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Contested Ethnic Identity

Kostov, Chris

Contested Ethnic Identity

The Case of Macedonian Immigrants in Toronto, 1900–1996

Series: Nationalisms across the Globe - Volume 7

Year of Publication: 2010

Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2010. XII, 318 pp., num. tables and graphs
ISBN 978-3-0343-0196-1 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.470 kg, 1.036 lbs

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Book synopsis

During the twentieth century Macedonia had a very turbulent history. Essentially, the region became the apple of discord among the Balkan states. Ethnic identity formation among immigrants from Macedonia to Canada followed the political developments in the Balkans.
This book illustrates the late emergence of an ethnic Macedonian community in Toronto and the roots of the clash between the Macedonian, Greek and Bulgarian ethnic communities. The author tackles a number of important questions: When did the Macedonian ethnic identity start in Canada? What was the ethnic affiliation of the first Macedonian immigrants’ cultural organizations and churches in Toronto? Why did they use the Bulgarian language? Why do their first churches continue to be called Macedono-Bulgarian churches? Did all immigrants have one monolithic ethnic identity?
The author relies upon three different types of literature: national identity development and theories; Balkan history; and ethnic studies of the Bulgarian, Macedonian and Greek settlements of Toronto. Oral interviews, conducted in Toronto by the author and other researchers, enhance this volume. The book sheds light on a much contested subject which continues to fuel debate from Skopje, Athens and Sofia to Toronto and Melbourne.


Contents: Introduction to Key Concepts – Ethnic Nationalism – Civic Nationalism – Cultural and Regional Identities – Diaspora Nationalism and Multiple Identities – Linguistic Policies: A Global Perspective – Blood, Religion and Language: Nationalism in the Balkans – Who are the Macedonians? – Ancient Macedonia: Hellenic Pride and Glamour – Medieval Macedonia: The Heyday of Bulgarian Culture – Under the Shadow of the Ottoman Empire – Macedonia in the Nineteenth Century: Bulgarian, Greek and Serbian National Doctrines – The Balkan Apple of Discord: Macedonia from Ilinden to WWII – The Cold War: From Greek and Bulgarian Past to Macedonian Present – 1991 and Beyond: FYROM Independence and the Modern Macedonian Question – A History of Macedonian Immigration to Canada, 1900-1940 – From Sojourners to Immigrants – Language and Ethnic Identity – Benevolent Societies and Church-Building – Political Organizations – The Macedonian Collection of the Multicultural History Society of Ontario (MHSO) – Macedonian Immigration to Toronto, 1940-1996 Post-WWII Immigration to Canada Migration and Macedonian Identity in Toronto, 1940-1996 Macedono-Bulgarians Hellenic Macedonians Ethnic Macedonians Seeds of the Conflict: Diasporic Visions of Macedonian-ness Voices from the Ethnic Macedonian Community Hellenic Macedonian Voices Macedono-Bulgarian Voices Virtual Wars and Street Clashes: A Contested Ethnic Identity The Census Dispute.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Chris Kostov is a historical research consultant for the Canadian federal government. He obtained his PhD in history from the University of Ottawa in 2009. He has specialized in modern Central and Eastern European history, the history of Canadian immigration and Native American Studies. He is the author of Terror and Fear: British and American Perceptions of the French-Indian Alliances during the Seven Years’ War (2005).


Nationalisms across the Globe. Vol. 7
Edited by Tomasz Kamusella and Krzysztof Jaskułowski