“KRYASHEN QUESTION” IN THE ALL-RUSSIAN CENSUS OF 2002: THE ATTEMPT TO POLITICIZE ETHNICITY

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Abstract


The article analyzes the phenomenon of the “Kryashen question” during the 2002 census. The events related to the mentioned phenomenon generated a large-scale national relations crisis in the Republic of Tatarstan. The aim of this study is to answer the question: “Does the Kryashen question really exist or was it artificially constructed?” To answer this question, the author uses the method of event analysis in this research, obtaining information from the media (both from informational sources and socio-political publications). Another method used in this survey is the retrospective situational analysis of the data: the reconstruction of events post factum relying only on factual presentations and actions of the parties. This method is used to establish interrelations between the interest groups and possible development of the situation. In the research, the author identifies key actors in the campaign for developing the Kryashens’ aspirations to register themselves as a separate ethnic group (separate census category). The research also presents the pattern of their interaction and clarifies the positions of different parties engaged in the Kryashen occurrence. The author also highlights the intervening factors reinforcing the development of the crisis in interethnic relations. In conclusion, the author points out the delusiveness of “Kryashen problem” and the pointless nature of dispute between the conflicting parties (by using different explanatory models of ethnicity and the actual recognition of Kryashens as a special subconfessional group by all parties).


About the authors

Andrew Eugenievich Denisov

Center of Islamic Studies, Academy of Sciences of Tatarstan

Author for correspondence.
Email: Count-Denisov@yandex.ru
Levobulachnaya Str. 36A, Kazan, Russian Federation, 420111

Research Fellow of the Center of Islamic Studies, Academy of Sciences of Tatarstan

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