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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53192
Doc. No:TL23146
Call number:‭3209826‬
Main Entry:Irina Mukhina
Title & Author:Reshaping lives, reconstructing identities: Ethnic Germans of the Soviet Union, 1941–1956Irina Mukhina
College:Boston College
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:424
Abstract:In recent years, a significant body of scholarly works has noted that the multi-national Soviet regime paradoxically fostered ethnic identities among many groups that had previously lacked such identities. For example, the ethnic designations of the peoples of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, were formally worked out only in the 1920s. Historians maintain that before that time there had been very little in the way of ethnic identity among these Central Asian peoples, not to mention ethnic cohesiveness; clan and religion (mainly Islam) formed the basis of collective identity.1 It was only in the 1920s that the Soviet government designed consolidated territories and granted a degree of political autonomy to these groups in order to foster among them a national consciousness. According to Soviet ideology, such a national consciousness was essential to the development of "feudal" societies into nations, although some argue that Soviets merely followed a "divide and rule" principle. Nevertheless, in the next few decades, Central Asians began to see themselves in terms of these Soviet designations, and many nationals accepted and adapted to their worldviews new versions of their national histories and identities.2 Even though many historians assert now that the Soviets' artificial creation of nations, defined by discrete territories, codified "national" languages and administrative hierarchies, only served to create ethnic divisions where previously there had been none,3 no one doubts the reality of identity reconfiguration for minority groups under the Soviet regime. While all studies of ethnicity in the Soviet Union concentrate on the indigenous populations of the Soviet Republics or the earlier years of the Soviet regime,4 in this dissertation I analyze the consequences of Soviet regime's nationality policy for ethnic identity of Germans in the Soviet Union. Subjected to deportations and life in special settlements, the numerous Germanic groups which existed in Russia and the early Soviet Union came to share a sense of "lived commonality," a sense of having one ethnic identity, that of "Soviet Germans" and later "Russian Germans."5 1For example, see such leading scholars as Francine Hirsch, "Toward an Empire of Nations: Border-Making and the Formation of 'Soviet' National Identities," Russian Review 59, no. 2 (April 2000): 201226; Terry Martin, "An Affirmative Action Empire: The Soviet Union as the Highest Form of Imperialism," in R. G. Sunny and Martin, A State of Nations: Empire and Nation-Making in the Age of Lenin and Stalin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 67-92; also refer to Hajda N. Bessinger, ed., The Nationalities Factor in Soviet Politics and Society, (Oxford: Westview Press, 1990); Yu. Bromley, "Soviet Ethnography: Main Trends, Problems of the Contemporary World," in Social Sciences Today, (Moscow, 1976); Zvi Y. Gitelman, ed., The Politics of Nationality and the Erosion of the USSR, (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992). 2Other national groups were studied as well, especially those residing in the Caucasus area of the Soviet Union. For example, similar claims have been advanced in relation to the fact that Chechens did not possess a unified "Chechen" identity prior to 1917 but perceived themselves only as "mountain people" who were identified by their "affiliation" with various auls, or villages. 3See, for example, such historians as Olivier Roy, The New Central Asia: The Creation of Nations (New York: Tauris, 2000), pp. viii-ix. 4For particular examples, refer to fn. 1. 5Ibid., 201-240, 280-333.
Subject:Social sciences; Deportation; Ethnic; Germans; Identities; Settlements; Soviet Union; European history; Minority & ethnic groups; Sociology; 0335:European history; 0631:Sociology; 0631:Minority & ethnic groups
Added Entry:R. T. Manning
Added Entry:Boston College