Since the beginning of the nineties and the collapse of communism, non-religiosity and atheism in Croatia became socially non-desirable and non-conformist positions. In sociological terms, however, these phenomena have been largely overlooked, since scholars have focused mainly on trends in religiosity and public role of religion. The aim of this paper is to get the first scientific insight into the representation of individual non-religious and atheistic identities among the members of the organizations that gather non-religious people and atheists. The paper seeks to answer specific research questions: How are non-religious and atheistic identities presented at the level of everyday life in Croatian society? Do non-religious people and atheists perceive stigma? Which management techniques (if any) are employed in this process? The paper is based on data collected from semi-structured interviews with 22 people. The findings indicate that the interviewed members of non-religious and atheistic organizations perceive their position as stigmatized and that they use various management techniques (passing, covering, selective and voluntarily disclosure) in order to navigate through their day-to-day life. The feeling of stigmatization and discrimination arises from the ubiquity of religion in the public space and from the politicization of issues of (non-)religiosity. Furthermore, interviewees tend to disregard and mitigate occasional situations in which the examples of discriminatory behavior are more pronounced.
Bajić, Nikolina Hazdovac
"Representation of Non-Religious and Atheistic Identities in a Highly Religious Society - Croatian Case,"
Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe: Vol. 40
, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/ree/vol40/iss1/6