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“Is It Bad That We Try to Speak Two Languages?”

Language Ideologies and Choices among Urban Sakha Bilingual Families

Jenanne Ferguson

This article discusses urban ethnic Sakha bilinguals and their language ideologies and choices, especially with regard to the language socialization of their children—both at home and within the educational system. The usage of the Sakha language within urban spaces has been on the rise in the post-Soviet years, but still tends to be acquired in the home environment as a first language, whereas Russian is acquired later in the public sphere and reinforced in the educational system. The article explores some of the ideological and structural barriers toward Sakha acquisition and maintenance that speakers face, with apprehension regarding bilingualism and the mastery of two languages in educational contexts being a key concern for many Sakha parents. The article also discusses language instruction—especially in schools—in light of the need to begin to accommodate those with little or no Sakha knowledge in order to continue to increase the usage of Sakha by urban speakers.

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Jenanne Ferguson

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The Socio-Demographic Situation in the Republic of Tuva

Conditions of Social Transformation, 1990s–early 2000s

Zoya Dorzhu

Translator : Jenanne Ferguson

Abstract

Based on a comprehensive analysis of census data, this article examines social and demographic development in one of the youngest regions of Russian Federation, the Republic of Tuva, at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. The given statistics provide the characteristics of the quantitative and qualitative changes in the population, and the socioeconomic conditionality and the laws of its reproduction are analyzed in order to reveal various issues in the implementation of social policy in modern Russia and its regions.

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Akulina Mestnikova

Translator : Jenanne K. Ferguson

Abstract

The article provides an overview of recent initiatives spearheaded by indigenous peoples in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) that seek to improve the existing language policy put forth by the state government. Although there has been some research conducted on the activities of public organizations and associations of indigenous peoples in the region, more must be done to better understand activities specifically related to language policy. The article presents a history of indigenous and minority organizing in the republic since the end of the Soviet era, with special attention paid to the campaigns regarding the status of native language and its presence within the educational sphere. It then analyzes the results of a 2011 sociological study regarding people’s beliefs about responsibility for native language maintenance and revitalization.

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From “Clan” to Speech Community

Administrative Reforms, Territory, and Language as Factors of Identity Development among the Ilimpii Evenki in the Twentieth Century

Nadezhda Mamontova

Translator : Jenanne K. Ferguson

Abstract

This article deals with the relationships between identity, language, and “clan organization” among Ilimpii Evenki, and how these relationships formed and changed over the course of the twentieth century under the influence of Soviet nationalities policy, administrative reform, and local discursive practices. It is based on the author’s field materials collected in the period 2007 to 2012 in the Evenki Municipal District (Evenkia) of Krasnoiarskii Krai, as well as on unpublished sources stored in the archives of Tura (Evenkia), Krasnoiarsk, Moscow, and St. Petersburg. The central question under investigation deals with why the names of the former administrative clans of contemporary Ilimpii Evenki were used to label language communities; the results suggest that the main reasons were the specifics of the Soviet nationalities policy of the 1920s—which shaped the establishment of national regions on the basis of Evenki “clan” organization—as well the emergence of a new literary Evenki language and resettlement campaigns in the mid-twentieth century.

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Andrei Bazarov

Translator : Jenanne K. Ferguson

Abstract

This article examines the book culture of the Buryat Buddhists of the Southern Siberia. Based on social archaeographic studies, the article posits a link between local book culture and the stable identity of Buryat Buddhist. Defining Buryat Buddhist identity based on an analysis of different aspects of their worldview, cultural life, and historical past, this article reveals how Buddhist book culture and home life are the most important aspects in the formation of local identity. The analysis confirms that a radical change in the mechanism of the transfer of tradition, social changes, and the economic crisis led to the transformation of the vector of development in the traditional book culture of the Buryats, highlighting that the main priority is not the religious but the ethnic component.

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The Representation of Childhood in Ethnographic Films of Siberian Indigenous Peoples

The Case of the Documentary Film Malen’kaia Katerina (Tiny Katerina)

Ivan Golovnev and Elena Golovneva

Translator : Jenanne Ferguson

Abstract

This article investigates the representation of childhood in ethnographic films among the indigenous peoples of the Russian North. The article focuses on the documentary film Malen’kaia Katerina (Tiny Katerina; Ivan Golovnev 2004), which depicts the childhood of a Khanty girl in northwestern Siberia. The article employs the concept of ethnocinema as a synthesis of scientific and aesthetic approaches for perceiving and understanding traditional culture. Based on field diary recordings, reflections on the anthropological knowledge of childhood are represented via the audiovisual medium. Particular attention is paid to the visual representation of the world of childhood in traditional Khanty culture, including the child’s relation to nature, the world of adults, games, and the development of gender identity.

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John McCannon, Jenanne Ferguson, Elaine Mackinnon, and David Z. Scheffel

David G. Anderson, ed., 1926/27 Soviet Polar Census Expeditions John McCannon

László Károly, Deverbal Nominals in Yakut: A Historical Approach Jenanne Ferguson

Matthew P. Romaniello, The Elusive Empire: Kazan and the Creation of Russia, 1552–1672 Elaine Mackinnon

Mikhail V. Chevalkov, Testament of Memory: A Siberian Life David Z. Scheffel

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Individualization and Ethnopedagogy at Small Elementary Schools

Components of Vocational Training for University Tutors

Nikolai Neustroev, Anna Neustroeva, Tuyaara Shergina, and Jenanne K. Ferguson

Abstract

The article discusses professional teaching training for tutoring and primary education at a small-scale rural school, where there are prolific opportunities for individualizing the educational process and creating conditions that foster personal development of primary schoolchildren. Educational quality is indicated by the formation of ethnocultural identity and ethnic self-knowledge; this is the basis for the development of harmonious interethnic relations in multicultural societies. The article presents a model for the development of ethnopedagogical competence in the primary school teacher, the ethnopedagogy of the educational process, and the formation of the pan-Russian civic identity as a condition for the successful implementation of the new primary school standards.

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Ekaterina Chekhorduna, Nina Filippova, and Diana Efimova

Translator : Jenanne K. Ferguson

Abstract

This article discusses the normative and legal foundations, laws, principles, approaches, means and methods of organizing the educational process and analyzing the content of the authors’ ethnopedagogical program—Olonkho pedagogy. The article relies on the aspiration of ethnic groups to preserve their own distinctiveness and maintain their ethnic and cultural identity despite the current circumstances of globalization. By basing its approach on the Sakha heroic epic tradition—the Olonkho—the article describes how this tradition can introduce children to ethnocultural traditions, customs, and ceremonial rituals. The article examines manifestations of civic and ethnic identity among students, as well as their values and attitudes toward their native language and the cultural and historical heritage of their ethnic group.