Working borders and shifting identities in the Russian Far North

Gail Fondahl, Anna Sirina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


State-imposed borders inform socio-spatial identities, often encouraging divergent identities for those living of different sides of the border. However, these identities may be discursively appropriated by the groups affected by the borders, in order to manage their relations with the state. We describe how one group of aboriginal people in the Russian Far North forged a common identity based on evasion of state institutions in the 1930-1950s. This group, once articulated with state institutions and divided by the enforcement of a provincial/republican border, developed two socio-spatial identities-and employed these identities as counterhegemonic tactics to state pressures over their lifeways. As types of pressures change, the affordances that the borders provide also change, as evident in the shifting discourses of difference and similitude.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-556
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Aboriginal
  • Borders
  • Boundaries
  • Identity
  • Indigenous
  • Native
  • North
  • Russia
  • Russian Far East
  • Siberia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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