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Open access

Environmental Expertise as Group Belonging

Environmental Sociology Meets Science and Technology Studies

Rolf Lidskog and Göran Sundqvist

sociology: the treadmill of production, risk society, and ecological modernization. We conclude that these theories are not clear about either what expertise is or how to balance scientism and powerism. Therefore, we turn to science and technology studies

Open access

State of Uncertainty

Educating the First Railroaders in Central Sakha (Yakutiya)

Sigrid Irene Wentzel

In July 2019, the village of Nizhniy Bestyakh in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutiya), the Russian Far East, was finally able to celebrate the opening of an eagerly awaited railroad passenger connection. Through analysis of rich ethnographic data, this article explores the “state of uncertainty” caused by repeated delays in construction of the railroad prior to this and focuses on the effect of these delays on students of a local transportation college. This college prepares young people for railroad jobs and careers, promising a steady income and a place in the Republic’s wider modernization project. The research also reveals how the state of uncertainty led to unforeseen consequences, such as the seeding of doubt among students about their desire to be a part of the Republic’s industrialization drive.

Open access

(Re)Constructing the Baikal-Amur Mainline

Continuity and Change of (Post)Socialist Infrastructure

Olga Povoroznyuk

The construction of the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) in East Siberia and the Russian Far East in the 1970s and 1980s was the largest technological and social engineering project of late socialism. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the BAM was dogged by economic bust, decline, and public disillusionment. BAM-2, a recently launched state program of technological modernization, aims to complete a second railway track. The project elicits memories as well as new hopes and expectations, especially among “builders of the BAM.” This article explores continuity and change between BAM-1 and BAM-2. It argues that the reconstruction efforts of the postsocialist state are predetermined by the durability of the infrastructure as a materialization of collective identities, memories, and emotions.

Open access

Geographical Imagination, Anthropology, and Political Exiles

Photographers of Siberia in Late Imperial Russia

Tatiana Saburova

Abstract

This article is focused on several themes connected with the history of photography, political exile in Imperial Russia, exploration and representations of Siberia in the late 19th–early 20th centuries. Photography became an essential tool in numerous geographic, topographic and ethnographic expeditions to Siberia in the late 19th century; well-known scientists started to master photography or were accompanied by professional photographers in their expeditions, including ones organized by the Russian Imperial Geographic Society, which resulted in the photographic records, reports, publications and exhibitions. Photography was rapidly spreading across Asian Russia and by the end of the 19th century there was a photo studio (or several ones) in almost every Siberian town. Political exiles were often among Siberian photographers, making photography their new profession, business, a way of getting a social status in the local society, and a means of surviving financially as well as intellectually and emotionally. They contributed significantly to the museum's collections by photographing indigenous people in Siberia and even traveling to Mongolia and China, displaying “types” as a part of anthropological research in Asia and presenting “views” of the Russian empire's borderlands. The visual representation of Siberia corresponded with general perceptions of an exotic East, populated by “primitive” peoples devoid of civilization, a trope reinforced by numerous photographs and depictions of Siberia as an untamed natural world, later transformed and modernized by the railroads construction.

Open access

Public Health in Eastern Europe

Visible Modernization and Elusive Gender Transformation

Evguenia Davidova

of the modernizing state with its biopolitical gaze is recognized, the section is focused on various medical participants who found their way in exercising some local agency, even if not always successfully. For example, as Maria Zarifi discuses, the

Open access

Anna Bara and Erika Monahan

flee the republic as desperate refugees. Cameron delivers a rigorous and moving perspective on Soviet modernization gone awry, laying out nuanced dynamics that spread the blame for this human-induced tragedy. In the famine's wake the base economy of the

Open access

Educating the Other

Foreign Governesses in Wallachia in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century

Nicoleta Roman

’ professional mobility and their role as agents of modernization. It sets aside national or imperial paradigms and argues that foreign governesses should be seen as actors who were part of a “relational history of entities.” 11 Governesses established

Open access

Stiletto Socialism

Social Class, Dressing Up, and Women's Self-Positioning in Socialist Slovenia

Polona Sitar

women served as the domestic bearers of socialist modernization with the mission of transforming the rest of their family members into modern citizens. 3 Clothing was one of the areas in which the identity and loyalty of citizens toward the state were

Open access

Dmitry V. Arzyutov

how pre-Soviet and Soviet anthropologists heroically conducted their research in “uncivilized conditions” in remote areas, and how they were captured by ideologies of evolutionism, Soviet modernization and development, we still know little about their

Open access

Chiara Bonfiglioli

shunned by Western activists who perceived socialist and anti-imperialist demands as a form of undue “politicization” of the conference. Olcott also discusses the competing models of modernization and development that emerged during the conference, and