New comsumerist spirit, global crisis and ethnical distance in Macedonia
Ali Pajaziti (SEE University)
Paper short abstract:
This paper deals with the consumption practices in a multicultural society, Macedonia, in a lifespace that is coping with the economic crisis, massive poverty, extreme state consumerism (Skopje 2014), individual globalization of lifestyle and ethnicization of consumption practices that is in contradiction with the spirit of economy itself.
Paper long abstract:
Republic of Macedonia is one of a transitional societies that faces same problems of the Balkan lebenswelt. It is a multicultural society that entered in new millenium with serious turbulencies, from economic (non-apropriate modus of privatization, high rate of unemployment), to political (2001 conflict, permanent ethnical tensions) ones. The number people living below the national poverty line increased from 4% of the population in 1991 to 20% in 1996. According to State Statistical Office data, in 2008 percentage of poor people in the Republic of Macedonia was 28.7%, wich si more than a fourth of whole population. The survey findings of research done in 2010 (UNDP) show that 40 % of respodents said that their financial situation is worse than average. Even though there are specific difficulties in the quality of life area, the new modus vivendi is appeared, consumerist culture is omnipresent at different strata of this society, new generation, new malls, new way of spendings even in the global crisis era. Coke, Timberalnd, Iphone, as elsewhere, are dominant icons of our new reality. But there is also a tendence of frustration gap on ethnical lines: 29 % of respondents choose to shop in shops that are owned by people from their etnic group, 50.5% choose only restaurants/coffee bars and 68.0% don’t have business with persons from different ethnic group, owned by persons from a own ethnic group (PCA, 2010:75-76) There is different approach even in the sphere of dichotomy education-corruption: ethnic Macedonian students perceived to use more relations and gifts, while Albanian students bribing with cash or payment in kind (Pajaziti, 2013). This research aims to show the correlation between neoliberal economic approach, globalisation and nationalism, using the data gathered through content analysis, questionnaire and interviews.