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Serbian Studies


On the leveI of personal relationships, there is, perhaps, no need to pose the question that is the title of this paper. The long and ongoing research experience has been tremendously enriching for the investigators and our now adult children, who first arrived in the viIlage as toddlers and infant. From what our vilIage friends convey, satisfactions with this enduring relationship have been a two-way process. But beyond personal affect, what is the intellectual value of long-term study of a single community?

Over thirty years ago the opportunity to document European village Life, in this case a village in Serbia, presented itself as a challenging academic endeavor. From the perspective of Anglo-American scholarship at that lime, the only significant works on Balkan peasant society were Sanders' pioneering Balkan Village, and the writings of Moseley on the structure of the zadruga. Their researches were based on pre-war investigations and were important statements for earlier points in time. Apart from our analyses of wide-ranging sociocultural, economic and demographic changes over time, the ongoing nature of our work as it continues to evolve over several decades in the village of OraBac in Sumadija affords simultaneous appreciations for dynamics of transformation discerned on a human scale.





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