This paper is dedicated to two phenomena of contemporary Moscow Muslim life – the loud zikr (dhikr) of the Kunta Haji wird of the Qadiri tariqah, practised by Chechens and Ingush; and the religious practices of the Central Asian “uninstitutionalised” mullahs. Both spiritual practices are popular and have great significance for a considerable proportion of Moscow Muslims, including for those who do not directly participate in them. What both practices have in common is also found in their marginal nature with regard both to institutionalised Moscow Islam and to the Wahhabist trend which is now gathering steam here. This is an attempt to identify some specific features of contemporary Moscow Islam through the analysis of certain practices.
In studying Classic Maya mythology scholars meet two main problems. First, we don’t dispose with long narrative texts that are known from other early civilizations. Second, Maya mythology is still (re)constructed on the basis of Popol Vuh. In our paper we argue that the use of typology of mythological motives and themes can be very helpful in further studies. In the early 2000s several epigraphers independently recognized a possible mention of the shaping of the first people in the hieroglyphic texts on the Classic Maya pictorial ceramics. We argue that this motif has strong parallels it the Tzotzil creation myths documented in the 20th century. Comparative study of the hieroglyphic texts and iconography on ceramics and the Maya folklore shows that among the Classic Maya there existed three main types of anthropogonic motifs: (1) origin from the deer people, (2) emergence of the first people from a cave and (3) creation of humans from clay by gods.
This article examines the impact of modern electronic media (satellite television and mobile telephony) on the oral culture of the village. The Soviet experiment, in which the media environment of rural villagers has undergone significant transformation, has not destroyed the oral culture. The weakening of print culture accomplished with the growing influence of television and mobile telephony led to the weakening of the relationship between the village and the state, on the one hand, and to the strengthening of the family integration, on the other.
The authors introduce the special theme of the issue presenting the articles that explore the opportunities and possibilities for the interdisciplinary collaboration among ethnography, anthropology, cultural geography, and human geography in the area of studying the geo-cultural space of the Arctic. The presentation is focused on the range of interdisciplinary projects and approaches undertaken by the Lab for Geo-Cultural Study of the Arctic in Yakutsk.
The Trickster archetype takes one of the key places not only in the history of culture, but also in the political and communication systems of nowadays. It finds a visible embodiment both in the informal political communication and in the institutionalized communication models. The article discusses the main forms of manifestation of this archetype in the images of Russian political leaders, its possible modifications, as well as the role of contemporary media in the replication of the image.
This article examines the phenomenon of South African stokvels and burial societies and the transformations these associations are currently undergoing. Drawing on the socio-culturalist analysis of economic action (Neves, du Toit, 2012: 131, van Donge, 1992), the article investigates the topic of mutuality through looking at the contemporary development on the field of rotating savings and credit associations in South Africa. The article is based on a field study conducted in Gauteng Province, South Africa, during two months stay in October–November 2014, 2015, 2017. Authors claim that in the mid-2010s conventional stokvels and burial societies are becoming the characteristic feature of the ‘normalized’ life of the middle classes, whereas the representatives of the urban underclass are increasingly engaging in the digital Ponzi schemes as a means of day-to-day survival, but also in the pursuit of the magical ‘instant enrichment’.
Research on empathy, altruism, and cooperation is one of the highest priorities in the fields of social anthropology, psychology, and evolutionary sciences around the world. The goal of this article is to assess the level of empathy of Russian students towards people with disabilities. For this purpose, we measured respondents’ levels of anxiety and aggression, assessed the correlation of these characteris- tics with empathy, determined the degree of their change under the influence of stress (sensitivity to stress). Also, we used the 2D:4D ratio as a biomarker of prenatal androgenization. The outcome of this study shows that human behavior is determined by a complex of interrelated social (cultural) and biological factors. Femininity (as a reflection of prenatal oestrogenization of the brain) is a predictor of higher levels of empathy and cooperation and more pronounced reactions to stressful stimuli, re- gardless of environmental factors.
Children of migrants tend to end up in schools that accommodate mostly those pupils and students who do not conform to the socially shared notion of the “norm”, such as disabled children or children from disadvantaged families. In the recent years, the emergence of various problems in schools has been increasingly thought of as related precisely to the presence of migrant children, the latter being rst and foremost associated with incomers from Central Asia and the Caucasus. Social issues that schools traditionally used to cope with are being displaced by ethnic issues and various questions of adaptation. The article examines the ways in which school segregation arises and shows what factors account for the higher concentration of migrant children in certain schools and what problems both pupils and teachers in such schools have to face.
The article discusses the scholarship, methods, and theoretical approaches that have been involved in the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies from the early 1980s through the early 2000s. It traces the changes in methodological orientations and examines the specificities of ethnographic fieldwork in the STS area, as well as suggests the criteria for evaluating the outcome of research and offers ways of its advancement.