On Tuesday, February 11, at 18:00 sociologist Miloš Jovanović will give a public talk titled Homosexuality in Serbia: Between Formal Acceptance and Informal Rejection. The event will take place in the Baltic Research Centre for East Asian Studies (ASIARES) Reading Room (Level M), National Library of Latvia. Event language: English. Admission free.
"Generally, Europeanization is defined as 'a process in which states adopt EU rules'. As Serbia is getting closer to the EU, this process is gaining in momentum, but running far from smooth. Formal endeavors aimed at the change of the social status of the LGBT persons in Serbia are a case in point, as they are linked to the idea of Europeanization. In accordance with the EU conditions, a number of laws aimed at fighting discrimination of LGBTs were passed, programs with the same goal were implemented, and several Pride Parades took place without major incidents (as Belgrade was "besieged" by heavy police forces). At the same time, high state officials publicly manifest their reluctance toward non-heterosexuals, with the police practicing indirect resistance toward organizing the Pride.
The LGBT affirming actions were characterized by a short time-span, superficiality and artificiality, which makes this case a paradigmatic one of Serbian Government's attitude to Europeanization: the formal obligations (as imposed) are fulfilled, while simultaneously enormous (informal) efforts are undertaken in order that no changes occur in the society.
Attempts to diffuse EU rules and regulations seem to be of no avail if local adaptation, interpretation and appropriation of these norms and resistance which they spawn, is not taken into account."
Miloš Jovanović is assistant professor at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš, where he teaches such courses as the sociology of gender and sexuality, sociology of knowledge, sociology of science, social construction of deviance, media literacy, and religion in modern society. He is also a researcher at the Centre for Empirical Cultural Studies of Southeast Europe. He holds a PhD in Sociology from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš. His recent book is entitled Identitet-religioznost-seksualnost: Problem identiteta religioznih LGBT osoba u Srbiji (Identity, Religiosity, Sexuality: Identity Problem of Religious LGBTs in Serbia) (2016).
The event will take place in the "Narrating the Human" series, co-organized by the Latvian Association of Anthropologists, the National Library of Latvia, and Rīga Stradiņš University.