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Revitalization of Molise Croatian identity


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Račić, Marta. (2018). Revitalization of Molise Croatian identity. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Croatian Language and Literature.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij hrvatske kulture) [mentor Grbić, Jadranka].

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The aim of the doctoral thesis is to gain insight into identity revitalisation processes of the Molise Croatian minority community in Italy which included facilitating the activities focused on language preservation as well as traditional and modern culture from the second half of the 20th century to the present. Former historical, philological and ethnological research which had dealt with the origin, language and customs of Molise Croats has been used as the starting point. Based on this interdisciplinary foundation, a cultural and anthropological picture of the revitalisation process, present position and status of the Croatian diaspora community has been built up. For this purpose the identity markers within the Molise community and the identity markers denoted by non Croatian members of the local and wider community were observed as well as their possible in/compatibility. The theses has tried to establish to what extent the present Molise Croatian revitalisation process is aligned with the minority policies of the European Union, Italian minority policy and the diaspora policy of the Republic of Croatia. The thesis uses the quantitative ethnographic research methodology which includes methods of both study and field work. Techniques of text analysis, case studies, semi structured indepth audio-recorded interviews, participant observation techniques, non-intrusive evaluation techniques, informal conversations as well as diary keeping and note taking have been used as appropriate. The field research was conducted in South Italy, mainly in the village Mundimitar during the summer of 2016. Its aim was to determine the identity markers within the Molise Croatian community as well as the identity markers used by the Italian or non-Croatian members of the local as well as the broader community. The interviews were focused on two main topics, the former being the language and the latter being the cultural characteristics and tradition. An objective account of the language use as well as the cultural customs was provided, followed by an account of individual attitudes and emotions towards the language, tradition, origin and community. The main identity markers within the Molise Croatian community are the language as the most significant distinctive feature followed by the feeling of pride because of being different and belonging to a community, the importance of Saint Lucy as the patron saint and finally poetry writing which is read publicly once a year at the manifestation Večera na-našo. The features which were identified as specific of this community by the non-Croatian (Italian) inhabitants of Molise partially correspond to the Molise Croats' self-evaluation, and these were language, closedness in the linguistic sense, openness in the social sense, poetry writing and the propensity for artistic expression. The results show that after centuries of its presence in the region of south Italy, the Molise Croatian community has completely integrated into society, but at the same time has resisted complete assimilation through its language, the most prominent identity feature. Taking into account that this minority did not preserve either its name or the name of the language it spoke, but has developed the awareness of its name and origin through the revitalisation process, it can be concluded that the process of revitalisation over several decades has resulted in significant changes for the community.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: identity, Molise Croats, Molise Croatian community, language, minority, revitalisation, Italy
Subjects: Slavic languages and literatures > Croatian language and literature
Departments: Department of Croatian Language and Literature
Supervisor: Grbić, Jadranka
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij hrvatske kulture
Date Deposited: 04 May 2018 09:49
Last Modified: 04 May 2018 09:49

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