Vol. 15:2 (2005) ► pp.217–239
Young people's stories of conflict and development in Post-war Croatia
Scholars have begun to study the participation of children in war, but there is little research on the longer term consequences among those born during or after the war. This article explains how a socio-historical discourse perspective can expand research on the psycho-social effects of war. Drawing on a study of stories of conflict by children in post-war Croatia, the authors propose the concept “trans-generational development” to account for the legacies of war on social identity and knowledge. The focus of the analysis is 59 narratives written by 10 to 17 year olds identifying as Serb and Croat in the context of their participation in community center devoted to post-war recovery and development. The analysis identified complexity in young authors' representations of social relations across generations, especially around issues of ethnicity – a major issue fueling the 1990's wars in the former Yugoslavia. For example, the young authors characterized their parents' generation as divided, bitter, and socially impotent, their own generation as collaborative, wise, and resourceful, and future townspeople as active in the face of political and economic challenges. These patterns suggest how young people express identities and knowledge of the war period, yet, with support, also reason beyond the ideological and emotional legacies of war. Such story-telling complexity underscores the need for complex conceptualizations and applications of narrative theory to research and practice in war and other troubled settings.
Cited by 6 other publications
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