Home    Number 2, 2023

The “Sorrystan”: Public Apologies and Moral Order in Today’s Dagestan

[“Izvinistan”: publichnye izvineniia i moral’nyi poriadok v sovremennom Dagestane]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541523020069


Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 24.11.2022

Accepted: 15.03.2023

About author(s)

Ekaterina Kapustina | http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7024-0072 | parlel@mail.ru | Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences (3 University Emb., St. Petersburg, 199034, Russia)

Ekaterina Khonineva | http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9964-5375 | ekhonineva@eu.spb.ru | European University at St. Petersburg (6/1a Gagarinskaya Str., St. Petersburg, 191187, Russia)


public apologies, sacrilege, social media, anthropology of morality, collective responsibility, offense to religious sensitivities


The article deals with the moral implications of the practice of public apologies, based on the case of modern Dagestan. Unlike most studies in linguistics and political science, in this article, we are interested not in the structure of official apologies as speech acts and the conditions of achieving their communicative effect, but rather in the variability of pictures of the moral order that may stand behind the need for public apologies in a particular cultural context, and the type of moral subject that can be constructed through such public acts. The material for the analysis included the public apologies that are relevant within Dagestani society, the apologies by Dagestani people living outside the republic, and the cases of apologies to Dagestanis themselves. The article demonstrates how the spread of the practice of public apologies has problematized the boundaries of collective responsibility in Dagestani society, the notions of the subject, its qualities and agency associated with the institution of reputation, as well as the possibility of subordination and resistance to the social structure.

Funding Information

This research was supported by the following institutions and grants: Russian Science Foundation, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100006769 [grant no. 21-18-00508]


Kapustina, E.L., and E.A. Khonineva. 2023. “Izvinistan”: publichnye izvineniia i moral’nyi poriadok v sovremennom Dagestane [The “Sorrystan”: Public Apologies and Moral Order in Today’s Dagestan]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 2: 111–133. https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541523020069 EDN: QWNLUT

Full text is distributed by eLIBRARY.ru