Monoculturalism as an emblem of modernity

Ivaylo Ditchev

There is a paradox regarding Bulgarian integration into the global arena: on the one hand there is little resistance to globalization and sovereignist or anti-EU forces do not have popular support, on the other hand, multiculturalism is fiercely rejected, even though, from an outside view, the Balkans are the multicultural place par excellence. Bulgaria in particular is supposed to be “a model of ethnic tolerance”. This paper, based on field research in ten Bulgarian towns, shows the resistance of local communities to ethnic, religious or regional difference as a possible emblem of self-identification. The hypothesis is that monoculturalism has been, especially under communism, the main contents of an urban, modern way of life and its abolition provokes a deep identity crisis.

Published 9 March 2004
Original in English

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