Dobrinka Parusheva 

Society, Technology, and Culture, or how the Balkans Meet Modernity



In this paper an attempt at linking notions society, technology and culture while locating them in the Balkans from mid-19th to the mid-20th century has been made. What happened during this period could be described as Balkans’ meeting with European modernity.

During the second half of the nineteenth century the isolated collectively of the Balkan peasant societies began to change in a way, which was quite difficult to comprehend for its inhabitants. The application of technological novelties, which sometimes turned into a sort of “domestication”, was given a start although limited only to the Balkan urban environment. In the paper examples are presented to illustrate Balkan capitals’ modernization from the point of view of ‘light’ and ‘communication’.

The author emphasizes the cultural codes Balkan people were following as most important in the process and argues that the strong attachment of mentality to the Oriental may explain why the accommodation of European influences in the Balkans took such a long time and the transition from traditional to modern society has been perpetuating itself since the nineteenth century.



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