Society and Culture | Wilson Center

Society and Culture

One Homeland or Two? The Nationalization and Transnationalization of Mongolia's Kazakhs

How do ethnicity and notions of a traditional homeland interact in shaping a community’s values and images? As Alexander C. Diener shows in One Homeland or Two?, the answer, even in a diaspora, is far from a simple harking back to the “old country.”

Migration, Homeland, and Belonging in Eurasia

Migration, a force throughout the world, has special meanings in the former Soviet lands. Soviet successor countries, each with strong ethnic associations, have pushed some racial groups out and pulled others back home. Forcible relocations of the Stalin era were reversed, and areas previously closed for security reasons were opened to newcomers. These countries represent a fascinating mix of the motivations and achievements of migration in Russia and Central Asia.

Consumption and Social Change in a Post-Soviet Middle Class

What happens when your once-dignified profession no longer supports a dignified lifestyle? In 1990s St. Petersburg, teachers had to find out the hard way; although the institutions and ideologies of Soviet life situated them as "cultured" consumers, contemporary processes of marketization and privatization left them unable to attain what they now considered to be respectable material standards of living.

Religion, Morality, and Community in Post-Soviet Societies

In the post-Soviet environment of expanded civil freedom with great everyday uncertainty, unhappiness, injustice, and suffering, religious organizations and beliefs in Russia and Eurasia face numerous opportunities and intense challenges. Based on recent research and interdisciplinary methodologies, this volume examines how religious organizations and individuals engage the changing and troubled environment in which they live. The contributions investigate not just Russian Orthodoxy, but also Old Belief, Judaism, Islam, Buriat shamanism, and Catholicism.

Russia and Globalization: Identity, Security, and Society in an Era of Change

Russia is a battered giant, struggling to rebuild its power and identity in an era of globalization. Several of the essays in this diverse and original collection point to the difficulty of guaranteeing a stable domestic order due to demographic shifts, economic changes, and institutional weaknesses. Other contributors focus on the country’s efforts to respond to the challenges posed by globalization, and discuss the various ways in which Russia is reconceptualizing its role as an international actor. Ambivalence is a recurrent theme, according to editor Douglas W.

Aktualno: Tolerantnist! [Current Issue: Tolerance!] (2008)

Collection of papers on migration and tolerance in Ukraine, edited by Yaroslav Pylynskyi.  

Kuala Lumpur Calling: Al Jazeera English in Asia

Al Jazeera, a Qatar-based, Arabic-language satellite news channel, is arguably one of the Middle East’s—and the world’s— most influential news sources. Established in 1996, Al Jazeera is credited with defying media censorship and expanding the margin of press freedoms across the Middle East. Though it receives much of its funding from the emir of Qatar, the station has been widely recognized as an independent news voice in the Middle East.

The Arts of Democracy: Art, Public Culture, and the State

Influenced by two decades of debate inside and outside the academy about the relationship among the arts, politics, and public policy, the essays collected in The Arts of Democracy represent the coming of age of one of the liveliest fields in contemporary academic life.

Dispersed Relations: Americans and Canadians in Upper North America

Although they sometimes seem to be engaged in a single, wildly imbalanced relationship, the United States and Canada actually share interwoven connections through a host of regional, cultural, social, economic, and even political communities that form an American-Canadian interdependence, according to Reginald C. Stuart.

Re-envisioning the Chinese Revolution: The Politics and Poetics of Collective Memories in Reform China

Popular memories of the revolutionary past have become a political and cultural force in China. Traumatic memory and active criticism make up part of this wave, but so does nostalgia for collective responsibility and for feelings of freedom and progress.