State-managed Youth Participation in Russia: The National, Collective and Personal in Nashi Activists’ Narratives
The article explores the relationships between the state and youth through the narratives of activists of the Russian youth movement Nashi. The research is based on ethnographic fieldwork among young activists in St Petersburg and Moscow during the political rallies and in the annual educational youth camp “Seliger”. The article analyses how major transformations in the pro-Kremlin youth movement, adhering to the political agenda of the state were subjectively interpreted and understood by young activists using the tools of narrative analysis. The article suggests that despite the high demand for loyalty to the state agenda, young people construct their own definitions and justifications of their state-managed political activism, reconciling and differentiating between national, collective and personal subject positions of the activism.