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Accepted Paper:

Is there a Post-socialist ethnicity?  
Soledad Jiménez Tovar (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas)

Paper short abstract:

This paper delves upon commodification of ethnic identities in the post-socialist milieu. I take the case of an ethnic minority in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the People's Republic of China is order to compare the way of dealing with a complex identity such as the one owned by Sinophone Muslims.

Paper long abstract:

The main aim of this paper is to think about how ethnic minorities (narodnosti) experienced socialism. I take ethnicity as a commodity (Commaroff & Commaroff 2009) and explore the post-socialist way of dealing with cultural diversity in the Soviet and the Chinese versions. I argue that taking ethnicity and nationalism in the post-socialist realm with the same analytical tools used to analyze other cases in which the population had no influence of socialist culture is a mistake. The case I am going to pay attention to are Dungan people, as Sinophone Muslims are known in the former Soviet Central Asia. The case I want to elaborate is the one of those identities that somehow became "Stateless" after the disintegration of the USSR. Statelessness can be explained by the fact that Soviet ethnic design did not pay attention to Nation-States that existed at that moment (1920-30's) but ethnographic materials that were collected while designing Soviet censuses. Nevertheless, what looks more interesting to me in the debate I carry out is not what happened in Soviet times but the effect that it has in the current situation. At the same time, Dungan case is closely related to the way in which ethnicity at the PRC has been managed since 1949. Thus, this paper is the experiment of discussing from a historico-anthropological perspective post-socialist ethnicity.

Panel P086b
(Post)socialism as the post-social II
  Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -