The conference “Social and Cultural Capital in Western Balkans Societies” was organized by the Centre for Empirical Cultural Studies of South-East Europe, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory of the University of Belgrade and Centre for Southeast Europe of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. It was held as part of the project “Social and Cultural Capital in Serbia” of the Centre for Empirical Cultural Studies of South-East Europe, supported by the Regional Research Promotion Programme (RRPP) in the Western Balkans.
The idea of the conference was to explore how groups of resources which comprise social and cultural capital are utilized in everyday life in Western Balkans’ societies, and to gain insight into the social and symbolic struggles of the holders of social and cultural capital in everyday life and at the institutional level (in particular in the labor market and in the political sphere) in these societies. Topics that we were interested in included the workings of cultural capital in its various forms (embodied cultural capital, institutionalized cultural capital, objectivized cultural capital), cultural participation in Western Balkan societies, instrumental and expressive functions of social capital, social networks and their functions in everyday life and in institutional spheres in Western Balkan societies, mutual conversions of economic, social and cultural capital, the role of social capital in restructuring of elite groups in the processes of transition of Western Balkan societies.
The conference was held at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory on June 4th and 5th, 2011. Presentations were organized in five sessions: “Social Capital: Polishing the Concept”; “Applying the Concept of Social Capital”; “Social Networks, Norms and Trust”; “Generating, Transforming and Distributing Cultural Capital; and “Classification Struggles and New Forms of Capital”, within which a total of 17 papers were presented. The presentations were followed by a very pointed discussion with the participation of more than thirty discussants.
Many of the articles presented at the conference “Social and Cultural Capital in Western Balkan Societies” were published in 2012 in the volume under the same title, which was edited by Predrag Cveticanin and Ana Biresev.