TRACES (Transition to Adulthood and Collective Experiences Survey)
During the last decade of the twentieth century, people in the former Yugoslavia lived through a period of dramatic social change. Traces of war and political violence remain tangible even twenty years after the most tragic events. The TRACES (for “Transition to Adulthood and Collective Experiences Survey) project investigates since 2004 how people and communities strive to meet the challenges of the aftermath of violent conflict by redefining social practices and shared worldviews. To open new avenues in social scientists abilities to reconstitute collective experiences in the former Yugoslavia and to overcome some of the limitations in our ways of looking at ethnic violence stemming from previously available data sources, a new data set has been constituted in 2006 within an SNF-funded project. Unique in its kind, the resulting dataset has two main components: first, life events calendar data from a representative sample of people across all of the former Yugoslavia (N = 3’975) and, second, extensive data on political attitudes and social worldviews from members of the 1968-1974 birth cohort (N= 2’254), who entered adulthood during the main war period. Currently, the TRACES team continues to exploit this rich dataset, to stimulate new initiatives of secondary analysis and, more generally, to broaden the study of collective identity, shared worldviews and their relation to past victimisation and current segregation in the region, by combining elite- and mass-level perspectives.