Reviews

This provisional though substantial and sounding study of the recent development of socio-cultural anthropology in Russia provides (1) an epistemological overview of the debates on the orientation of this discipline from 1975 to 2000; (2) a classified bibliography of articles published during the same period of time in the journal Sovetskaia etnografiia, renamed in 1992 Etnograficheskoe obozrenie (pp. 23-53).  The author notably attributes what he names the continuing “parochialism” of the discipline in Russia to the narrow definition of its subject as the study of ethnic entities (Rus. etnosy) and “ethnic processes”. To the author’s eyes another reason for the weak integration of Russian anthropology into the world anthropological community is the lack of interest of its practitioners in contemporary post-structural philosophy and epistemology.  The rise of isolation is dated by some observers (V. Tishkov, among others, of the mid-1960s, when Russia’s community of anthropologists “showed incapable of taking any benefit of Khrushchev’s Thaw (p. 19)”).  A bibliometrical analysis of anthropological publications has been implemented in order to document research trends and change in the research agenda—the most significant of which is the emergence of such sub-disciplines and fields as conflict studies and ethno-political studies, minority and indigenous peoples’ rights research, and the revitalisation of legal and applied anthropology.  The univocal taxonomy adopted in the bibliography sometimes raises questions not addressed in the introductory text (such as the classification of “good manners,” “games and sports,” and “popular knowledge” together in a rubric entitled “people’s theatre”).

The Redaction
CER: I-1.2.A-46