The fatal splitting. Symbolizing anxiety in post-soviet russia

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Abstract

Based on written interviews with young people collected in 1997-1999 in Barnaul (Siberia), this article explores structural and rhetorical patterns employed in the young people's descriptions of the New Russian woman, usually associated with a small group of rich and successful people in Russia ('New Russians'). As the essay demonstrates, the image of the New Russian woman can be seen not only as a symbolic representation of new market-driven relations but also as a screen on which deep identification anxiety, triggered by the destabilized cultural environment in post-Soviet Russia, is projected. Using the framework of object relation theory, the article suggests that the type of symbolization used by the informants helps to cope with uncertainty about the past; at the same time it appears to offer a way to deal with the anxiety about one's possible future on the post-Soviet market.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-319
Number of pages29
JournalEthnos
Volume66
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology

Keywords

  • Gender
  • Identity
  • New russians
  • Object relations
  • Paranoid fantasy

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