoeuvring and Protest in Pristina's Public Spaces. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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I discuss how agents utilise rhetoric to alter their ties with other agents within social spaces from field research conducted in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, from June 2014 to July 2015. First, I flesh out the theoretical and methodological framework for the rest of the dissertation. The theoretical framework is based on a view of hegemony influenced by Green and Laclau, where hegemony is a process through which agents draw on rhetoric to alter their relationships. I appropriate a methodology combining ethnography with systematic Social Network Analysis (SNA) and cultural domain analysis in order to provide a complementary account of networks, agents and spaces in Pristina. Second, I review the anthropological work on rhetoric, considering rhetoric as a tool used by agents to alter their social relations which draws on discourses. Third, I explore how agents in Pristina conceptualise space through interpreting perspectives from ethnographic interviews and data from a pile sort exercise, showing that spaces shape how agents act through being discursive settings. Fourth, I delve into the concepts of nder (“honour”) and turp (“shame”) through interviews and the analysis of a free list, showing how the concepts play out in Pristina and their links with each other, including related concepts. Fifth, I explore, through a SNA, how agents organise networks of relationships and illustrate how agents make use of rhetoric drawing on cultural concepts such as nder and besa in the course of their activities. Sixth, I explore how people in Pristina conceptualise their identities and show that Albanian national identity has been constructed as a discursive formation linking agents together. I conclude that agents utilise rhetoric to alter their ties with other agents in social spaces by drawing on discourses, thereby shaping discourses, changing the agents' networks and resulting in the emergence of new circumstances.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:post-Yugoslav, public sphere, public space, Kosovo, Pristina, rhetoric, networks, political action, protests
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Anthropology, Department of
Thesis Date:2016
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:27 Jul 2017 09:57

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