Gender Analysis of Serbian Women’s Songs


Folklore is an essential component that helps to shape the identity of a countries and their cultures. Countries of the former Yugoslavia have a rich and extensive history of folk music and poetry, some of which is featured in "An Anthology of Jugoslav Poetry" by Dr. B Stevenson Stanoyevich. This text analyzes the deeper religious, nationalistic, and emotional connotations of the poetry. This look into the realm of folklore is important because it acknowledges its relevance in the cultural shaping of the country. In this project I aim to research the gender aspects of traditional Yugoslav folk music and poetry.

We will use XML to mark up the pronouns and nouns, that are typically perceived as masculine or feminine in the lyrics and prose. Since Yugoslav culture tends to be patriarchal, We are interested in seeing whether or not women are more frequently described in the literature, or simply just described and how that is representative of the traditional culture as a whole.

We think using folk songs and poetry is useful because not only is it still popular in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, but it is also especially popular amongst the diaspora in the United States. The longevity of the literature speaks to its greater impact. The findings from this research would be useful for interdisciplinary studies, such as: Gender Studies, Slavic Studies, and Cultural Studies. It could also be used to develop into a broader study of the effects of nationally based music in Eastern Europe and how it can potentially provide social support for the continuation of patriarchal societies and traditional ideals. It will also help to shed light on how it is necessary to change how we interpret products of culture as we progress, but we must also be sure to not downplay its repercussions. This research could develop into a more sociological based study.


Officially the Republic of Serbia is a country situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe in the southern Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. The sovereign state borders Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west, and Montenegro to the southwest. The country claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia's population is about seven million. Its capital, Belgrade, ranks among the oldest and largest citiеs in southeastern Europe.

Inhabited since the Paleolithic Age, the territory of modern-day Serbia faced Slavic migrations to the Balkans in the 6th century, establishing several sovereign states in the early Middle Ages at times recognized as tributaries to the Byzantine, Frankish and Hungarian kingdoms. The Serbian Kingdom obtained recognition by the Vatican and Constantinople in 1217, reaching its territorial apex in 1346 as the relatively short-lived Serbian Empire. By the mid-16th century, the entirety of modern-day Serbia was annexed by the Ottomans, and their rule was at times interrupted by the Habsburg Empire, which started expanding towards Central Serbia from the end of the 17th century while maintaining a foothold in the north of the country. In the early 19th century, the Serbian Revolution established the nation-state as the region's first constitutional monarchy, which subsequently expanded its territory. Following disastrous casualties in World War I, and the subsequent unification of the former Habsburg crownland of Vojvodina (and other territories) with Serbia, the country co-founded Yugoslavia with other South Slavic peoples, which would exist in various political formations until the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. During the breakup of Yugoslavia, Serbia formed a union with Montenegro, which was peacefully dissolved in 2006. In 2008, the parliament of the province of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence, with mixed responses from the international community.

Serbia is a member of the UN, CoE, CERN, OSCE, PfP, BSEC, CEFTA, and is acceding to the WTO. Since 2014 the country has been negotiating its EU accession with perspective of joining the European Union by 2025. Serbia dropped in ranking from Free to Partly Free in the 2019 Freedom House report. Since 2007, Serbia formally adheres to the policy of military neutrality. An upper-middle income economy with a dominant service sector followed by the industrial sector and agriculture, the country ranks relatively high on the Human Development Index (66th), Social Progress Index (45th) as well as the Global Peace Index (54th).