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Changes in the Ethnic Structure of Petrinja: Demographic and Sociological Aspects

Jadranka Čačić-Kumpes ; Institut za migracije i narodnosti, Zagreb, Hrvatska
Ivo Nejašmić ; Institut za migracije i narodnosti, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 3.797 Kb

str. 127-148

preuzimanja: 4.525



The aim of this paper is to illustrate changes in the ethnic structure of the commune Petrinja in Banija (a case study), and to ascertain some of their causes (which in a certain sense represent a paradigm for ethnically mixed peripheral regions, i.e. for peripheral Croatia). After a brief historic review of the settling of Petrinja, a description is given of some of its populational-settlemental characteristics. Data on the dynamics of numerical development show a differential migrational trait: Petrinja and some surrounding settlements attract immigrants, whereas the majority of the rural areas have emigrational characteristics. In regard to ethnic structure, it is noted that as late as 1948 Croats constituted practically two thirds of the population of the commune and four fifths of the city population. Consequent censuses showed a drastic decline in the percent of Croats in the commune (with an index of 71.3 for 1948/1991), and a significant increase of the proportion of Serbs (an index of 49.9 for 1991/1948). In the city the change was even greater: the percentage of Croats was halved (an index of 49.3 for 1991/1948), the percentage of Serbs increased threefold (index 323.4), and the proportion of the “other” groups increased several times. Thus in the city of Petrinja, in four decades, the Croats changed from being an explicit majority into an ethnic minority (1991 Croats 40.7%, Serbs 45,6%, “others and unknown” 13,7%). In the entire commune, the growth of the Serbian population is well over the average natural increment, whereas the number of Croats is in stagnation. Hence the authors conclude that the situation is characterised by selective migration. Their analysis of the causes for the emigration of Croats and a pronounced immigration of Serbs is based on analysis of Petrinja society (within three societal frameworks). It is noted that events during the Second World War and in the immediate post-war period did not effect the former ethnic structure in Petrinja, yet they left a trace on the social relations which later led to rapid change in ethnic structure. The authors see the causes of the transformation in the formation of new mobilisational channels (negative selection of personnel, “nomenclature” etc.) brought into effect by the post-war regime, based on the charisma of the Banija partisans and the members of the Communist Party. The scheme is characterised by links between ideology and subethnic traditions (patriarchal modes, paternalism, ethnocentrism), family networks, an uneven level of development, the logical inclination of the undeveloped periphery (with a Serbian majority) towards Petrinja, and the effects of a political system and a political base with which (it seems) the Serbs of Banija identified more than did the Croats. Taking into consideration many other factors (i.e. ethnically mixed marriages, increased mobility, supernational ideologies, etc.) the authors emphasize the role of a political elite which took advantage of the plan for the systematic development of the Banija region in order to promote its own particular ethnic group.

Ključne riječi

ethnic structure, Croats, Serbs, Petrinja, case study

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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