The essence and manifestations of societal destruction: Serbia since the beginning of the ninetiens

Bolčić, Silvano (2014) The essence and manifestations of societal destruction: Serbia since the beginning of the ninetiens. Corvinus Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 5 (2). pp. 3-30. DOI

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Sociological concepts of social disorganization, disintegration, social involution and social anomie offer relevant explanations of many developments in Serbia in the 1990s. However, if one relies only on such concepts, one will not get a comprehensive understanding of the extremely destructive developments that occurred simultaneous in practically all spheres of society (economy, politics, culture, and spiritual), and the long-lasting negative social developments that occurred even after the regime change in Serbia at the end of 2000. The author presents a more complex sociological concept, the concept of destroyed society, to describe ‘things’ that happen to society when its basic structure as an ordered social community is being destroyed. The essential features of societal destruction include a radical, long-lasting disintegration of societal structure, the social system and societal culture, generating the destruction of society’s identity and vitality; the ‘empting’ of key social institutions (institutions of state, of the economy, policy, culture..), when institutions no longer carry out their institutionally-specific activities and degenerate into empty social forms; the prevalence of quasi and para-phenomena, which are outside regular social control and replace normal forms of activities established by institutions; the annulment and making of senseless basic social roles (occupations, professions, even roles in inter-personal relations); de facto making the system of social rules ‘out of order’, disrespect for the legal regulation of social development, an absence of morality; the life ‘behind the (public) scene’ becomes the real life of people, so that lies tend to dominate social communications; an accumulation of ‘unfinished happenings’, of activities which started but did not end, leading to the destruction of a sensible future; mass forgetting of ethics and morality which leads to widespread tolerance of inhuman doings; massive impoverishment, regression to low-level practices, even among members of society who usually would not be faced with poverty. Specific manifestations of the complete destruction of Serbian society in the 1990s are illustrated in the paper using empirically based findings2. Some comments on the possible reconstitution of destroyed Serbian society since the regime change are presented in the last part of the paper.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:destroyed society, destruction of institutions, determinants of societal destruction, reconstitution of society, Serbian society, post-socialist transition
ID Code:3112
Deposited By: Veronika Vitéz
Deposited On:31 Oct 2017 09:08
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 08:22

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