Reassembling history and anthropology in Russian anthropology: part I
This two-part overview of contemporary Russian anthropology focuses in detail on the work of several scholars and situates it in the changing landscape of Russian academia. The main issue I address is debates about an academic identity of Russian anthropology as ‘historical science’. Given that in Western anthropology, history has become one of the leading modes of anthropological analysis and that the turn to history marked a radical repositioning of anthropology’s very subject, it is important to explore how such configurations of history and anthropology work in other anthropological traditions and what the reasons are for turning to history or, conversely, avoiding it, for specific national, continental and transnational anthropological schools. In this article, I explore these questions by focusing on anthropology in Russia with an aim of reassembling the relationship between anthropology and history from the point of view of the anthropology of time. I ask what temporal frameworks underscore the relationship between anthropology and history. I explore these understandings ethnographically, that is, through ethnographic interviews with Russian scholars in addition to close readings of their works.
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This paper is devoted to the problem of cultural crisis and those points of view on this problem that were maintained by russian and western philosophers. It was written a lot of books concerning this subject. At the beginning of XX century many philosophers within different philosophical tradition and schools began to reason about the crisis of culture. For some of them it was important to stress religious aspect of crisis: the mankind has lost the belief in God — this is the reason of crisis. For others it was importatt to understand the social aspect of cultural crisis.
Cultural crisis is the crisis of values: human and freedom. In the first half of the XXth century the culture has not found answers for two questions: what is freedom and what is human?
The paper outlines key concepts of Hanna Arendt’s political philosophy. The main purpose of the work is to analyze the political virtues — courage, pride and respect, as well as the fundamental abilities (powers) to forgive and to promise. Besides, it’s important to pay attention to Arendt’s understanding of political sphere (as the Web of Relationships) and the role of language in political life. Taking these into account, the main political virtues and abilities of ζῷον πολιτικόν bind together past, present and future of political body into one space of history (ἱστορία).
The processes of the growing societal complexity, emergence of new forms of social and political inequality, formation of pre-state or complex stateless polities belong to the most intriguing subjects of Anthropology and Social Philosophy.
Social Evolution & History has consistently published the research articles devoted to these issues. The chiefdom concept plays a special role within the theories that try to account for the transition from simple social systems to systems of greater complexity. Following its emergence in the 1950s this notion became an important heuristic means to advance Anthropology and Archaeology. It was also subjected to vigorous debates within which the participants denied the methodological significance of chiefdoms and the very notion of the chiefdom. These debates are becoming even more vigorous in connection with the rapid accumulation of information on ancient societies (see the dispute over chiefdoms between Timothy Pauketat and Robert Carneiro in 9.1). There is also much discrepancy in the definition of ‘chiefdom’ as some scholars consider it a standard phase of cultural evolution, a natural transition between the ‘Big Man’ society and the states of the ancient world.
In his article Vladimir Kantor explores the destiny of Russia intelligentsia within the context of cultural crisis that took place at the turn of XIX and XX centuries, analyzing the Vekhovs, a group of leading intellectuals who ran a collection of essays, titled "Vekhi", studying their relationship towards that Russian cultural phenomenon. To author, the intelligentsia is considered as a critical factor in the development of Russian history. Within a context of the struggle around the "Vekhi", by referring to famous philosophical and literature books, published in 1909, the author focuses on relationships between intelligentsia and ordinary people, their attractive and repulsive interaction, which represents the key theme of the Russian destiny. Any historical movement occurs through tragedy; heroes who move the history have to sacrifice themselves to provide that movement. Confirmation to that idea would be rejection and exclusion of the Russian intelligentsia from the country's mentality throughout a number of generations which ultimately led to its tragic being.
The results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.