The Tenacity of Ethnicity
A Siberian Saga in Global Perspective
By (author) Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer
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Tenacity of Ethnicity by Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer
Book DescriptionMarjorie Mandelstam Balzer combines extensive field research with historical inquiry to produce a dramatic study of a minority people in Russia, the Khanty (Ostiak) of Northwest Siberia. Although First Nations, indigenous peoples, have often been victims of expansionist state-building, Balzer shows that processes of acquiring ethnic identity can involve transcending victimhood. She brings Khanty views of their history and current life into focus, revealing multiple levels of cultural activism. She argues that anthropological theory and practice can derive from indigenous insights, and should help indigenous peoples. Balzer brings to life the saga of the Khanty over several centuries. She analyzes trends in Siberian ethnic interaction that strongly affected minority lives: colonization, Christianization, revitalization, Sovietization, and regionalization. These processes incorporate suprastate and state politics, including recent devastations stemming from the energy industry's land thefts. Balzer documents changes that might seem to foreshadow the demise of indigenous ethnicity. Yet the final chapters reveal ways some Khanty have preserved cultural values and dignity in crisis. Khanty identity has varied with the politics of individuals, groups, and generations. It has been shaped by recent grass-roots mobilization, ecological activism, and religious revival, as well as older historical memory, language-based solidarity, and loyalty to a homeland. The Tenacity of Ethnicity demonstrates how at each historical turn, Siberian experiences shed new light on old debates concerning colonialism, conversion, revitalization, ethnicity, and nationalism. This volume will be important for political scientists, historians, and regional specialists, as well as anthropologists and sociologists.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691006734
(229mm x 152mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 1-Nov-1999
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer
Shamans, Spirituality, and Cultural Revitalization, Paperback (June 2012)
Many voices clamour to be heard in debates about whether shamans cure, and whether shamanic spirituality is worth continuing or recovering in the twenty-first century. This book provides new insights into the fascinating resurgence of shamanism through an exploration of the political repression of religion and its transcendence.
Religion and Politics in Russia, Paperback (February 2010)
Russia is not only vast, it is also culturally diverse, the core of an empire that spanned Eurasia. This collection provides entry into the diversity of Russia's religious communities. It illuminates major political, social, and cultural-anthropological trends.
Land of the Shaman, Paperback (December 1996)
This work introduces traditional Siberian shamans as the poets, therapists and even leaders of their communities. Among the special features of this collection are transcriptions of shamanic exhortations and a study of shamanic tales and rituals.
Culture Incarnate, Paperback (June 1995)» View all books by Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer
This collection of studies uses the processes of analysis and self-analysis to examine the social, political and spiritual forces at work in the post-Soviet world. The text includes discussions of ethnohistory, political anthropology and ethnic conflict, and symbolic anthropology.
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