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Title:Between Two Motherlands: Struggles for Nationhood Among the Greeks in Bulgaria, 1906--1949
Author(s):Dragostinova, Theodora K.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Todorova, Maria
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Abstract:This dissertation examines the Greek community in Bulgaria and its transformation from a prominent minority into a marginalized refugee population after resettlement in Greece. Its history illustrates the tension between nationality as a form of cultural affinity and national ideology as a political doctrine in the twentieth century: the Bulgarian Greeks considered themselves heirs of the ancient Greek colonists and identified with the Greek nation, yet they had an ambiguous attitude towards the Greek Kingdom and hesitated to abandon their places of birth in Bulgaria. I discover various degrees of national commitment among individuals, and argue that only during military conflicts, forced population movements, and assimilation campaigns did the active espousal of nationality become imperative. True, the minority felt increasingly pressured to identify with a territorially bounded nation-state after a series of pogroms in 1906, the Balkan Wars and World War One, an interwar population exchange between Bulgaria and Greece, and the experience of occupation during World War Two. Yet national allegiances remained profoundly unstable and flexible throughout the period, as is evident in the conflicting ideas of national belonging articulated among the Bulgarian Greeks. My goal is to depict the predicament of people trapped by the overwhelming power of national ideology yet able to navigate the difficult reality of "everyday nationalism" with dignity and resourcefulness. I am interested in how nationalization worked on the neighborhood or village level, and how the population responded to official attempts to create a homogenous national body. Unearthing a previously neglected case of ethnic engineering in Europe, I analyze population management as a phenomenon of modernity and not simply a Balkan aberration. Ultimately, my research engages studies of empire, nationalism, migration, everyday life, and memory and history to demonstrate the indeterminacy of national belonging and to emphasize human agency during turbulent historical events.
Issue Date:2005
Description:342 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3202084
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2005

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