Home    Number 2, 2011

Russian Identity in a History Textbook of the Prerevolutionary Period by D.I. Ilovaiskii

Type of publication: Research Article

About author(s)

Aleksandr V. Matveev | matveev.alex@inbox.ru


system of education, identity, constructivism, social mobilization, content analysis, ethnic origin and ethnic history of the russians, qualities and characteristics of the russian people, image of the enemy


The article examines the content of the school course on the Russian history which was read in Russian schools in the second half of the 19th and the early twentieth centuries. The author attempts to interpret the ideological content of the “Russian” in the context of politics of social integration on the basis of a united Russian identity. He conducts content analysis to explore the possible versions of use of the term “Russian” in the schoolbook text, as well as discusses in detail the ethnic aspect of the text – that is, statements on the origin and development of the Russian people, their ethnic qualities, and relationships with other ethnic groups. The author concludes that the term “Russian” has a character superseding the “ethnic” and implies “co-citizenship”. The belonging to the latter is grounded upon the commonly shared values of the Russian people (Orthodox Christianity and autocratic state rule in the first instance). Both the set of these values and the interpretation of “Russianness” were by and large determined by the official ideology.


Matveev, A.V. 2011. Russian Identity in a History Textbook of the Prerevolutionary Period by D.I. Ilovaiskii. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 2: 67-74

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