Victims, underdogs and rebels: Discursive practices of resistance in Serbian protest

Stef Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this article analyses the discursive practices of resistance deployed in two recent waves of dissent in Serbia: the 1996-97 demonstrations against the Milosevic regime, and the 1999 anti-NATO protest. I explore three identity motifs running through both protests ('victims', 'underdogs', and 'rebels'), and explain how they were differentially articulated into a discursive practice of defiance. In contemporary Serbia, they resonate with everyday mechanisms of coping and belonging, grounded in nationalist representations of what it means to be a Serb. By analysing the contradictory deployment and performance of these motifs in two very different outbursts of dissent, this article offers an understanding of the tactical polyvalence of discourses of resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-419
Number of pages26
JournalCritique of Anthropology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2000


  • Discursive practice
  • National identity
  • Protest
  • Resistance
  • Serbia
  • Yugoslavia


Dive into the research topics of 'Victims, underdogs and rebels: Discursive practices of resistance in Serbian protest'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this