In this study, I look at the Serbian middle class's specific situation. They were used to a relatively high standard of living before the dissolution of Yugoslavia (1991). The last decade in Serbia, with the Milo evic regime in power, has brought devastation on the economy and has particularly affected the middle class's finances. The political situation under Milo evic has been tense throughout the nineties. Based on fieldwork in Belgrade, I look at how the large loss of income has affected the middle class there.
I focus on their daily struggles during spring 2000 in a comparative perspective with Bourdieu's (1989) description of higher classes. I argue that with the disappearance of economic capital, cultural capital takes on another content. A social capital of connections, which I call "Veze", becomes vital in everyday life, in matters such as obtaining groceries and services and relations between the individual and state. In the unstable economic and political situation experienced the last decade, the institution of Veze seems to be an area which is relatively stable.
Based on informants' recollections of the NATO bombing (1999), I look closely at the togetherness experienced in daily life during the bombing. This togetherness contributed to a weakening of the opposition, while Milo evic's position was strengthened. I also examine other factors which may have contributed to this political development.
I argue that my informants' interpretations of the bombing, expressed a year later (2000), reflect their preoccupation with survival in daily life. I conclude that factors experienced as important in the struggle from day to day seem to weigh heavier in their interpretations than the political rhetoric and togetherness they experienced during the bombing. The great insecurity regarding daily, practical matters also contributes towards changes in their perceptions of larger issues.