The nation in social practice I
Economy, football and Istria
in The formation of Croatian national identity

In 1990s Croatia, regionalism was a powerful source form of political opposition. The Croatian flag includes the emblems of the so-called historic regions of Croatia: ‘civil’ Croatia, Slavonia, Istria, Dalmatia and Dubrovnik. This chapter examines the way that the disputes about the meaning of Croatian national identity in the 1990s were manifested in a variety of social practices. This level of abstraction is concerned with how competing conceptions of national identity that make use of abstract frames are manifested and embedded in social practice and in identifying sites of resistance to the national ‘common sense’. The chapter presents six brief studies that reveal the nation to be a terrain of political competition in which the state is but one, albeit powerful and well resourced, protagonist. The focus is on how interpretations of the historical statehood narrative are manifested in the identities that inform social practices. The chapter also looks at the Croatian economy and how the Croatian national football team promoted national solidarity and unity, particularly during the 1998 World Cup.

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