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Projekat Rastko Gračanica - Peć: Istorija: The Migration of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo and Metohija


"I've nothing to say, nothing that you don't know already. I don't know what good this is, do you think that it will help anyone? You're just wasting time and money. Oh well - everyone has to do his job. Let nobody bother us by asking why we're here - we came because we had to!"

(Highly-skilled worker aged 40)


A widely held view in literature is that the existing theoretical and empirical knowledge about migrations is insufficient and that research into this field has been handicapped by the incomplete nature of the theory, frequently descriptive and fettered by the epoch and cultural circumstances (United Nations. The Determinants and Consequences of Population Trends, Volume 1, New York 1973, page 209).

The study of the migration of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo and Metohija also comes under the influence of the theory's specific characteristics, but to a lesser extent as a result of its imperfections than because of the fact that these migrations come under the strong influence of the exceptional period in which they are taking place and the highly specific social and political conditions. This factor cannot be sufficiently stressed and will be mentioned again.

All the assessments of these migrations (whether they are those underlining that they are a normal migrational process in the course of development, motivated by economic and social factors, or those which view the pressure and ill-treatment of Serbs and Montenegrins as the chief factors) have in common the fact that they seek their primary driving force in the circumstances prevailing in the province. Consequently, factors of deterrence present in the area of origin, play a dominant role in the migrations. An analysis of the information collected in the study confirms this hypothesis and the third and largest chapter in the book, deals with the circumstances and factors prevailing in Kosovo and Metohija before the migrations.

Because of this, the factors of attraction to the area of destination and other important elements have also been examined. Regardless of the lesser role played by these factors and other relevant circumstances, due attention must be paid to them in order to evaluate their relative importance and this has been done in Chapter V. As well as this, other important elements of the migrations, from the concept to its translation into practice, had to be examined and this will explain how the idea of migration originated and how it was carried out, which is covered in Chapter IV.

a. Departure from the Model of Modern Migrations

The most pronounced differences in migration which have previously taken place in the world can be seen in the course of the last 150 years in the standard migrations from the country to the cities, which have been part and parcel of industrialization in all countries.(*Idem pages 200-205, 209-211.)

This process can be explained by the concentration of capital and the work force, the influence of poles of development on the change of regional structures, the complementary nature of demographic and economic circumstances on the region of origin and destination, the effect of the factors of deterrence and attraction, or of any other theory. In any case, these are specific migration models, linked to industrialization and the development of the economy, a model of modern migrations boosting economic development and consistent with all its basic elements.

Like other countries which are becoming industrialized, Yugoslavia too is facing modern migrations of mounting intensity and importance. Naturally, the Autonomous Province of Kosovo plays a part in this, although it has a smaller migrant population (30%), the smallest urban population (32%) and a number of specific repetitive forms of traditional migration in search of employment. Something else, however, is characteristic of Kosovo and this is the fact that the migrations of Serbs and Montenegrins, which have nothing in common with modern migrations, participate in the overall migrations. In view of their elements and nature, these migrations represent a specific migratory model.

Naturally, it is not possible to present all the differences between modern migrations and the migrations from Kosovo here. It is important, however, to be aware of these differences when further examining the problem and they will be set out as briefly as possible.

Migrants - Modem migrations as a rule are highly selective, because mainly young men and women with above average education and with non-agricultural occupations take part in them. These migrations most frequently involve members of the population with previous migratory experience but with the passing of time they spread to people who are tied to the land and have deep roots in their native region. They are usually launched by individuals, rarely by whole families and virtually never by entire communities.

The characteristic features of the households and their members in our sample have little in common with the characteristic features of migrants from the theoretical model described. The customary selection in terms of age, sex, education and profession does not describe the Serbs and Montenegrins who are leaving the province under pressure. There is, however, total ethnic selectivity in view of the fact that Serbs and Montenegrins, as well as a small number of members of other ethnic groups (with the exception of Albanians), are taking part in this type of migration. A population deeply rooted in Kosovo and Metohija is migrating - over 85% of all the migrants and 83% of the heads of migrant households were born in the province - and only a small number had moved out previously. It is evident that formerly, not necessarily directly before moving, the migrants were visibly integrated in a multinational environment: over 4/10 of the adults either spoke or understand Albanian. The vast majority of them were tied to their birthplace, home and the land they owned. But, nevertheless, they left because the ethnic differences, stronger than the other characteristics of the population, unfailingly encouraged migration. Because of this encouragement, the move was not an individual but a collective one with the family and even other families from the village.

Characteristics of the Areas of Origin and Destination - Viewed as a natural economic environment in which people work and live, neither the area of origin nor that of destination can be neutral in the formation of modern migrations and migrants. Both exert an influence as a result of their characteristics, of which the economic and social appear to be by far the most important, especially since they stimulate factors of attraction and deterrence in the population. In simple terms, in modern migrations, the area of origin identifies with the country, backwardness, limited opportunities, as opposed to the area of destination which, as a rule, is an urban one with all the advantages this offers - employment, education and a higher living standard. In this type of pattern, the bulk of the emigration is formed in inverse proportion to the economic and social development of the area and its degree of urbanization.

This rule, however, does not seem to apply to the migrations dealt with here. The fact is that Serbs and Montenegrins are moving out of communes with high national incomes, a higher employment rate and a high degree of urbanization (Pristina, Titova Mitrovica, Pec and other areas), just as they are moving from communes with precisely the opposite characteristics (Bitina, Kosovska Kamenica, Podujevo and so on). They are not only emigrating from remote and backward villages but from towns on main routes which are rapidly being modernized. Therefore, the economic, social and collective characteristics of the commune have no influence on these migrations. What does influence them is the ethnic characteristics of the commune and the migrant's place of origin. Among these characteristics we must stress the large numbers and contribution of the Serbian and Montenegrin population and their tendency to hold their ground, which is in inverse ratio to the migrations.

Push and Pull Factors - If we accept the proposition that these factors work in pairs, for example unemployment will act as a push factor and the chance of employment as a pull factor, then the factors in modern migrations can be reduced to three large groups. In the first place, these are important economic factors which, as a rule, function in connection with economic development; then sociocultural factors which are influenced by education, health and other changes on the social plane and also cultural, ethnic, religious and similar specific 'features of society; and finally factors which also alleviate the broad migratory process, such as information and communications, transport and so on. (* Idem)

These factors and the influence they have on modern migrations particularly underline various variants of the theory of regional development and those which rest on the complementary nature of demographic and economic conditions taken into consideration when preparing the study.

In situations in which economic development creates a change in regional living and working conditions, the influence of the relevant economic and social factors on the population's mobility and migration is naturally indisputable. From this precept we embarked on our study of the migrations from Kosovo and Metohija but also with the supplementary hypothesis regarding the effect exercised by specific factors. After processing the information, it was seen that among the overall reasons for moving, given by the respondents, economic motives, namely unemployment, amounted to 15%. Social motives included those related to children and accounted for a somewhat large 19%. However, parents who give concern for their children as one of the reasons for moving are not leaving the province in anticipation of a brighter future for them but rather out of necessity, in order to protect them from harm.

The other reasons for leaving the province, as the survey showed, are of a similar non-economic nature. They are related to insecurity, fear, intolerance, pressure, physical threats and so on which, in one way or another, lead to the poisoning of the ethnic atmosphere. It is possible, therefore, to say without doubt that among the overall factors of deterrence of the Serbian and Montenegrin population from Kosovo and Metohija, those of a non-economic nature prevail over the economic and social ones and this, to a great extent, defines the character of the migrations. As we will see, economic factors do not play a major role in attracting this population to the region of destination - in Serbia.

Effects on the Area of Origin and Destination - One of the most important effects modern migrations have on the area of origin is that they rid the economy of its relative population surpluses which have accumulated over a period of time. The population's shift from agricultural to non-agricultural activities which takes place in the course of development, reduces agrarian overpopulation and establishes new economic-demographic relations, thereby expediting other dynamic and structural changes. Thus, the work force in the area of destination necessary for the expansion of industry and non-agrarian activities is secured;

production becomes diversified and is able to meet the mounting needs for goods and services. The economy, the population, the environment and society are modernized and acquire a more mature industrial-urban quality.

The migrations of Serbs and Montenegrins do not stimulate the described changes in Kosovo and Metohija, partly because the non-agrarian population is moving out and partly because Albanians immediately take possession of the liberated land. In fact, the function of all migrations is to make room for an ethnically selective settlement and the ethnic homogenization of the territory and not to increase the land and the population's productive force. Quantitative economic-demographic relations do not improve because of this but remain at the same level;

their ethnic structure, however, changes. Many of the processes' secondary effects are absent and structural changes in the economy, population and society are slowed down. On the other hand, the Kosovo migrations do not have an optimal effect on the area of destination because the basic preconditions for modern immigration have not been secured here either.

b. The Relative Importance of Economic Factors

The hypothesis (confirmed in the study) that non-economic factors will play a far greater role than economic ones in the Kosovo migrations does not of course diminish the importance of the economic factors As we have already seen, economic factors specifically intervene in virtually all the elements of these migrations but are far from being the only ones, together with the social factors. They have an indisputable influence on the behavior of families and individuals and on decision-making but, in the circumstances in Kosovo and Metohija, are relativized by other factors and considerations. The intensity of their effect changes with time, not only because of genuine changes in the group of factors but because of their perception which can also change although no real changes have taken place. To paraphrase Jovan Cvijic, it can be concluded that the overall circumstances in the Province and the moral and economic situation which they have brought about serves as a raising agent for "economic and psychological migrations" and that it is difficult in individual cases to pin down the "final impulse" which prompted people to leave the land of their birth. "Because just a tree has to be shaken a little to make the ripe fruit fall, so it is with people's feelings about moving". (* Cvijic work, page 41)

The economic factors will be examined (either directly or indirectly) in the following chapters, within the framework of the remaining factors. Because of this, a summary of their other aspects will follow. Special emphasis will be placed on showing the effect economic factors have on the situation and economic position of the emigrants and their families in Kosovo and Metohija prior to moving. Special attention will also be devoted to how the emigrants view the importance of economic factors ex ante through their motives and reasons for moving and ex post in view of the difficulties they have experienced in their new environment. Finally, we will examine how they assess the change from an economic point of view. It is hardly necessary to stress that this combination of different aspects represents an endeavor to give a parallel display of the emigrants' objective economic circumstances and their subjective views of these circumstances and the relevant factors.

The Households' Economic Situation and Position in the sample is defined in terms of the material goods possessed, details regarding the employment and housing situation, as well as factors which might have a positive or negative effect on the decision to move. This group also takes into account personal incomes, that is the households' earnings from agriculture, although it is difficult to get satisfactory answers, not only because of the influence of inflation. On the other hand, unemployment, which always has a negative effect, although with a varying degree of intensity, also determined the households' economic situation.

Real Estate - The vast majority of households in the sample (84%) owned land, a house or an apartment before they moved from the province. This was previously assessed as an important factor attesting to deep roots in the native &oil and is now shown as an important integral part of the economic position. Although the influence real estate has on the economic situation varies because it depends on what the households own and its condition, its economic importance cannot be disputed. To this we add the possession of consumer durables which, in the measure in which they are present, undoubtedly show an improvement in the economic circumstances, the modernization of the household and an acceptable living standard.

The Professional Structure in which blue-collar workers make up 54%, white-collar workers 21%, agricultural workers 14% and pensioners and non-active members 11% also attests to the relatively favorable economic situation of the households in the sample. The large number of mixed agricultural-non-agricultural households previously mentioned only substantiate this assessment. Ties with the country and traditionally family life also improve the economic situation of many households and their position on the market. Moreover, at a time of economic crisis, the flow of produce from the farm and the land has had to support the households' stable economic position and living standard.

Judging from the findings in the survey, the housing situation was not a major reason for moving. Like in other inland parts of the country, the majority of households in Kosovo and Metohija have no housing problems. The standard of housing was not necessarily high, as can be seen when compared to the standard in the new environment. With the passing of time, however, it has improved and, in this context, has had a neutral effect when it did not deter the population from leaving.

Owing to the Lack of Figures on Personal Incomes and revenues from agriculture, it must be born in mind that the average personal incomes in the Province are lower than in any other part of the country. On the other hand, the participation of unskilled and semi-skilled workers (21.1 to 21.8%), skilled and highly-skilled (37.6 to 35.9%) and white-collar workers with post high-school and college education (19.5 to 15.7%) in the sample is greater than in the Province while the participation of employees with lower and high school education is considerably smaller (19.7 to 26.5%). Advantages in terms of the employment rate and the professional and skills structure of the population, which will subsequently migrate, leads to the conclusion that the average level of personal incomes could be somewhat higher than that of the provincial average. Furthermore, the ownership structure of this population suggests that its income from agriculture could be at the same relative level as that of the provincial population's.

Unemployment - If the elements of the economic situation of the migrant households we have mentioned do not speak in favor of moving but are neutral and what is more act as a deterrent, then the high level of unemployment has the opposite effect. Before leaving Kosovo, the sample of 500 households showed 382 cases of unemployment, the majority young, educated people with non-agricultural qualifications. The number of unemployed in the sample was extremely high: for every 100 employed there were 71 unemployed. Young people looked for jobs, regardless of whether or not the household owned land or whether some of its members were employed or not. The impression is that the employment problem is not only a question of earning money and material status but that it is also an important social and human issue for the younger generation and a human right which it has not achieved.

The Attitude to Unemployment - Characteristically, statements from the respondents rate unemployment as an important ex ante and ex post consideration:

- among the reasons for first thinking about moving and then deciding to move, unemployment accounted for 18.2% and 14.7% and ranked third on the list of reasons;

- when moving, finding a job was the greatest concern and accounted for 31.2% of the reasons for the choice of destination;

- among the post-migrational difficulties, unemployment again came third, accounting for 14.2% of all difficulties which occurred immediately after the move and for 31.4% of those which existed at the time the survey was carried out.

It should be stressed, however, that unemployment has not always been the main reason for moving, in view of the fact that non-economic reasons predominated both from a quantitative and qualitative point of view. When asked whether they would move if they got a job, out of 182 unemployed persons 99 or 54% said they would, obviously because of these other reasons. After all, if it were not for the other non-economic reasons, only the younger members and not entire families would move out in search of a job.

While leaving the details for a subsequent analysis, the following observations regarding the importance of economic factors must be made at this point. Firstly, the survey established that out of all the economic reasons for moving unemployment, which is the sole and identifiable reason, stands out. Unemployment is prominent in all phases of the emigration process but its absolute and relative importance varies. Secondly, the survey also establishes that besides unemployment, important economic factors also effect migration. In the overall structure, those of economic importance play a lesser role than non-economic factors. Thirdly, although the survey did not provide a direct answer to the question of to what extent the section of the households interviewed can be considered economic migrants, it can be indirectly assessed that they account for between 15 and 25% of the total migration. This category would include not only households which would not have moved had their unemployed members found employment but those who moved because of job transfers, children's education and other forms of economic or social advancement. This means that from 75 to 85% of the migrations of Serbs and Montenegrins, which were analyzed, from the province were motivated by non-economic factors.

c. Domination and Discrimination

The role played by non-economic factors which mainly stem from the sphere of ethnic relations, lead to the fundamental issue of demographic coexistence, that is the coexistence of ethnic, linguistic, religious or culturally different populations in a common area.

Investigating this phenomenon which, scientifically speaking, has been insufficiently observed, Alfred Sauvy concluded that the causes leading to the creation of demographic duality or plurality differ and established that this complex form can evolve in different directions. In normal conditions, when a population enjoys equality, it is possible, with eventual adjustments to maintain plurality. In other, real or apparently normal conditions, a fusion of the population under differing social and demographic hypotheses may occur. However, when conditions are disturbed, when a relationship of domination prevails, the dominated population is liable to die out as a result of the high mortality rate, boosted by unfavorable socio-economic circumstances, or as a result of the high birth rate of the dominant population which, with its high population growth rate, stifles the dominated. When relations are disturbed voluntary or forced migration can also occur and in extreme instances this can lead to territorial divisions (* Alfred Sauvy, Theorie generale de la population. Volume II Biologie sociale. Presses universitaire de France, 1954 pages 304-322)

From the course of evolution established by Sauvy, the extinction of the dominated populations of Serbs, Montenegrins. Croats, Turks and others can be perceived in Kosovo and in Metohija. The extinction of these populations can be clearly seen from their absolute and relative decrease in the total population of the Province. This is the result of the high birth rate and the natural growth rate of the dominant Albanian population on the one hand and the migration of the dominated population, particularly the Serbian and Montenegrin, on the other.

Our survey has irrefutably established the existence of a relationship of domination in the migrations of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo and Metohija, although an explanation for the origin and nature of this relationship must be sought elsewhere. The domination is basically ethnic and political, with strong economic elements, and has been developing since the mid-sixties. It is widely implemented, using an extensive discriminatory practice described in detail in the survey. This practice is not limited to restricting the rights and freedoms of Serbs and Montenegrins, but goes so far as to endanger their property, person, integrity and lives. This type of development is clearly the result of the collapse of the policy of internationality relations and the deep crisis which has affected them. We will concentrate on the forms of discrimination recorded in the survey and return later to the issue of domination, its emergence, causes and evolution.

The basic form of discrimination is informal discrimination practiced by people at the primary social group level. People who discriminate against their neighbor or fellow-countryman, do so on their own behalf or on behalf of their families. Therefore, whether or not the act of discrimination is of material or other benefit is irrelevant.

Thus, for example, it is clear that the ill-treatment of children, damage to crops, fruit or cattle, attacks on people's characters and integrity etc., do not benefit the perpetrator directly or materially, but they probably do give him some sort of satisfaction which would be impossible to understand in normal circumstances. On the other hand, the appropriation of land and pasture land, jumping the job-line etc., directly benefit, and are at the same time a source of satisfaction to the perpetrators. Looking, however, at the effects of the migrations in general, the ultimate end of this discrimination is to appropriate land, buildings and natural wealth, so that in this case, the overall ethnic goal of the "chauvinists" and "separatists" coincides with individual, concrete, economic targets.

For this very reason, townships are a framework for informal acts of discrimination which is practiced "face-to-face" outside institutions and programmed in each separate instance. Spontaneity can be used, towns and villages.

Informal discrimination is spontaneous. This means that it is not guided in a direct and institutional sense, in other words it is not planned and programmed in each separate instance. Spontaneity, can be used, therefore, to refer to the nature of individual acts of discrimination, to the choice of time, place and person which it is aimed at and even to the methods and instruments used but not to the spontaneity of discrimination itself as a global social phenomenon.

This spontaneous informal type of discrimination makes any kind of resistance extremely difficult. Informal discrimination is unexpected and varied in terms of methods and instruments used, it is frequently "invisible" for there are no witnesses. Consequently, it is difficult to place under social control. At the same time, its destructive power is immense, because it is aimed at the everyday life of the individual, at his immediate environment. Here, it seems, its active power as a factor of migration is strongest.

The fact that informal discrimination is spontaneous does not mean that it is not encouraged, stimulated and even directed and organized. Its widespread diffusion in Kosovo and Metohija and further afield in southern Serbia, western Macedonia and eastern Montenegro, the methods used to implement it and its ideological stamp and fanaticism, lead to the conclusion that there must be some regulating force behind it. The widespread discrimination which is "spontaneously" practiced is highly coordinated with acts of institutional and ideological discrimination which are not only tolerated but encouraged.

Institutional discrimination is another type of discrimination within the social and economic institutions. In contrast to informal discrimination, it is expressed at the secondary group level. In the structure of institutional discrimination, the discriminators and the discriminated enter into a relationship, not only as members of different ethnic groups, but as the defenders of defined social roles.

Institutional discrimination does not mean that a formal, normative legitimacy for discrimination exists, although even this is not excluded, for example the ethnic "quotas" prescribed for enrolment in schools, at university or when looking for a job. The essence of this type of discrimination in organizations and institutions is that the discrimination becomes the hidden but real reason for their existence. The importance of the institutions' latent goal and function may be more important than the officially and openly proclaimed goals of the functions for which they were founded and because of which they are maintained. Thus, for instance, discrimination at work can be more important than work itself and economic profit, discrimination in educational institutions can be more important than the quality of education acquired in them, discrimination in the courts - more important than enforcing the law. The substitution of goals, however, not only strengthens discrimination but prevents the institutions and organizations from functioning and pursuing their legitimate social goals.

The existence of discrimination within the institutional framework, makes it possible to institutionalize discrimination as a social relationship as well as institutionalizing a system of domination and social inequity based on discrimination. The institutionalization of discrimination is a process which introduces and spreads discrimination throughout the systems of the institutions and organizations. In practice, therefore, discrimination, although forbidden by law, acquires a specific type of legitimacy and force.

The institutionalization of discrimination is a social process. The more widespread the domination, the stronger the discrimination and the more extensive and powerful it becomes. This process probably begins at the level of institutions and organizations, which play a lesser role in the functioning of the system, for example education, only to culminate in those institutions and organizations which are of vital importance for the system, security, the Judiciary and administration. The process has also boosted the increase in the number and strength of the institutions in the overall bureaucratization of Yugoslav society because it has accelerated the strengthening of institutional discrimination in the Province.

The substitution of legitimate objectives with illegal discriminatory goals has made it possible to establish certain rules of behavior within the institutions and organizations. While these rules of behavior have been operational in achieving the institutions' and organizations' illegal goals, they have obstructed the achievement of their legitimate objectives. These rules prescribe discriminatory behavior toward non-Albanians. Naturally, they can only be adhered to by the discriminators and not by the discriminated. In view of the fact that every organization demands that its members adhere to its rules because this is the condition for being a member of it, the Serbs' and Montenegrins' withdrawal from the League of Communists and the mass enlistment of Albanians in it indirectly confirms the strength of discriminatory rules of behavior. The adherence to these rules (and others similar to them) has even expedited the social promotion of discrimination within the system, rather than sanctions for refusing to adhere to the officially proclaimed rules of behavior in coordination with the officially proclaimed goals.

The third form is ideological discrimination which rationalizes and makes the other forms possible. It lends individual acts of discrimination an importance and overall legitimacy, ideologizing discrimination.

In conclusion it should be added that the concrete forms of discrimination which will be discussed in the following pages, are part of an inter-linked and well-structured system. A discriminatory system achieves an optimal effect and seems to neutralize measures taken against it. This partly answers the question of why, in view of the fact that the problem has been perceived and socially condemned, has it not been possible to halt the forced migration from Kosovo and Metohija over the past eight years.


The chief aim of the survey, to establish and explain the conditions, causes and characteristics of the migrations of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo and from Metohija over the past two decades, has had a great influence on the methodological solutions adopted.

Two points of view (as seen in the Preface) emerged from the first examinations of the project. Firstly, that scores of in-depth interviews be carried out with people who had moved out, secondly that a systematic study of several hundred units of observation be made. The second point of view was adopted but the first was incorporated because when gathering information both the survey and interview methods were combined. As will be seen, the combination of the two methods proved to be justified because they complemented each other and eliminated the shortcomings that are part and parcel of each method.

The primary observation unit is the family, that is the household: firstly because what is characteristic of the migrations of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo is the fact that whole families or households are leaving and secondly because the conditions and reasons for the migrations (even when single people move) reflect on the family. This solution led to a certain amount of technical difficulties in the choice of families from the evidence available and made the processing of the information more complicated. On the other hand, had only single people been used as observation units, the family would have surfaced in their replies and the necessary details regarding its characteristics would have been lacking.

The next methodological question was: where should the households of Serbs and Montenegrins be located? Ideally, a study should be made of groups of households of the Serbs and Montenegrins who have moved and those who have remained in the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo, both of those who are preparing to move out and those who do not intend to. Unfortunately, due to a series of political, organizational and technical circumstances, it was possible to examine only the first group - those who have moved out and settled in Serbia. The lack of a control group is one of the chief weakness of the study, but in view of the fact that the political situation in Kosovo at the time of the survey provided meager possibilities for field work, it is hard to say whether this could have been avoided.

The fact that the households were interviewed outside Kosovo and had already settled into the new environment in proportion to the amount of time they had been there, the jobs held by their members, and the homes they had built, carried the risk that statements about the conditions and reasons for moving would be modified by selective recollection and the tendency to alter events that occurs with the passing of time. On the other hand, it also made it possible for the respondent to be more free and sincere with the pollster. The research showed that many respondents want to forget, they refuse to remember all the details and circumstances linked to their move and use standard journalistic cliches to describe them. However, this did not depend on the objective circumstances but on the respondent's personality.

The secondary observation unit focused on individuals, that is each member of the household in question. The main particulars used in statistical surveys - sex, age, occupation and so on, were recorded for each person. On the one hand, this was used to gain the necessary information about the members of the household and on the other to give a better picture of the situation of the households in the migration process.

The fact is that, as a result of the migrations and at various times during them, the household as a primary unit was liable to vary in terms of the size and composition assigned to it by its members and appeared in three forms: the household prior to migrating, the household which has resettled and the household surveyed. This is because all the members of the household were not necessarily present during all the phases of the migration. Consequently, there are three different categories of members of the household in the survey:

M - migrants from Kosovo members of the household who were in the household at the time of the survey;

R - those who have remained in Kosovo, members who before moving from Kosovo were members of a household; this category has two subcategories:

N - new members those who have arrived in the household since the move, by marriage, birth etc.

As we will see, the difference between these three categories has a significant descriptive and analytical importance.

Choice of destination. Ever since the migrations have been placed under some sort of social control, the migrants from Kosovo have had to fill out a form to apply for a permit to move out (which is, in fact, unconstitutional). Before arriving in Serbia Proper to take up temporary or permanent residence, they had to fill up a special registration form and this evidence provided a picture of their resettlement in communes in Serbia Proper. At the time of preparing the survey, figures from April 1st to 30th 1983 showed that 12,301 persons had moved out of Kosovo and Metohija permanently (that is they had applied for permanent residence). The largest numbers of settlers was recorded in the following areas; Belgrade 3,254, Sumadija and the Morava Valley 2,939, Kraljevo 2,118, the Danube Valley 1,869, Nis 910, and from 100 to 300 persons were recorded in other areas. Assuming that there is an element of continuity in the migrations from Kosovo, the first four areas or rather five communes Smederevo, Batocina, Kragujevac, Krusevac and Obrenovac, which at the same time are the most economically developed, are covered in the survey. Twenty-three urban, suburban and rural type districts with a large number of settlers were surveyed. The framework used for the choice of household was the commune's register of permanent residents. The lack of uniformity and incomplete nature of these records was, to a great extent, dependent on the time of moving, that is when large numbers of settlers began to arrive in the area.

The Questionnaire was made up of 54 questions with a large number of sub-questions. Twenty-two referred to objective factors; one of these contained 10 sub-questions for each member of the household. In 15 of the questions, the respondent was asked to give various assessments and 13 referred to the history of the households' move. Four questions asked about plans for the future. The largest number of questions referred to assessments or views, to the household's history and plans and allowed the respondent to reply freely; the replies were placed in order at the end of the survey.

A draft questionnaire was put through a test survey in the communes of Smederevo and Krusevac and corrections were subsequently made. Like many others, the weak points in the questionnaire only showed after the survey was completed and the results processed. Perhaps there would have been fewer weak points had there been more direct knowledge of the situation in Kosovo in relation to the migrations. For example, some problems and relations could only be viewed indirectly through the media and previous surveys which had been carried out with difficulty. In other cases, the amount of time which had elapsed from the move to the time of the survey created difficulties. Thus, for example, it was impossible to compare the wages of people who had been employed in Kosovo and had subsequently found jobs in Serbia because in many cases the amount of time which had elapsed between the move and the survey and inflation made it quite pointless. An even greater shortcoming was the lack of questions about aspects of everyday life, behavior and relationships in public places, on the street, in public transport, in shops, health and government institutions. However, the extent to which these factors were related to the move showed in the answers provided by the respondents when speaking freely about relationships, but there was no possibility of establishing how frequent they actually were.

Time of the Survey - The survey was carried out in the communes of Smederevo, Kragujevac, Batocina and Krusevac in November 1985 and in the commune of Obrenovac in May 1986. In social terms, the psychological and political aspects of the two periods were not totally identical. In fact in this period the social problem of the position and life of Serbs and Montenegrins in Kosovo deteriorated and imposed itself more and more on Yugoslav public opinion, culminating in the mass arrivals of Serbs and Montenegrins at the centers of the Republic and Federation and in mass rallies staged in Kosovo itself. We presumed that the sample from Obrenovac would differ from the other communes in terms of the response to the survey and the degree of frankness of the respondents. This, however, did not prove to be correct; we found the proportion of respondents in Obrenovac classified as uncommunicative-reticent, open and bitter to be almost the same as in the entire sample, and when carrying out the survey the atmosphere in the respondents' homes was no different. The differences which emerged in some features of the migrations and in the statements of the respondents in some communes were connected to the time of migration, or rather to the length of residence in Serbia.

Only two members of the team of pollsters did not live in the communes where the survey was carried out. The gravity and delicacy of the subject called for the members of the team to be highly-qualified and acceptable to the environment in which they were to work.

The work of the pollsters was based on the principle of total respect for the respondent, his opinion of the survey and his replies, even when it was more than obvious that they were diffident, insincere and contradictory. During the talks, lasting from one to five hours, what the respondent wanted to be written down was recorded in the questionnaire and this was often less than what had been actually said, particularly in the interview part of the talk. Nevertheless, none of the questionnaires were left out of the study, regardless of possible or clearly incomplete answers, particularly those referring to assessments and views about moving.


After completing the survey and the interviews, the pollsters added their direct impressions to the questionnaire. In order to do this, they were given general instructions and were expected to record how long the talk had lasted, their impressions of the talk, the living conditions, the respondent's view of the survey and the overall atmosphere of the encounter and talk with the migrant family.

This informal request yielded three types of observation: the absence of any comment whatsoever, concise even stereotyped observations and in many questionnaires photographic accounts of the meeting with the people from Kosovo and their characteristic traits. The differences in recording impressions were influenced by a number off circumstances. Firstly, if there was something in the household itself which made it stand out from the other households in the sample. When it transpired that several households had the same characteristics, then the pollsters's comments were briefer. Secondly, the length of the interview. If the talk with the members of the household went on for a long time, then the comments were more detailed. Thirdly, the number of questionnaires filled up by the questioner-pollster. If the number of questionnaires increased, then the comments were shorter or even non-existent because of the psychological effect of "what had been said before" and finally, they also depended on the personality of the pollster. Thus, on the whole, the female part of the team recorded more lengthy and detailed impressions. As far as the personality factor is concerned, it is interesting to note that three members of the team had been born in Kosovo and had emigrated with their families; they found it easier to surmount the initial difficulties in the conversation but their comments, considerably more often than the other pollsters, were either standard or non-existent. It might be said that the "already known" syndrome had a special effect on them.

The refusal to talk was relatively infrequent - around 50 cases. Sometimes no explanation was given for this refusal and sometimes the reason, which was not solicited, was given spontaneously. Here are some of the explanations recorded:

- He doesn't want to answer; when he came here in 1971 he talked about the situation in Kosovo. They didn't believe him and proclaimed him politically unsuitable - after the demonstrations in 1981 he wanted to spit on those who had made things unpleasant for him here because of what he said about Kosovo. I'm sorry, he doesn't want to talk now because they didn't listen to what he said then.

- He doesn't want to talk about himself. He was very kind and wanted to talk about the migrations in general but gave no details about his family and its move. He said that even before 1966 he had informed the leaderships in the Republic and the Federation about the situation in Kosovo but to no avail.

- He doesn't want to talk. This is a well-known family whose case is know to the public through the press and particularly through television programs and he feels that there is nothing more to add. "If my 80-year-old grandfather has to set up house away from his homeland, what is there to talk about"!

On the basis of all that has been set out, it is evident that bitterness and disillusion figure among the reasons for refusing to talk. It is possible that among those who gave no explanation for refusing there were those who imagined the survey would have repercussions, and this was also the case in some of the households which accepted to participate in the survey.

The living conditions described in many cases by the members of the team gave a more vivid description than the details in the questionnaire relating to this field.

- People from a number of under-developed regions, including a very large number from Kosovo, have settled in this new, spacious part of town, made up of three local communities. They have running water and electricity but schools, jobs and shops are a very long way away. The streets are not asphalted, they have no cobblestones or surface so that at this time of the year they are barely passable and full of mud.

- The area where I carried out the survey was almost exclusively inhabited by migrants from Kosovo. Neighbors, relations and friends still live next door to each other. The streets and lanes have no names, not to mention numbers on the houses. Miniature private allotments are often cultivated.

- Households which had more land in Kosovo, a rich agricultural region, have built spacious houses equipped with modern appliances, while those who were not so well off have a hard life here too. On the "opposite side of the tracks" lives an entire colony of migrants from Kosovo, very poor marshy terrain with mud up to your knees, here the poorest live, often in houses with two small rooms and only the most essential items of furniture. At the other end, the land is of a better quality and dry, the price is far higher, the better-off live there. On the other side, according to the pollsters' notes, there are families with very fine large houses, well-furnished and equipped. The pollsters frequently stressed the large differences in this regard.

The time spent on talks related to the survey and the interview lasted from one to five hours. As the survey proceeded in the township, the average time became shorter because the people from Kosovo told each other about it. Another factor which influenced the length of the talk was the respondent's personality. A number of the talks were carried out in two stages, for example:

- The head of the family was hesitant about taking part in the survey. He asked me to come back the next day and said that if his friend accepted, then he would too. He told me that his married daughter was still living in Kosovo and that he was afraid of reprisals.

- He accepted to take part in the survey but on condition that he filled in the questionnaire by himself and asked me to come the next day to pick it up.

- Attempts to start the talks in the morning hours were frequently unsuccessful because housewives didn't want to talk without their husbands, regardless of the subject.

The pollsters' impressions of the respondents' opinion of the study and of them range from total mistrust to the wholehearted readiness to talk. This can be seen in the following examples.

Fear of imaginary repercussions

- The head of the family agreed to take part but his wife kept wondering whether "they wanted to send us back down there" as if she lived in fear and uncertainty.

- A very introverted quiet man, he is frightened. In the end he said he thought I worked for the police.

Skepticism about the anonymity of the survey, the pollster, the goals of the survey, were recorded by several pollsters:

- The respondent has doubts about the anonymity of the enquiry. "You came here with a list in my brother's name and asked for me! What kind of anonymity is that?" He stood behind me and read the questions, then answered them, he was more prepared to talk than to have what he said written down. Only when the questionnaire had been completed did he relax and then we continued our talk about Kosovo.

- They were not willing to talk, very suspicious about the survey. "There's lots we could tell you but it's better to keep quiet".

- The wife didn't want the family to be interviewed but the head of the family consented. I think that he held back in some of his replies. At the same time you could feel the bitterness and fear. He often repeated that all those who do not believe what is happening in Kosovo should spend some time there.

- Two hours in all, the respondent very mistrustful, gives only official-type answers. He's afraid, he said that the information might reach Kosovo and that he would have trouble with the Albanians because of it.

- The wife of the head of the family does not believe in the objectives and importance of the survey: "It's all been said before! Why do you want to torment us, where were you in Kosovo! Why don't you go and question the Albanians?"

Examples of reticence and uncommunicativeness were also frequently noted:

- They say, "people don't want to talk a lot, they see it's no good. Because of this we don't talk about it very much".

- The head of the family, a police inspector in Kosovo, extremely reticent.

- The head of the family received me cordially, does not talk much, he thinks a lot and measures his words. I felt that everything he told me was expected to be atop secret". Several times he said, "my wife would tell you more if she was here". And "for God's sake, don't write that down, I only said it to explain things"!

- The family consented to talk but I think that they're holding back a lot. Many stories began and were broken off! Only after the questionnaire was completed did they tell me what had happened to the wife's family. During the war the family fled from Kosovo and when they returned in 1945 they found that the house had been burnt down. The neighbor, an Albanian, did not want to tell them who had set fire to the house and stopped saluting them, "he always bent his head down when we met".

- The head of the family, a member of the Yugoslav People's Army, spent several years in Kosovo and constantly put in applications for a transfer. He doesn't want to make judgments or assessments, even about the planting of explosives in streets which he spoke about.

Bitterness was evident both in the open and reticent and uncommunicative respondents

- I don't know if my comments are at all necessary here. Everything is clear, bitterness because of what's happening and a sort of contempt for oneself because of the move and the lack of protection.

- This man is hurt, in fact, and the reason can be seen in the questionnaire.

- The head of the family is bitter, he still bears the traces of physical violence (a limp, scars), he was beaten up by his neighbor, an Albanian, because of the sale of the house.

- You can see the anger in the head of the family's face, he holds back half his words and Just shakes his head. He feels highly indignant toward society and the authorities, more than toward the Albanians.

Satiation and the wish to forget

- It is typical that psychological pressure is not mentioned as a reason for moving although it was obviously influential.

- I got the impression that the head of the family had become so immune to the various pressures that he felt they were normal. The fact that no-one could budge from the house without a male escort was mentioned as the most normal thing in the world!

- The head of the family is an elderly energetic woman. I was well-received, she is uncommunicative but her daughter-in-law talks freely. The head of the family considers that "what happened - happened. I don't want to remember, I want to forget. I could write a book, but for what? I want to forget. I want to die in peace"!


- Very talkative, open man. He insists on me putting his name in the questionnaire, he read me his poems full of longing for his birthplace

- This is a well-known family which was written up in the press. The authorities won't allow them to sell their property in Kosovo, a large part of it has been neglected and is more or less going to ruin. The head of the family is very calm and talkative and wants to be objective.

The whole family gives the impression of people to whom everything is clear and who despise hypocrisy. They frequently point out that people who haven't lived there cannot possibly understand the Serbs who feel compelled to move out.

- Her replies were completely natural and spontaneous (a widow, head of the family), she complained bitterly while talking about all sorts of things, some of them connected to the questionnaire and some not!

- They were interested to know if the survey was genuine and who was doing it. I feel that the head of the household consented to talk because he wanted to tell someone, not only about the problems in Kosovo but about the ones here. Evidently things here did not turn out the way they expected them to, they feel they are intruding and that they are not accepted.

- The head of the family readily agreed to talk. I would say he was even grateful because he pointed out that up to now no-one had asked him why he had moved from Kosovo.

- He insisted on me writing down his name and address and invited everyone who wants to hear about Kosovo to come and see him.

The overall atmosphere in which the talks took place tended to vary, the members of the team felt. Differing views held by members of the household toward the survey emerged; differing relationships in the family itself were discernible. The talk was rarely held with the respondent and members of the household alone; sometimes a wide circle of neighbors, friends or relations who had settled here or those on a visit from Kosovo took part, as illustrated by the following comments:

- The head of the household is a man of few words, suspicious, he frequently tells the other members to keep quiet.

- Very cordial reception, but we had to wait for the head of the household to come in from the neighbors' and give his formal permission, although the wife with whom the talk was conducted is evidently the authority on the subject. There is no reason for me not to believe what they said, it seems that Bitina is a different type of commune because households I talked to from there had no conflicts with Albanians. Almost jokingly they asked what would happen if "they were to be sent backs but I don't think they're really afraid that this will happen.

- The wife tried to join in the conversation and the head of the household interrupted her, "what right have women, to interfere in men's business".

- When this household was being questioned their best friends, who live in Kosovo, were visiting and joined in the conversation. They don't intend to move, the friend says, "I've told everybody - I won't move. If anyone as much as breaks my window, I have a rifle and I'll either kill him or be killed, I won't stand for vandalisms". The household agreed to talk and answered openly but expects nothing to come from it. "A lot has been said about the migrations, the television has taken a lot of pictures but the situation hasn't improved, everything's the same, only every day there are fewer Serbs and Montenegrins".

- The head of the household was reluctant to answer a question about difficulties members of the family have had, his son jumped up and started to shout at him, "why are you keeping quiet Dad! Why don't you tell how they beat me up in high school and at colleges!"

- The head of the household listened to the questions and wanted to answer. He tried to say something more but didn't want anyone else to listen to our talk; when someone came in he tried to get rid of him. Nevertheless, in the end, the talk was held in the presence of a house full of neighbors and guests.

- The head of the household answered spontaneously, his wife joined in, we all helped to keep the children quiet. They didn't want to let me go!

These are the personal impressions of the pollsters, influenced of course by their education, experience and personality. Nevertheless, there is no reason not to believe them. Firstly, because a wide range of characteristics and situations were set out before each questioner-pollster. Secondly, because the assessments of the respondents' reactions in which the pollsters' impressions were one of the two main sections, show a logical association with the respondents' objective characteristics.

When the survey was over, besides processing the information, an assessment was made of how the respondents had reacted to the survey based on the pollsters' observations and the impressions of the replies in the survey. This assessment and the classification of the respondents' reactions into appropriate types was carried out by the most experienced members of the team None of the measuring instruments or scales used in psychological surveys were applied.

After the individual assessments were made, they were classified into the following six types of reactions: isolated - the respondents, according to their statements, had no contact or any trouble with Albanians; uncommunicative; reticent, open - not bitter; open - visibly bitter: this type was divided into two subtypes-open and uncommunicative. In order to see how individual cases have been classified under the types mentioned, the respondents' replies have been set out in the appendix under the questioner-pollsters's assessment of the type they belong to. The respondents, that is their reactions, have been classified for two reasons: in the first place in order to assess whether the respondent's personality and his reaction to the survey influenced his replies and so as to provide a more detailed explanation of the migrations and their specific characteristics.

Out of a total of 500 households, 67 had no contact with the Albanian population, or if they did they had no negative experience; these households come under the isolated type of reaction. Twenty-seven households come under the uncommunicative type and if we add to this 15 which are bitter at the same time, then we have a total of 42 uncommunicative types. This, amounting to under 10 % of the total, is the rarest category, which explains why the survey did not encounter any major obstacles in this regard. Reticence was evident in 95 cases, that is under 1/5 of all the households. Two hundred and fourteen cases belong to the open and bitter (82 in all) then this group numbers 306 cases, or over 3/5. The large number of bitter cases, which add up to 97 cases or almost 20%, should be viewed from a different perspective.

If we leave aside the "isolated" reactions and take a look at how the remaining types in the sample are grouped, a large degree of conformity with the normal distribution and a degree of negative asymmetry is evident because the number of uncommunicative and reticent is larger than the number of bitter reactions. A similar conformity with the normal distribution is visible in all four phases of the heads of households' migrations, only that the grouping of types in the last two phases is characterized by a large frequency of bitter reactions. This grouping suggests that the adoption of assessments and classification of reactions into types was based on objective indicators and because of this is relatively unbiased.

The linking of the assessment of the type of respondent (more precisely, the head of the household questioned) with some objective characteristics showed the assessments to be reliable.

The bitter types are to be found most frequently among the older respondents in a clear correlation with their age, and the uncommunicative and reticent among heads of households aged 40 and over. The isolated type is more frequent among agricultural workers (Serbian townships) than in the overall sample, the bitter among the white-collar workers, while the others are more or less equally represented according to occupations. Bitter and uncommunicative-reticent types were not often found among heads of households who were not been born in Kosovo and the bitter type was particularly frequent among the heads of households who were born in Kosovo and whose fathers had settled in the province.

Isolated types were rarely to be found among the people who had moved beforehand because the majority came from areas with a small number of Serbs and Montenegrins and isolation was not objectively possible. On the other hand, relatively speaking, a bitter reaction was most frequently found among people who subsequently emigrated. This shows us that the passage of time not only acts as a factor which helps people to forget and blunts their emotions but also as one which intensifies the problem of the migrations of Serbs and Montenegrins.

The link between the assessment of the type of respondent and the ethnic composition of the commune and township from which they moved is particularly evident. There are no "isolated" types in communes with a low number of Serbs and Montenegrins, while in communes with 30% or more they are twice as frequent as in the sample. However, there was a large number of uncommunicative and reticent types among migrants from communes with a small number of Serbs and Montenegrins, although they, as will be shown, were exposed to the strongest forms of pressure, so we can presume that living in a hostile environment, without the protection offered by large numbers, made them uncommunicative and cautious in their statements. Migrants from communes with an average number of Serbs and Montenegrins had a larger number of open and open-bitter types than in the overall sample.

The ethnic composition of the community and its changes (according to the respondents' statements which will be subsequently examined) and the assessments of the types of respondents show a relationship which is far easier to understand. In communities which remained Serbian until the households moved out, the isolated type of reaction was seven times more frequent than in the overall sample - those from Serbian townships which became Albanian (frequently up to the total extinction of Serbs and Montenegrins) have a pronounced number of bitter types. This shows us that the ethnic composition, that is the numbers of Serbs on the one and Albanians on the other hand will, to a great extent, be an active element of ethnic relations and the exodus itself.

An obvious correlation exists between the assessments of the type of respondent and the respondent's assessments of ethnic relations with Albanians in the township, at work and of the pressures to which members of the families were directly exposed.

All this shows that the classification into separate types is reliable enough, although it has not been carried out with the help of specific instruments. It also shows us the extent to which ethnic factors are present in the migrations because only in 13.2% (isolated type) can these be considered irrelevant or less important than the others.

III. Pre-migration Kosovo and Metohija >>

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