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Varshaver, E. (2021). “Stop beating the dead primordial horse”: actual agendas in constructivist research of ethnicity. Preprint. [in Russian]
The article describes the current state of affairs in the contemporary constructivist research of ethnicity. While emerged within anthropology in 1960’s under influence of sociological constructivist theories, this approach has been developing in a dialogue with “primordialism” and “essentialism” – the ways of thinking which were to a big degree conceptualized by constructivists themselves. It has been, however, becoming more and more clear that this dialogue is no more productive and constructivists faced the necessity to reestablish the very agenda of constructivist research of ethnicity. Two projects considering that were undertaken in 2000-2010’s and are associated with the names of Andreas Wimmer and Kanchan Chandra. The theoretical languages created within these projects, however, were not optimal in terms of their descriptive power. The second part of the article describes a new research program, suggested by the author, within which an alternative theoretical language is suggested and much attention is paid to the meanings of ethnic categories, as well as the social consequences of these meanings. Descriptive and analytical capabilities of the language are demonstrated on two examples taken from empirical research of the author. The closing part of the article describes the shortcomings of the approach created, as well as the directions for the further developments.
“Stop beating the dead primordial horse”: actual agendas in constructivist research of ethnicity