Text topic: Culture in Transition
Text author: Бранислав Стевановић
After clarification of some basic notions, the text moves towards analysis of the results of one of the very few empirical studies dedicated to explicit attitudes of Serbian citizens about cultural policy. This is a survey conducted by the Institute of Sociology of the University of Niš in the period from 2002-2005, by collecting empirical material in five districts of southeastern Serbia (Nišavski, Toplički, Pirotski, Jablanički and Pčinjski). The results are indicative for the period after the democratic changes in Serbia, and allow a comparison with other findings and future research. After the implosion of socialism and dramatic events at the end of the last century in former Yugoslavia, which were primarily caused by the fear of destruction of national culture and national identity, it appears that the cultural policy largely depends on the overall social processes, economic power of society, position of citizens in the political system, historical heritage and prevalent cultural values. New developments have drawn attention to some important cultural questions, like how to profile the cultural policy of Serbia, what it should be oriented at, what is the stand of the national culture (of Serbs) in comparison to cosmopolitanism, whether citizens are scared of European or American values (and to what extent), whether the answers to the such questions make Serbia specific in the Balkans, and to what extent is Serbia internally divided on these issues – given the standard socio-demographic characteristics of its population? The text is looking for the answers to these and other dilemmas in the responses of Serbian citizens in the aforementioned survey.