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Book Cover
Author Bekus, Nelly.

Title Struggle over Identity : the official and the alternative "Belarusianness" / Nelly Bekus
Published Budapest ; New York : CEU Press, [2010]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (306 pages)
Contents pt. 1. Nation in theory -- Nation-formation strategies in contemporary nation-studies -- State and nation -- Nationalism, capitalism, liberalism : the East European perspective -- Nationalism and socialism : the Soviet case -- pt. 2. The rise and development of the Belarusian national idea -- The first Belarusian nationalist movement : between national and class interests -- Byelorussian republic within the Soviet state -- Post-Soviet conditions for independence -- pt. 3. Belarusian post-communism -- The election of the first Belarusian president as a mirror of Belarusian preferences -- "Labels" of the Belarusian regime -- "Triple transformation" and Belarus -- Prerequisites of democratization and authoritarianism in Belarus -- pt. 4. Arguments and paradoxes of weak Belarusian identity -- Belarus as an example of national and democratic failure -- The Russian factor in Belarusian self-perception -- The paradox of "national pride" -- Paradoxes of political and linguistic Russification -- Lack of religious basis for national unity -- pt. 5. The struggle over identity -- Two ideas of "Belarusianness" in place of "sole" national idea -- Belarusian-specific nature of the public sphere : invisible wall -- Belarusian tradition : the alternative and official historical narrations -- Political discourses of alternative Belarusianness -- National ideology of the Belarusian state as a political articulation of official Belarusianness -- pt. 6. Cultural manifestation versus social reification -- Two Belarusian approaches to the politics of identity -- "The Belarusian globe" : an encyclopedia of what existed before communism -- Belarusian National Film Misterium occupation : distancing themselves from Soviets and Russians -- Free theater : alternative Belarusianness on the stage -- Independent rock music : critical reflection and protest -- Medieval reenactors : a manifestation of Belarus's European history -- The official politics of identity : social reification strategy
Summary "Nelly Bekus' book adds appreciably to the debate about Belarusian identity. Her highly original and thoughtful study enhances our current understanding of the contemporary state led by President Alyaksandr Lukashenka since 1994. Provocative and yet dispassionate, the book should appeal to all interested in nation building two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union." David R. Marples, Distinguished University Professor, University of Alberta, Canada --Book Jacket
Comparing the two concepts not only provides understanding of the logic that dominates Belarusian society's self-description models, but also enables us to evaluate the chances of alternative Belarusianness to win this unequal struggle over identity. --
The monograph describes how the ethno-symbolic nation of the Belarusian nationalists, based on the cultural capital of the Golden Age of the Belarusian past (17th century) competes with the ̀€nation' institutionalized and reified by the numerous civic rituals and social practices under the auspices of the actual post-Soviet Belarusian state. --
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject National characteristics, Belarusian.
Nationalism -- Belarus.
Political culture -- Belarus.
Post-communism -- Social aspects -- Belarus.
Belarus -- Politics and government.
Belarus -- Social conditions.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 1441658149 (electronic bk.)
6155211841 (electronic bk.)
9639776688 (hardbound)
9781441658142 (electronic bk.)
9786155211843 (electronic bk.)
9789639776685 (hardbound)