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Battlefields of Ethnic Symbols. Public Space and Post-Soviet Identity Formation from a Minority Perspective

Alexander Danzer ()

Europe-Asia Studies, 2009, vol. 61, issue 9, 1557-1577

Abstract: This article provides an analysis of interdependencies between post-Soviet Erinnerungspolitik in public space and the individual perception of urban reconfigurations by ethnic Germans in Kazakhstan. Applying a qualitative social-geographic approach the author examines determinants of the process of ethnic symbolisation of real and imagined places. Individual biography and the extent of Soviet socialisation are factors shaping the personal perception of symbolic landscapes. From the perspective of the individual, space reflects the power distribution within society and hence, impacts on individual identity formation. Depending on the dominance of internal as opposed to external identification, the (perceived) changing ethnicised landscape of cities potentially fuels ethnic tension.

Date: 2009
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DOI: 10.1080/09668130903209137

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