T'ga za jug - Waiting for Macedonia : the changing world of young female engineers in the Republic of Macedonia
My thesis is concerned with the social changes a group of young female engineers experience in The Republic of Macedonia during the break-up of Yugoslavia. From my studies, I infer that this group of informants is representative of those most affected by their country's changes: they represent the young, urban educated elite that is influenced most directly by the political changes of independent Macedonia. The work has two major aims. First, it provides a detailed ethnography of the search by my informants to understand and define the new circumstances of The Republic of Macedonia. I conclude that the Fall of Yugoslavia and Macedonia's 'forced' independence created a vacuum of meaning for its population. The second objective of this work is to examine critically a group of young female engineers and to contrast other works written about Macedonia and the Balkan region which primarily emphasised continuity and tradition. With their aim of recognition by Europe, Macedonia tries to establish itself as a European country. Consumerism and body culture emphasise this. However, some Macedonians seek to retain aspects of the recent socialist past. Macedonia, during my research, was still governed by a democratically elected socialist party that adhered to socialist values. In their search for what Macedonia could be, the past, the world of the grandparents' generation and the village and the differences between the Albanian and Slavic populations gain new importance. This search is introducing some previous members of the elite, female engineers of Yugoslavia, to a new idea of what Macedonia could be, while incorporating elements of a modem, global society with Macedonia's socialist and pre-socialist peasant past. This group of informants shows that Macedonia is in the midst of creating a new, and rather different, identity for itself which incorporates socialist ideology, a peasant past and a modern European dream.