The Peoples of the USSR: An Ethnographic Handbook

The Peoples of the USSR: An Ethnographic Handbook

The Peoples of the USSR: An Ethnographic Handbook

The Peoples of the USSR: An Ethnographic Handbook

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is to be a quick reference for Western social scientists doing research on the peoples of the Russian Empire and the USSR. Basic information is provided on ethnonyms (self, alternative, Russian, and other), ethnogenesis and ethnic divisions, ethnic processes (including assimilation, consolidation, etc.), language (linguistic affiliation, literary status, alphabet reforms, etc.), population (according to the 1926, 1959, 1970, and 1979 Soviet censuses or other sources), religious affiliation, and location. It is not intended to be an encyclopedia and therefore does not include detailed historical, cultural, literary, or political information. Fifteen maps based on the Soviet publication Atlas Narodov Mira are provided at the end of this book. All maps were prepared by Frederick Wilson.

It is also beyond the scope of this work to attempt to establish "standard" spellings or designations for the various groups here included. Numerous transliteration systems exist, each with advantages and disadvantages. In addition, various scholars, fields, journals, etc. have their own preferred systems. One of the greatest problems is that the use of different ethnonyms or spellings frequently carries political or social significance. It should not be assumed that the use of a particular spelling or ethnonym in this book as the "main entry" is an attempt to force this form as a standard. This issue is further complicated by the facts that: (1) in general there are no standard English designations for the great majority of peoples included; (2) when an English designation does exist it often does not correspond to either the self designation or even the Russian one; (3) most often Western scholars use . . .

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