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[Download] ✤ Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union (Culture and Society After Socialism) Author Francine Hirsch – Cravenjobs.co.uk

pdf Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union (Culture and Society After Socialism), ebook Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union (Culture and Society After Socialism), epub Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union (Culture and Society After Socialism), doc Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union (Culture and Society After Socialism), e-pub Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union (Culture and Society After Socialism), Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union (Culture and Society After Socialism) 642c0f2bdf6 When The Bolsheviks Seized Power In , They Set Themselves The Task Of Building Socialism In The Vast Landscape Of The Former Russian Empire, A Territory Populated By Hundreds Of Different Peoples Belonging To A Multitude Of Linguistic, Religious, And Ethnic Groups Before , The Bolsheviks Had Called For The National Self Determination Of All Peoples And Had Condemned All Forms Of Colonization As Exploitative After Attaining Power, However, They Began To Express Concern That It Would Not Be Possible For Soviet Russia To Survive Without The Cotton Of Turkestan And The Oil Of The Caucasus In An Effort To Reconcile Their Anti Imperialist Position With Their Desire To Hold On To As Much Territory As Possible, The Bolsheviks Integrated The National Idea Into The Administrative Territorial Structure Of The New Soviet StateIn Empire Of Nations, Francine Hirsch Examines The Ways In Which Former Imperial Ethnographers And Local Elites Provided The Bolsheviks With Ethnographic Knowledge That Shaped The Very Formation Of The New Soviet Union The Ethnographers Who Drew Inspiration From The Western European Colonial Context Produced All Union Censuses, Assisted Government Commissions Charged With Delimiting The USSR S Internal Borders, Led Expeditions To Study The Human Being As A Productive Force, And Created Ethnographic Exhibits About The Peoples Of The USSR In The S, They Would Lead The Soviet Campaign Against Nazi Race Theories Hirsch Illuminates The Pervasive Tension Between The Colonial Economic And Ethnographic Definitions Of Soviet Territory This Tension Informed Soviet Social, Economic, And Administrative Structures A Major Contribution To The History Of Russia And The Soviet Union, Empire Of Nations Also Offers New Insights Into The Connection Between Ethnography And Empire


10 thoughts on “Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union (Culture and Society After Socialism)

  1. says:

    The epigraph of this book is a description by Hanna Arendt of history as a man made process, and this is exactly the aspect of Soviet history that Hirsch explores Her research is guided by the attempt to discern how Soviet rule managed to create nation states and change the group and individual identities of the Soviet people She is also interested in the ways in which European ideas about empire and nation became adapted in the Soviet Marxist context.Previous literature on non Russian nationalities victimized them and failed to integrate them into the Soviet master narrative, contributing to the conflation of Russian and Soviet Hirsch moves beyond the totalitarian and revisionist models that debate the degree of the Soviet state s control over its population Instead, she argues that the regime mobilized the population in such a way that even its resistance to the Soviet power ended up strengthening it.Hirsch challenges the conventional periodization of Soviet history She begins her narrative not in 1917, but with the 1905 revolution, which made obvious to both the Bolsheviks and the imperial experts the power of non Russian nationalism in the Russian Empire Both Bolsheviks and experts were influenced by concurrent European debates and believed that this phenomenon was due to Russian oppression and needed to be counteracted by using scientific methods The First World War belatedly brought the ideas of these experts to the attention of the Russian government because non Russian population needed to be mobilized, used as a productive force, and its separatism countered.When Bolsheviks came to power in 1917, they were faced with the major task of overcoming historical diversity of the former Russian Empire, which despite their anti imperialism they wanted to preserve in order to maintain access to its resources In these tasks they were allied with the imperial experts, whose services they engaged.The understanding of Bolshevik ideology is crucial to explaining their nationality policy They believed that national development superstructure followed economic development base , and that under socialism all nations would merge into one In order to act on both the base and the superstructure, Bolsheviks and the imperial experts together formulated the approach that Hirsch calls state sponsored evolutionism, a combination of European anthropological theories and Marxist conceptions, that aimed to speed up peoples development Throughout their rule, Bolsheviks held nationalities to be both primordial and constructed Thus, historically originated groups that were victims of Soviet modernization could be acted upon by the state in order to reach the Bolshevik s ultimate goal amalgamation of nations under communism This would be done through double assimilation of the population into nationality categories and nationality categories into the Soviet society.Soviet Union defined itself as the sum of its parts, unlike tsarist Russia or European colonial powers, which viewed themselves in opposition to their colonies.Contrary to Pipes, Hirsch shows that in 1924 the formation of the Soviet Union was only beginning, and it was a fascinating work in progress Soviet government engaged imperial ethnographers and local elites in the interactive process of the shaping of the Soviet Union, using the data they supplied in accordance with their own objectives to shape the eventual structure of the Soviet state and develop the peoples national identities The creation of the Soviet territorial administrative structure was not a whimsical policy, or a policy of divide and rule, as argued by scholars like Caroe On the contrary, the attempt to compromise between economic expediency and national idea shaped the eventual very complicated structure of the Soviet Union.Census, map, and museum are the cultural technologies of rule that Hirsch explores in the section of her book dedicated to the 1924 1934 period of sovietization The census, for example, was used not only to count representatives of a certain nationality, but also to inform people about the nationality which they represented Soviet population understood that identification with a certain nationality could lead to benefits, and thus by the early 1930s nationality became a fundamental marker of identity among Soviet peoples A fascinating example is the Tajik SSR, which was carved out from the Uzbek SSR on the basis of census data.By late 1920s, the Soviet state began to establish tight control over experts and local elites campaign against the Academy of Sciences , but continued to rely on the information they provided Stalin s great break 1928 called for a faster building of socialism, and to further this, smaller and less developed nationalities were amalgamated into larger groups This was not a retreat from earlier Soviet nationality policy, but an attempt to accelerate it.Strengthening of Nazi political and scientific forces that began in 1930 presented both a geopolitical and an ideological threat to the Soviet Union Nazi scientists belief in the danger of inter ethnic mixing was detrimental to the Soviet hope of the eventual unification of all nations under socialism This development caused a push to further accelerate state sponsored evolutionism In order to prove that it was nurture, and not nature that explained the relatively slow national development of several of the Soviet Unions backward nations, Soviet ethnographers came up with the idea of survivals of the past perezhitki proshlogo , such as shamans, which were holding these nations back Soviet scholars of race continued with minor exceptions to define it in neutral socio historical, and not socio biological terms.In mid 1930s, national oppression within USSR was abolished, and Russians were therefore no longer great power chauvinists The promotion of Russian national culture that followed was not, according to Hirsch and counter to Brandenberger and Martin, a retreat from the Stalin revolution, but the celebration of the Russian proletariat s progressive historical role, and not of the Russian imperial past or the Russians innate traits.By the late 1930s, the threat from Germany became geopolitical The Nazis justified their expansionism by claims to protect Germans abroad, which made the Soviet state concerned about its diaspora nationalities Their loyalties were to non Soviet states, and they could therefore never merge into the Soviet people NKVD deported these nationalities from border regions Ethnographers provided NKVD with the scientific basis for the soviet vs foreign nationality distinction, this continuing to play an active role in the process of subordinating Soviet people to the Soviet power even when they were persecuted.As a result of the Nazi threat, Soviet nationality policy became increasingly contradictory while touting national self definition, it forbade Soviet citizens to choose which nationality they were ascribed to on their passport This policy did not, however, indicate a shift to Nazi like biological view of nationality Non Soviet diaspora nationals were not considered degenerate, but they would not be able to join the amalgamated Soviet people.A fascinating example of Stalin s involvement is the effect of his declaration that around sixty nationalities inhabit the Soviet Union Stalin left it to the ethnographers to cut their existing list of nationalities down to sixty In the epilogue, Hirsch rushes through the remaining decades of Soviet history Marr s theory of national development as following economic development remains prominent after the war, but the projected merging of nationalities into the Soviet people, although bound to happen, is constantly postponed Post war ethnographers tout the benefits of Russian language use as a means to improve of international communication, and define the eventual Soviet people as a combination of all Soviet nations national traits However, local elites are much interested in the benefits that their national status grants them today, than in a unification and possible linguistic russification tomorrow Soviet Union remained a work in progress after the thaw, and especially during perestroika, nations would be returned to the census list of nationalities Nationality, the main a source of recognition under the Soviet Union, eventually became the most important official category for Soviet citizens Unlike Suny, Hirsch believes that economic difficulties, loss of faith, and overextension contributed to the Soviet collapse than nationalism, but the latter does explain the way in which this collapse happened, since all official soviet nationalities already had institutions, cultures, languages, elites, and a developed sense of national consciousness Soviet Union s high level of economic integration, ethnically diverse population of the post Soviet states, and the problem of creating a usable past for these new entities ensure that de sovietization will be a work in progress for years to come.As Hirsch repeatedly points out in her footnotes, she argues against several of assertions that Martin makes in his work First, she does not agree with his use of the term affirmative action, which Martin disconnects from its very specific historical context, but also fails to accurately describe Soviet nationality policy The goal of the latter was not to promote national minorities at the expense of the Russian majority after all, Russian were not forced to give up their language and remained the dominant nationality in non national Soviet territories , but to speed both groups through the stages of national development.Hirsch also seems to disagree with Slezkine and Barber, who emphasize the discontinuity between imperial elites and the new generation of Soviet historians Instead, Hirsch claims that under pressure from above ethnographers sovietized their discipline themselves.Comments Critique At the outset, Hirsch asks the question Why did the USSR fall apart along national lines and how has it endured for so long, which is closely related to her argument, but it not quite answered by it The claim that factors other than nationalism were decisive in the collapse of the Soviet Union, which she makes in the epilogue, really needs much support, and does not directly flow from her findings If the Soviet power was, indeed, interactive, and thus strengthened even through resistance, why did it collapse in 1991 Hirsch describes the effect that Stalin s declaration of the existence in Soviet Union of sixty nationalities had on ethnography I wish she would have also speculated why exactly Stalin made this declaration I understand that the decreasing number of nationalities meant the success of the revolution, but why sixty, and why at that specific time


  2. says:

    An outstanding work on Soviet era ethnography that illuminates the significant role that academics played in the physical formation of the USSR This comprehensive account illuminates how imperial Russian ethnographers allied with Bolsheviks to harness so called cultural technologies of rule census, border making, and museums The goal was to encourage a dual cultural assimilation to national republics and to the Soviet Union and to stimulate the development of national identities which were seen as vital to building socialism Hirsch s description of the border delineation process was particularly interesting, as she pushes back against the common assumption that Stalin arbitrarily decided where the borders between republics would run She outlines the careful deliberation among ethnographers, economists and other social scientists in assigning territories to the republics.


  3. says:

    This is a book about demography is the former USSR and along with it how the Soviets actually created many of their nationalities in order to better manage them There are some nice discussions of how nationalities have trouble fitting into Marxism in theory It also brings up the ways in which these nationalities were manipulated by the center The interesting point that comes out of this is that many of the ethnic problems that plague the former Soviet Union come from minorities that the Soviets themselves created a sort of grand instance of no good deed goes unpunished.


  4. says:

    In depth overview of one of the USSR s most progressive and ambitious projects Works best when read in tandem with other books on the revolutionary period such as Everyday Stalinism by Fitzpatrick Sometimes overly technical but always captivating and inspiring.


  5. says:

    Welcome to overuse of the phrase cultural technologies of rule.


  6. says:

    Read for Anthropology of Post Soviet Russia class in graduate school


  7. says:

    A fascinating examination of the many nations that composed the Soviet Union the overlooked nationalities that are forgotten under a Russian monolith.


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