November 4, 2019

Milica Popović Ethnic extremism, media and drivers of youth attitudes in Serbia

Although a simplified understanding of the media in the context of media influence is widespread, contemporary media in Serbia substatantial social power because they produce meaning of the underlying messages they convey,hence, they influence and create public opinion. The concept of extremism refers to any behavior that deviates from socially accepted and that is spatially and temporally conditioned, without necessarily being a negative factor. This generalized definition provokes a number of questions ranging from the readiness of a political actors to use violence in order to achieve certain goals, to the question related to role the media can have as promoters of ethnic extremism, given their infulence in the past on the processes of radicalization, politicization and polarization in Serbia. In a social atmosphere devoid of educational strategies that foster the development of critical thinking, young people receive overwhelmingly negative media messages about ethnic others that shape their consciousness towards reinforcing ethnic extremism. The aim of the lecture is to map the ways in which media content influences young people’s awareness in this context, as well as to identify the practical implications of such an impact on society as a whole.

Milica Popovic obtained bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Faculty of Special Education and Rehabilitation, University of Belgrade, where she is currently pursuing doctoral studies. She also completed a multidisciplinary master’s academic programme: Terrorism, Organized Crime and Security, at the University of Belgrade. She is affiliated as a researcher at the Victimology Society of Serbia while works professionally within the system of centers for social work. Her current research focus is placed on the role of media in creating conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and the continuity that can be established in relation to contemporary nationalist media content, with the aim of determining impact media have as a tool that can be used to raise awareness and prevent socially destructive influences wihtin the youth population in Serbia.

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