Social distance in terms of demographic features – Kosovo population study

Dr.Sc. Aliriza Arënliu, Dr.Sc. Dashamir Bërxulli, Dr.Sc. Mytaher Haskuka

Abstract


Kosovo aims for development of a state over the Kosovo state identity, which includes all communities living in Kosovo. Integration of all communities in public institutions and life remains one of the challenges of Kosovo society. The social distance refers to the extent of understanding of another group, which characterizes parasocial and social relations. Another definition is the lack of availability and relations in being open to others. Bogardus states that social distance is an outcome of affective distance between members of two groups. Earlier studies have shown that the social distance or gap is related to the ethnic background, education level and earlier interaction with other ethnic groups. Also, studies have shown a link with social/political activism. Further, it has been proven that social distance is manifested at three different spatial dimensions, their own self in a reciprocal co-product: physical, symbolical and geometric. The study aims to explicate social distance in a relation with demographic records of respondents to a research undertaken in Kosovo in 2010, in which 1296 citizens (64.4% Albanians, 13.9% Serbs, 6.9% Turkish, 5% Roma/Ashkali/Egyptian (RAE), 6.9% Bosnian and 2.7% others). Social distance has been measured by asking the respondents about the groups or persons they would object in terms of neighborhood: they, who speak another language, have another religion, have homosexual orientation, etc. Comparisons of average social distance in relation with ethnic sub-groups, gender, level of education, experience in earlier trips to the countries of the European Union (EU), size of settlement and the region of origin of the respondent, show significant differences, at p < 0.05. Also, the research also reviewed the link between social activism and activism in civil society and social distance. In these terms, outcomes are less clearer, thereby suggesting that social activism or activism in civil society not necessarily influences the narrowing of the social gap. Outcomes are discussed in due account of permanent efforts to involve minorities in governance and public life in Kosovo.

Keywords


social distance; demographic characteristics; social/political activism; prejudices;

References


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DOI: 10.21113/iir.v3i1.113

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Copyright (c) 2016 Dr.Sc. Aliriza Arënliu, Dr.Sc. Dashamir Bërxulli, Dr.Sc. Mytaher Haskuka

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