Structural and Functional Changes in Bosnian Family - Disappearance of the “Sofra”


  • Amel Alić University of Zenica



Bosnian family, tradition, family changes, the concept of the “sofra”


The ‘sofra’ and ‘me?edeba’ are places where not only physiological needs of food consumption which are necessary for physical life are fulfilled, but they are also places where we prepare on fundamental, intellectual, emotional and social levels for participation in the society, adoption of basic knowledge about ways to satisfy own and others’ needs for safety, belonging, recognition, love, (Self) respect, and living of aesthetic and intellectual values. Before we sit at the ‘sofra’, we participate in serving of the food, and we learn to listen to and look at each other, to educate all senses by exchanging impressions and opinions about tastes. If all meanings of ‘sofra’ and ‘me’edeba’ are satisfied, we always happily go back to that place, but we also know how to transfer that knowledge to the next generation. Therefore, we learn to adopt culture through enculturation processes. The most explicit changes in dimension of adaptability and cohesion suggest that Bosnian family, besides social, economy, and political changes, passes through unprecedented and unique transformation, which could be connected to far more complex cultural changes – what we assume to be – transformation of normative / relational collectivism and individualism, increased migrations, different / changed role of religion, and a new paradigm of identity definition. In that sense, this article represents an attempt to determine in what way different custom, forms and functions of Bosnian family, above all, the dominant structure and functions, changes throughout the past three decades.




How to Cite

Structural and Functional Changes in Bosnian Family - Disappearance of the “Sofra”. (2020). European Journal of Social Sciences, 3(2), 68-84.