Dmitri M. Bondarenko

Dmitri M. Bondarenko
Russian Academy of Sciences | RAS · Institute for African Studies

Ph.D., Dr.Habil.

About

148
Publications
112,226
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Introduction
I am Vice-Director for Research of the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Direcotor of the International Center of Anthropology of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, and Full Professor with the Center of Social Anthropology of the Russian State University for the Humanities. I have been a visiting scholar in the USA, Germany, France and done fieldwork in 6 African states, as well as among people of Afican descent in Russia and the USA. I am a founder and editor of "Social Evolution & History" journal. My major spheres of research are cultural evolution, political anthropology, preindustrial societies, contemporary intercultural interaction, sub-Saharan Africa.
Additional affiliations
October 2012 - present
Position
  • Date: February – June 2011
September 1996 - present
Russian State University for the Humanities
Position
  • Professor (Full)
August 1990 - present
Russian Academy of Sciences
Position
  • Deputy Director for Research
Education
November 1990 - November 1993
Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Field of study
  • World History and Anthropology
September 1985 - June 1990
Lomonosov Moscow State University, School of History, Chair of Ethnology
Field of study
  • World History, Anthropology, Education, and English

Publications

Publications (148)
Book
Full-text available
This book presents a novel and innovative approach to the study of social evolution using case studies from the Old and the New World, from prehistory to the present. This approach is based on examining social evolution through the evolution of social institutions. Evolution is defined as the process of structural change. Within this framework the...
Chapter
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The chapter studies popular cultural memory and official (state-promoted) representations of the history of the Arab slave trade in East Africa and the Indian Ocean in the context of nation-building in the United Republic of Tanzania. The chapter is based on field evidence on different aspects of nation-building in Tanzania collected by the authors...
Chapter
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The changes since the breakup of the USSR have impacted African migrants’ social com-position, as well as their life strategies in the capital city of Moscow. In this paper, we dis-tinguish between two social groups of African migrants: “affluent” and “struggling”. Al-most all affluent migrants are those who have come to study at Soviet or Russian...
Article
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In our time, Western states have to abandon the classical concept of a nation as a culturally integral community and to look for solutions to the problem of supporting the unity of their citizens while preserving the cultural diversity brought in recent decades by migrants from all over the world. In modern conditions, this should happen so that po...
Article
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The outburst of antiracist protests in the USA in 2020 demonstrates how deeply this society’s present-day problems are rooted in its past. From this perspective, a study of the cultural memory of the time of the Civil War and abolishing of slavery, the key moment in the contemporary American nation formation, is especially relevant and important. T...
Article
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The article provides a detailed analysis of the development in Russia of African studies throughout the entire period of its existence - from the first fragmentary knowledge about the African continent, brought to Russian soil by individual travelers and enthusiasts to modern comprehensive research in Africa by the largest Russian scientific center...
Article
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Reflecting on the recent book by Marina L. Butovskaya and Victoria V. Rostovtseva, the author discusses altruism and selfishness as preconditions for cooperation of humans in society for collective actions, as a result of which its sociocultural transformations take place. It is argued that the problem of sources of cooperative behavior is by no me...
Conference Paper
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The recent outburst of anti-racist protests shows how deeply the American society’s present-day problems are rooted in its past. Therefore, a study of cultural memory of the time of the Civil War, the key moment in the American nation formation, is especially important. The memory of slavery and its abolishing in the US North and South is discussed...
Data
List of respondents omitted for technical reasons in the book.
Conference Paper
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Среди сторонников Д. Трампа, ворвавшихся в Капитолий 6 января 2021 г., объектив фотографа выхватил мужчину с боевым флагом Конфедеративных Штатов Америки на фоне портретов исторических деятелей середины XIX в. – и противников, и сторонников рабства. Эта фотография может служить символом того, как история прорывается в современность – как культурная...
Article
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The cultural frontier between the US North and the South that had appeared as an outcome of differences in their history, first of all with respect to slavery, has not disappeared up to now. It remains an important cultural and socio-political factor in public life, and “Northern” and “Southern” character types are still recognizable. By the exampl...
Article
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In the form the nation-state has been known until now it formed in Europe and North America in the Early Modern time and flourished in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, being adequate to realities of the world of industrial capitalism and cultural nationalism. However, nowadays other trends, related to superintensive globalization and post-in...
Article
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Societies are systems composed of a great number of various social institutions that interact and change, which results in that the whole structure of societies changes. This is what social evolution is – the process of structural change. Evolution does not have any particular direction: any significant, that is, transforming change is evolutionary...
Conference Paper
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The paper is based on field evidence collected in more than fifteen towns and cities in ten states analyzed upon the background of the author’s vast experience of doing fieldwork in many African countries in which the memory of slave trade is alive and heated by the post-colonial state. The paper shows how differences in the historical memory of Af...
Article
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A tight connection between anthropology and colonialism-its political and moral justification and practice-is sometimes regarded as anthro-pology's "original sin."[1] Although in reality the intellectual, sociocultural, and political roots of anthropology as an academic discipline are much deeper and much more branched, its inextricable link with c...
Chapter
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Introduction describes the main aim of the volume as to present a novel approach to the study of social evolution. This approach is based on a look at, and analysis of social evolution through the evolution of social institutions associated with the rise and development of social complexity. Evolution is defined as the process of structural change....
Chapter
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Aside from complexity measured in levels of political integration, societies as systems of social institutions have another fundamental characteristic that can be called a “basic principle of societal organization.” The principle of organization a society embodies depends on the way its institutions are arranged with respect to one another. Two bas...
Chapter
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The chapter provides an anthropological analysis of the sociopolitical system of the Benin Kingdom (in contemporary Southwestern Nigeria) from coming to power of the Second (Oba) Dynasty presumably in the mid-13th century till the British conquest in 1897. The course of formation of this system of institutions and its basic characteristic features...
Article
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In 1919, three Ugandan Anglicans converted to Orthodox Christianity, as they became sure that this was Christianity’s original and only true form. In 1946, Ugandan Orthodox Christians aligned with the Eastern Orthodox Church of Alexandria. Since the 1990s, new trends in conversion to Orthodox Christianity in Uganda can be observed: one is some grow...
Article
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In the book where he coined the term "Axial Age", Karl Jaspers noted that human history included both "tranquil ages" and "ages of change". This paper begins with the observation that this oscillation between stable and transformational periods encapsulates the pattern in complexity theory by which systems oscillate between relatively long "stable...
Book
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Contributors to this volume discuss a variety of ways the African past (Afri-can history) influences the present-day of Africans on the continent and in diaspora: cultural (historical) memory as a factor of public (mass) con-sciousness; the impact of the historical past on contemporary political, so-cial, and cultural processes in Africa and Africa...
Book
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Editors In 'The Omnipresent Past', Bondarenko and Butovskaya have compiled a fascinating collection of papers exploring the variegated ways that the continent's rich and complex history-precolonial, colonial and postcolonial-continues to impact and sometimes to haunt the lives of contemporary Africans and persons of African descent. The volume comb...
Article
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The editors of this issue of the Journal of the Institute for African Studies introduce the theme of African futures, and insist on the plural meanings it involves as both a concept and an empirical reality. The relationship between the continent’s futures and its multiple pasts and presents are considered, and the concept of ‘trajectory’ is used t...
Article
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The present article, based on field evidence collected in 2017, deals with a very recent phenomenon-the Orthodox Old Believers in Uganda. This faith originated in Russia, however in Uganda all its adherents belong to African ethnic groups. We describe the short by now history and current state of the Old-Believer communities in Uganda and then conc...
Book
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Book of Abstracts of the International Conference "State-Building in Africa: Prospects and Challenges" held in Dar es Salaam, Tanznaia on March 4-7, 2019.
Conference Paper
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Postcolonial societies are a unique event in world history. Their emergence in the mid-twentieth century did not result from centuries-old internal social processes, but was directly determined by the formation and short-lived (by historical standards) existence and disintegration of the European colonial empires. The colonial borders reflected pri...
Book
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In America today, two communities with sub-Saharan African genetic origins exist side by side, though they have differing histories and positions within society. This book explores the relationship between African Americans, descendants of those Africans brought to America as slaves, and migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, who have come to the United...
Book
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Abstracts of International Conference “Elections in Africa”. First joint Conference of the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Centre of African Studies of the Porto University in the “Internal Changes and Foreign Policy of African Countries” Conference Series. Moscow, Russia. November 1–2, 2018.
Article
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The article deals with the issue of African American identity in the post-segregation period (after 1968). The problem of African Americans’ “double consciousness”, marked for the first time yet in the late 19th – early 20th century, still remains relevant. It is that descendants of slaves, who over the centuries have been relegated to the peripher...
Article
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In this essay, we use the word "processual," the adjectival form of "process," to mean "relating to or involving the study of processes rather than discrete events". Understanding this processual model is critical for readers of this journal because, in many ways, Complexity Theory studies the patterns that emerge as phenomena evolve in a processua...
Article
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Based on field evidence collected in the summer of 2017 the present article deals with a very recent phenomenon -The Orthodox Old Believers in the Republic of Uganda in East Africa. This faith originated in Russia, but in Uganda all its adherents belong to the native ethnic groups and, except children, consciously converted to Old Believers from ot...
Article
Full-text available
The changes since the breakup of the USSR have impacted African migrants' social composition, as well as their strategies and forms of adaptation and integration in the capital city of Moscow. In this study, we discuss the factors influencing the choices of African migrants, related to their background as Africans and to their perceptions of the re...
Chapter
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The evidence on Africans in the USA shows that diasporas are both objects (to date, mainly potential) and real subjects of global governance. They influence public life, home and foreign policy of the migrant sending African countries and of migrant accepting United States, make a modest but undeniable contribution to the principles and mechanisms...
Chapter
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Big History emerged as part of this non-linear way of understanding the world. What we discovered in working together is that the insights of complexity theory, which studies the dynamics of non-linear systems, integrate powerfully with Big History. On one hand, it offers an approach to the dynamics, grounded in work in physics, chemistry and biolo...
Chapter
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The article is based on field evidence collected in seven states in 2013–2015. It shows how differences in the historic memory of African Americans and African migrants influence their mutual perceptions and relationship. Both groups' collective memory and mass consciousness of the transatlantic slave trade is most important in this respect. The sl...
Article
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African Americans, who are descendants of slaves forcibly brought from Africa to America hundreds of years ago, and contemporary voluntary African migrants to the USA do not form a single “black community”. This statement contradicts the claims of many Black Nationalist movements from the nineteenth century onwards, which argued that all black peop...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Africans’ struggle for a decent social status in the USA is complicated by their frequent association with African Americans who, as a community, occupy a low social level. In the migrants’ attempts to distinguish themselves from African Americans, an important part is played by emphasizing cultural differences between the two groups. These differe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The metaphor of kinship has played an important part in symbolic representation of many states of all types. With transition to the state kinship ceases the role of the central organizing principle of society. However, the very social nature of kinship provides the opportunities for manipulating it as ideology in societies of all types. It was typi...
Book
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Монография основана на полевых материалах, собранных в 2013–2015 годах. В центре внимания автора – взаимовосприятие и взаимоотношения представителей двух африканских по происхождению групп населения США: существующего уже несколько столетий сообщества африкано-американцев и сложившихся в наше время диаспор выходцев из различных государств субсахарс...
Article
Full-text available
African Americans and contemporary African migrants to the USA do not form a single “Black community”. Their relations are characterized by simultaneous mutual attraction and repulsion. Based on field evidence, the article discusses the role played in it by the reflection in historic memory and place in mass consciousness of African Americans and A...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The paper is based on field research conducted among Tanzanian and Zambian university students. Its immediate aim was to find out their attitude to the colonialism-born non-African (European and South Asian) minorities. The evidence gives reason to argue that the level of tolerance among Zambian students is higher than among Tanzanian. The most sig...
Article
Full-text available
African Americans, descendants of slaves forcidly brought from Africa to America hundreds years ago, and contemporary voluntary African migrants to the USA do not form a single “Black community.” Remarkably, this fact contradicts the postulates of many breeds of “Black nationalism” from the mid-19th century onward, which argue that all Black people...
Article
Full-text available
The article provides an anthropological analysis of the socio-political system of the Benin Kingdom from coming to power of the Oba dynasty till the British conquest. The course of this system formation and its basic characteristic features are outlined. It is argued that the Benin Kingdom between the thirteenth and nineteenth centuries was a super...
Article
Full-text available
In 2013, the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences began a study of black communities in the USA. By now, the research was conducted in six states (Alabama, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania); in a number of towns as well as in the cities of Boston, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, and Chi...
Chapter
Full-text available
The principle of communality is denoted as the ability of the originally and essentially communal worldview, consciousness, behavioral pattern, socio-political norms and relations to spread on all the levels of societal complexity including, though in modified or sometimes even cor-rupted form, sociologically supra- and non-communal. As a pivotal s...
Article
Full-text available
In 2013, the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences began a study of black communities in the USA. By now, the research was conducted in six states (Alabama, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania); in a number of towns as well as in the cities of Boston, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and Chica...
Book
Full-text available
“Throughout human history, perhaps even pre-human, there has been a tension between the need for order and the forces that cause change. That tension is greater now than ever, because, in our increasingly globalized world, the rate of change is also increasing. This book finally explains how we can cope: we have stories. We live our narratives.” Br...
Article
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The evidence shows that the Tanzanian and Zambian university students representing the African by origin overwhelming majority of the countries' population are generally tolerant towards their compatriots of the non-African (European and South Asian) origins. However, the evidence also gives reason to argue that the level of tolerance among the Zam...
Article
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Introduction to the Journal's special issue explores the manifold relations between history, memory, and anthropological research.
Article
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The article will discuss the variety of African migrants’ pathways toward social recognition and success in a Russian megacity by describing and analyzing the experiences of the Ethio-pian owners of two establishments in Moscow: a lavish downtown restaurant, and a small café on an international university campus on the city’s outskirts. These cases...
Article
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In this concise book Ludomir Lozny examines the archaeological data related to socio-political dynamics among pre-state societies of seventh – tenth century North Central Europe. The author presents his discussion in a wider historical context that spans the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the late 400s CE, viewed as the precondition for a Euro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The principle of communality is denoted in the paper as ability of originally and essentially communal socio-political norms and relations, worldview and consciousness, behavioral pattern, to spread on all the levels of societal complexity including, though in modified or sometimes even corrupted forms, sociologically supra- and non-communal. (The...
Chapter
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The concept of human rights, in the form in which it exists in the widespread theory, is rooted in historical, cultural, and political experience of the West, and is not adequate for the basic principles of African societies. If we look at African cultures, but not from the viewpoint of blatant Eurocentrism, we will see that they had their own hist...
Article
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The state is usually considered to be a centralized and specialized coercive institution for governing a society. Contrariwise, our approach stems from the presumption that the state should be studied as a type of society for which this institution is adequate. This leads to the necessity of paying special attention to the coming to the fore of the...
Article
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Extensive review in Russian of: Ludomir R. Lozny, Prestate Societies of the North Central European Plains, 600 – 900 CE. New York: Springer 2013, 96 pp. ISBN 978-1-4614-6814-1 (Springer Briefs in Anthropology: Human Ecology). A brief English version see: Human Ecology. 2014. Vol. 42, № 3. P. 507-508.
Book
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The publication is the latest in the African Studies in Russia series of compilations and contains full articles and annotations of the most important - from the point of view of editors - works of Russian Africanists over a certain period. The authors work at the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). The present i...
Article
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Globalization is a process of not unification but rapprochement of cultures, formation of a global civilization as a «federation» of local civilizations. In connection with transformations of the phenomenon of nation in the post-colonial period, its tendency to transform from a «supraethnic» into «interethnic» phenomenon, a global transnational cul...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The paper provides an anthropological analysis of the socio-political system of the Benin Kingdom during the longest and most important period of her history: from coming to power of the ruling up to now Second (Oba) dynasty presumably in the 13th century till the British colonial conquest in 1897. The course of this system formation and its basic...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Africans constitute a rather small minority among the migrants to Russia. It appears that their numbers, as well as their impact on society at large, will probably never become comparable to those of migrants from former Soviet republics, or even from some other countries, such as China. At the same time it is evident that the inflow of Africans to...
Data
Africans constitute a rather small minority among the migrants to Russia. It appears that their numbers, as well as their impact on society at large, will probably never become comparable to those of migrants from former Soviet republics, or even from some other countries, such as China. At the same time it is evident that the inflow of Africans to...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With transition to the state kinship ceases the role of the central organizing principle of so-ciety. However, the very social nature of kinship provides the opportunities for manipulat-ing it as ideology in societies of all types. It was typical for early states to represent the state and the sovereign by analogy with the family and its head. Not...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Within the framework of the overwhelming majority of modern theories, the state is considered as a specialized and centralized institution for governing a society, to what its right to exercise coercive authority – legitimized violence is often added as the state’s critical characteristic feature. Contrari-wise, my approach stems from the presumpti...
Article
Full-text available
The evidence shows that Tanzanian and Zambian university students representing the Afri-can by origin overwhelming majority of the countries’ population are generally tolerant to-wards their compatriots of the non-African (European and South Asian) origins. However, the evidence also gives reason to argue that, on the one hand, in both countries th...
Article
Full-text available
Self-reliance was a cornerstone of Ujamaa socialism – the ideology of Tanzania from 1967 till the mid-1980s. In the post-Cold-War period socialist ideology was actually abandoned, together with the really valuable concept of self-reliance. As most African countries, Tanzania is crucially dependent on foreign aid. We argue that aid can play a positi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Self-reliance was a cornerstone of Ujamaa socialism – the ideology of Tanzania from 1967 till mid-1980s. In the post-Cold-War time the socialist ideology has actually been abandoned, together with the really valuable concept of self-reliance. At present, Tanzania is crucially dependent on foreign aid. We argue that aid can play a positive part for...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The paper is based on a vide range of evidence collected by a group of researchers headed by the author in 2006–2010. The nature and scope of the collected evidence allow arriving at veritable conclusions on the specifics of Russia’s image in Africans countries, particularly, on the positive and negative aspects of the influence of the image of the...
Chapter
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Автор исходит из постулата, что принцип организации общества — преимущественно родственный или территориальный — как критерий различения государственных и негосударственных социумов весьма значим, но изучив современное состояние проблемы, пришел к заключению, что проблема родства и территории — это вопрос меры, соотношения между ними, а не наличия...
Conference Paper
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The Axial Age (800-200 BCE), first described by Karl Jaspers, was characterized (among other important changes) by accelerating technological innovation, political instability, intensified warfare (as an outcome of general intercultural interaction intensification), and the emergence of new spiritual conceptualizations in four largely separated civ...
Article
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Departing from Karl Jaspers's prominent conception of the 800–200 BCE as the Axial Age, the author argues that from the late 15th century and especially from the mid-18th century up to now the world is experiencing the second Axial Age, that is a new period of radical change of the whole human culture paradigm. Among many other significant differen...
Chapter
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The article deals with important theoretical problems of social evolution. In the authors' opinion, a number of general evolutionary ideas, principles and conclusions formulated in the article may be significant for the study of not only social evolution but also of evolution as such. The authors' basic ideas and principles are as follows: Evolutio...
Conference Paper
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An earlier but more extensive Russian version see: http://www.nrgumis.ru/articles/article_full.php?aid=63&binn_rubrik_pl_articles=207 In Russia today one can observe the latent rebirth of the official pre-revolution ideological postulate, “Orthodox Christianity – autocracy – nationhood”, in the new shape: “Orthodox Christianity – state – Russian e...
Article
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An extended review of Artemova, Olga Yu. Koleno Isava: Okhotniki, sobirateli, rybolovy (opyt izuchenija al’ternativnykh sotsial’nykh sistem) [The Kin of Iesau: Hunters, Gatherers, Fishers (A Study of Alternative Social Systems)]. Moscow: Smysl, 2009.
Article
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The article is based on a vide range of evidence collected by a group of researchers headed by the author in 2006–2009. The nature and scope of the collected evidence can allow arriving at veritable conclusions on the degree of the post-Soviet Russia’s independent image formation in the Africans’ consciousness, and on the positive and negative aspe...
Article
Full-text available
While Western Europe has a long history of facing and studying the issues of immigration, this phenomenon is still recent for the ex-socialist states and has not been studied sufficiently yet. At the same time, the ‘closed’ nature of the socialist societies, the difficulties of the ‘tran-sitional period’ of the 1990s predetermine the problems in co...
Chapter
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While there are a diverse range of approaches to contemporary social and cultural theory, two particular approaches, civilization and world system, would seem to be at opposite poles of the conceptual spectrum. However if these are not seen as in opposition, we will be more likely to understand the current processes in the world and in its parts. I...
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The article treats the typology of the early state (“inchoate” – “typical” – “transitional”) from the viewpoint of the state beginnings. The author argues that in general typologies the state should be approached as a form of society, not as a kind of political system only. From this perspective he emphasizes the complex dynamics of the interrelati...
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The article is based on evidence from the field collected in 2003 and 2005. Though the overall level of Muslims' tolerance towards Christians and vice versa is quite similar among men and women of both religions, it does not go without saying that different factors shape their attitudes to the same degree and that their attitudes turn out the same...
Chapter
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There are two concepts often seen as the opposite poles of the spectrum of contemporary social and culture theories: globalistic world-system and particularistic civilizational. I demonstrate that it is wrong to oppose them; furthermore, by not so doing we may better understand contemporary processes. It is illegitimate to reduce globalization to i...
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Article
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Complexity is understood differently in anthropology and the complexity studies. I discuss the two principles of sociopolitical organization, particularly, the phenomenon of homoarchy as a counterpart to that of heterarchy. Respectively to heterarchy – “... the relation of elements to one another when they are unranked or when they possess the pote...
Article
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Until recently, cultural evolution has been regarded as the teleological move to a greater level of hierarchy. Research based upon the principle of heterarchy – “... the relation of elements to one another when they are unranked or when they possess the potential for be-ing ranked in a number of different ways” (Crumley 1995:3) changes the picture....

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
The goal is to study the specific features of state and nation building in the post-colonial situation from the historical and anthropological perspectives.
Project
Thr goal is to study how the historical past shapes the socio-cultural and political present through different avenues: cultural memory, insittutional continuity, etc.
Project
The goal of the project is to study the socio-cultural and political dynamics of one of the most impressive pre-colonial African societies.