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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Intercultural Relations

First Advisor

Kent Warren

First Committee Member

Michael Osmera

Second Committee Member

Steven Dowd


A four-year war in Croatia in the early nineties left Eastern Slavonia and the Vukovar region struggling with the consequences of inter-ethnic conflict and human suffering. Poorly addressed post-ethnic reconciliation issues resulted in many challenges in everyday living for the people of Vukovar, especially so with the segregation of the public educational system based on language and ethnicity. This research explored the outcomes of the policy in Vukovar to divide the student body based on the language they spoke.

The literature review examined issues of inter-ethnic conflict, post-war reconciliation, and the process of grieving and transition in order to define how these processes affect people involved in public schooling in Vukovar today. I have examined literature in intercultural sensitivity, intercultural conflict, reconciliation, cultural marginality, and identity formation.

I compiled data through in-depth interviews with five specialists in the field of public educational system in Vukovar. They included a journalist and author, a teacher, administrators, and parents.

I found the presence of slow but consistent increase in readiness for the process of rejoining schools in Vukovar. This convergence in attitudes of the majority and the minority groups regarding their public school education might be the best indicator that Vukovar is shifting from the position of grieving to a place more open to the new solutions and agreements. However, one should not forget that bringing students together is not a key to reconciliation. Even though it appears that parents and teachers have motivation and good incentives to accomplish the process of reuniting, the students themselves lack the understanding of the importance of the same.

I hope that this study will provide insight into the state of affairs in Vukovar's educational system today and may provide insight into the ways of managing the larger issues of reintegration and reconciliation between the diverse cultural communities.



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