Identity and Nation Building in Everyday Post-Socialist Life  book cover
1st Edition

Identity and Nation Building in Everyday Post-Socialist Life

ISBN 9781138736412
Published August 3, 2017 by Routledge
192 Pages

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Book Description

This book explores the function of the “everyday” in the formation, consolidation and performance of national, sub-national and local identities in the former socialist region. Based on extensive original research including fieldwork, the book demonstrates how the study of everyday and mundane practices is a meaningful and useful way of understanding the socio-political processes of identity formation both at the top and bottom level of a state. The book covers a wide range of countries including the Baltic States, Ukraine, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and considers “everyday” banal practices, including those related to consumption, kinship, embodiment, mobility, music, and the use of objects and artifacts. Overall, the book draws on, and contributes to, theory; and shows how the process of nation-building is not just undertaken by formal actors, such as the state, its institutions and political elites.

Table of Contents


Part I. Music and cultural events

1. Formal and Informal Nationalism. Jazz Performances in Azerbaijan

2. Can musicians build the nation? Popular music and identity in Estonia

3. The Georgian National Museum and the Museum of Soviet Occupation as loci of informal nation building

Part II. Consumer practices

4. Made in Ukraine: Consumer Citizenship During EuroMaidan Transformations

5. National Food, Belonging, and Identity among post-Soviet migrants in the UK

6. Consumer Citizenship and Reproduction of Estonianness

Part III. National discourses in everyday life

7. How to Pronounce "Belarusian"? Negotiating Identity through Naming

8. Nuanced Identities at the Borders of the European Union: Romanians in Serbia and Ukraine

9. Can Nation Building be spontaneous? A (belated) ethnography of the Orange Revolution


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Abel Polese is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Governance and Political Science of Tallinn University, Estonia, and the School of Law and Government of Dublin City University, Ireland.

Jeremy Morris is Co-Director of the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies and a Senior Lecturer in Russian Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Oleksandra Seliverstova is a Marie Curie Fellow at the Institute of Political Science and Governance at Tallinn University, Estonia.

Emilia Pawlusz is an early stage researcher in the School of Governance, Law and Society at Tallinn University, Estonia.