Dalmatians - Sociopolitical Organization



Social Organization. Dalmatia traditionally was organized on the basis of residence. The Dinaric or hinterland dwellers who were not in immediate contact with the Adriatic Sea were referred to as Vlachs (Vlaji). Traditionally they were tribal and were considered backward and hot-tempered by their coastal counterparts, known as Boduli. Further regional distinction is supported by various dialects, traditional Costumes, rituals, and differentiation between village dwellers ( seljaci ) and city dwellers ( gradjani ). Strong patron-client Relationships still persist throughout Dalmatia.

Political Organization. A region within the Republic of Croatia, which was formerly one of six Yugoslav republics, Dalmatia has twenty-three counties ( općine ). These counties are further divided into "community organizations" ( mjesne zajednice ), which are further divided into villages ( sela ).

Social Control and Conflict. Social control as well as prestige and authority are determined on the basis of sex and age, maleness and seniority being the dominant principles. The virginity and sexual morality of women are stressed and reinforced through the assignment of honor and shame. Social control also is exerted through gossip. Historically, conflict is noted on several levels: interpersonal, interfamilial, intervillage, interregional, and interethnic.


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