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Unformatted text preview: l>14:I~kWWDMWJMfiW"&WNli-¢<~A.Mm NMM-w-u » ..... .- .2... If},va M Chine/55 mill PM???) m6, . “mm.” 3... A Theory of Political Identities On April 25, M94», the Estonian statwun bus service dropped I‘m: 0le after a fhur-nndm-halfihonr trip from the capital city of Tallinn, in the historic I‘lanscatit' city ofNan'a. This was my fifth journey to this city ofllopoo people, 95 percent of whom speak Russian as their primary language. The city is only a switch throw across the Namt River, fmm Russia. For centuries, the titer represented a civilim~ clonal divide. A leading Estonian sociologisr. Marika Kltch, puts it in stark termh “Ifonc suppom hesitatinglyf" aha writes, that the civilizational border betwccn Estonia and Russia is anaehwnistic or nugli~ glble, one need only stand on the bridge twcr tht: Nat-vii river , . . and witness catc- fully the “overt civilizatinnal confiontatinn” oftwn cultures: nn the Estonian sidc there is an historic fortress built by thc Swedes, Danes and Germans in zttwtclamcc with the cultural traditions of Western Eumpc; on tht other [in Ivangomd], a primmml Forums as an exponent ol’Slavic~Orthmlnx cultural tmditians.‘ But flu“: Second World War altered this boundary. The Soviets aimllcd Narvn heavily when they occupiccd Iistouial and either killttd, captured, or drove off virtually thn entire population. After the Mir the town was rebuilt, largely by dcmobilizml Rus~ Siam soldiers, most ofwhom believed, and still believe, that they helped save. thc tonians from fascism and merit honor lint rebuilding the city, which thtrir own army had destroyed. me the early195c>s up until 1991, Narva and lwmgnmd lliitmcd a single Russian-speaking mctrnpnlimn area. On my first visit to Nawa, in July I992. I met with a parlianimtm'ian, Pavel Grit; ot’cv, who had been quoted in the NEW 31ml: "mum as a Russian uCth‘lst standing, up against the nationalizing tendencies Of the new Estonian 5mm After the intuwicw. he invited me: to his home in the seaside village of Nam! lécsnu, just .1 few kilome- tcts mirth ni‘Nawa, and the home «if many Sovict writers and intellct‘nmls who had ' Marika Kirch, «1., (Tblvggiag; Maxim; m Emilia: sealant-n; Hm; and (timinmmnftx ("litilimn limlzniian Scicntc Fonntliitinn, :994}, p, 12. 2. i t i g 4. Introduction been rewarded by the state with private homes in peaceful communities. The kilometers-long beach at Narva Joesuu made it quite attractive to many Russians, espectally to well-connected Leningradians seeking restful summer daehas. Grigor’cv lived there, not as a reward for artistic achievement but because he was a longtime machinist in the nearby October fishing kolkboz. He was born in Kntgisepp (near Nerve, but in Leningrad region) in 194.1 and started his career working in Murmansk, an industrial fishing city, which he and his wife found de- pressingly dark. He found an opening at the October kolkhoz in 1966 and lived in a Woman; flat with wife and son on the Ivangorod bank of the river. Two years later they m0ved into a lovely direedoom flat in a thrce‘story building constructed for the kolkhoz on the Estonian side of the border, where they still live today. Articu’ late, open~minded, and meantiin able to get people of a variety of petsuasions to beheve that they share his vision, Grigor’ev moved up the political ladder and was eventually elected to the Supreme Savior of the Estonian Republic. in my second trip to Narva, in December 1992, I took Grigor’cv and his wife out to dinner, and he graciously responded by helping me with my research, I remmed tor a two~week visit in April 1993, and this time he invited me to live in his home while I tried (desperately, but with little to show for it) to develop facility in Rus- sian, a language I had been studying for a few years but without great success. I got to know better his wife, Liuba, who pretended, as they used to say, to work in a sanstorium while the gavcmment pretended to pay her. On my first trip to Narva, I had brought packaged herbs and spices. She was appreciative and (being a superb cook) used them with great ingenuity_me then on, i was always a welcome guest at their dinner table, and I eventually taught her to cook on a wok, and in the Mex- ican style as well. I met their oldest child, Andreu, who had been decommissioned from the Soviet army, much to his chagrin, when his comtry (the USSR) disap~ peared. I also met their daughter Natasha, who had an excellent ear for languages, had excelled since her early grades (so her elementary school teacher in Estonian, who herself was a native speaker of Estonian, told me the following year), and was training at the Tallinn Pedagogical Institute to become a teacher of Estonian in Rus- sian schools. Finally, I met their youngest, Roma, then in the sixth grade, whose goal then was to become a hockey player of note. In the spring of 1993: Gtigor’ev was a lame~duck parliamentarian. Because he was not an Estonian citizen, he could not run for reflection to the Riigikogu, the Estonian parliament. But the Estonian political establishment considered him a moderate, a man with whom they could do business. A litdoknown (and rarely publicized) provi» sion of the Estonian Constimtion allowed the prime minister to recommend citizco~ ship to residents ofEsnonia for “sentice to the state.” Grigor'ev was told that if be ap» plied lint citizenship, even though he widcrstood hardly a word of Estonian, he would be granted it. Indeed, he received citizenship, and Roma, who was under twelve at the time, received it as well. Roma was smdying Estonian at school for a few hours each weelc and his closest friend and next~door neighbor was Estonian, but he could hardly utter a grammatical sentence in that language himself. His English, though primitive, was Ear better. And so Pavel and Roma were Estonian citizens, but Liuba, Andree, and Natasha runalned “Soviet” citizens, or citizens without a country. ATheory of Political identities 5 During my visit in April 1993, I told the family that I planned to do a year offield research in Name: beginning the following fall. Pavel and Liuba worried about my safety and sanity and urged the to live with them, in Andrea‘s room, since Audreu was about to get married and move into his own place. Despite many rules of an» thropologieal thumb against becoming associated with any one side of a commu~ nity conflict, 1 consented, and moved in that September. The next month Grigor’ev ran successfully for chairman of the News ioesuu city council, something he could not have done had he not become an Estonian citizen. Russiamspeaking candidates could run successful campaigns in these local elections, because all adult residents were eligible voters in these, but not in general elections, where citizenship was nec» essary in order to vote. Since citizenship for service to the state was granted only to the moderates among the Russian politicians, the Estonian prime ministers, who had discretion on this matter, could assure their constituents that only a moderate group of Russian-speaking politicians would get office in the initial years of the new republic. (To be sure, the Estonians were not unified on this issue. Prime Minister Tilt Viihi gave the gift of citizenship to people with whom he had good bargaining relations, much to the chagrin of the opposition. But when the opposition leader Mart Laar came to power, he sought to cultivate “his” Russians in the same manner, and Viihi, then out of office, criticized Iaar for abusing the practice. Nonetheless, neither Vlihi nor Leer gave citizenship to potential fifth columnisrs.) During the fall 0f1993, l enrolled in a class in Estonian for Russiawspeakcrs at the News Language Center and began writing the Family biographies, one of which is the basis for this vignette. I returned home to Chicago for a few months in the winter and returned to Narva, as I began this story, in April 1994. Liube was waiting for me at the bus stop. She was extremely agitated, and as we waited for nearly two hours for Pavcl’s official car (a late-model Lincoln Town Car, with a chauffeur!) to take us to Narva Watson, I learned that it wasn’t the extraordi- nary inflation that was bmheting her the most, Indeed, the bus fare to Nerve. iéesuu was 90 cents (too cents to the looon; about 13 kroons to the dollar) when I left in December and had increased to 3 lemons that April. Rent for their apartment had jumped to 650 kroons a month from 330 a few months earlier. This inflation was harsh but not threatening. Her principal concerns were deportation and the possi~ ble forced dispersal of her family. Her strategy for avoiding deportation was to become a full~time student of Ben tonian. She had just paid 65o kroons for the course designed to provide citizenship- lcvel competence in Estonian. Her rush to learn Estonian was induced by a new to quiremcut that noncitiaens had to register for temporary residency permits; a permanent residency permit might or might not be issued later. Noncitizens who failed no register by July would be deported. Liuba was worried. Riunors aboundcd that political criteria would be applied in the granting of permanent midency sta» tus. Unwanted Russians would be deported. in Tallinn the minister ofnationallties, Peter Olesk, was already being called, in a bitter pun (vyxelennia'for mocked“), the minister for deportation. Liuba accepted the local notion (among Rmsians) that there was a small whxdow ofopportunity: il‘she passed the citizenship language test by lune, she would not need to register. Her application fiat citizenship would serve 6 Introduction as her pmpmk (permit), giving her all the rights of a permanent resident. The situa- tion for Russians, she emphasized, was very uncertain. The right of foreigi travel, among other things, was in the arbitrary hands of the Estonian authorities. Up till recently you could get an empty Soviet foreign passport and have it issued by Rs- tonian authorities for fowlgn travel. But the Estonian govcrmncut had run our of such passports and had no access to others, or at least that was what Russians ap‘ plying for such passports in Narva were being told. 50 Russian residents of Estonia who wanted to travel abroad could not get papers without special intervention. liven members of sports teams and other Russians with institutional ties to Eston- ian organizations were having problems. ’Ib get the right to foreign travel, Estonia’s Russrans diametrically could get “Russian citizen” stamped in their Soviet internal panopommand indeed many did so—but that Strategy (despite official denials) was felt to prejudice future applications for Estonian citizenship. Liuba was near catatonic. Estonian is dwFinno—Ugric language, with virtually no cognates in Russian. She found its strucrure impenetrable. She was convinced that there was no way she could reach the citizenship level in the time remaining. In~ dead, the Narva Language Center has calculated that to reach level B, enabling one to qualify for a job requiring only a low level oflanguage skill, 70 hours ofinstruc- uon is necessary. Anorher so hours is required to reach level C, qualifying one for most clerk and administrative jobs. Level I), for professional one, no addi- tional hours. The citizenship level requires do more hours in the classroom. Each of these courses involves considerable homework and additional computenassisted grammatical drills (an extra fee is diarged for computer time). Liuba, before her course began, could get through a basic greeting in Estonian, and she had named her cat Lumi, Estonian lbr “snow? in a demonstration of cultural accommodation to the country in which she lived. After that, as far as Estonian was concerned, she was mute. Liuba might have responded to the new language regime earlier. Indeed, a lan« guage law passed in Ianuary 1989 sought to institute real bilingualism in the society and induce Russians to lcam Estonian. But the law had little bite, since under Son vrct hegemouy, the Estonian had lacked the authority to enforce it. But after inde- pendence, the project of “normalizing” some 500,000 mostly Russian noncitizeus (a large number of whom had been born in Estonia or had lived there for decades) proyideel an opportunity to impose sanctions on Russians who had not learned Es- roman. As the precise terms of the naturalization process were laid down, the language test (as Liuba herself cxpericncod) became the most challenging of the hoops to be jumped through. In a new citizenship law passed in January 1995, the Esmnians added another civics examination to the naturalization procedure for Soviet-em immigrants. Many noncitizens viewed this new requirement as an attempt to slow the naturalization process, and their belief was reinforced when the government delayed more than three months in issuing specific lnfommtion on the new exami- nation. Moreover, the Estonians interpreted the nuncitizeus’ status to moan that all of their Soviet-era residency documents would have to be reprocessed. The Aliens Law wWM«WwWWW«WwMWMme1ww-wwmumm Aniwry of Political identities 7 passed in July 1993 caused a major political crisis. Its administration was a bureau~ cratic nightmare. Many observers interpreted these regulations and the slow pro~ ccsshig of applications for citizenship as clear signals that the titulars wanted Rut» sians to leave ramer than integrate. Although many Estonian nationalism openly voiced that wish, the reality was that the great majority would remain in Estonia, and they would have to come to terms with Estonian authority. So Liuba studied Estonian in all her free moments, and even practiced pronunci~ ation from her word lists with her Estonian neighbor, who came over regularly to gossip (in Russian). Liuba all but abandoned TV for study, though occasionally she sat with her word lists to watch the American soap opera Shiite Harbors on Os~ taukino, the most popular Russian TV station. liven young Roma’s interest was sparked by his mother’s obsession, and he began to study with her, even engaging in Estonian small talk when they sat down together in the kitchen after he returned home from school. Once I showed ofi'to the family that I had the latest Estonian grammatical exercise program on my laptop computer. I conjugated a verb per- fectly, and the program rewarded me with an electronic version of “Merrily We Roll Along.” Liuba often borrowed my computer late in the evenings when I was through working, and I’d be awakened in the wee hours of the morning to the. tin- kling strains of “Merrily . . . ” Liuba was possessed. She was Strategic as well. On my first morningback, she phoned an old buddy of Pavel’s, whom I had met when he was on border guard duty the previous fall, to see if he could help her get her citizenship application form without waiting in a long line in an office that was open only a few hours a week. All this strategic activity took place in an aunosphcrc of considerable uncertainty. The highly nationalistic government then in poivermthc Isaman or “Fatherland” coalitionwwas ambivalent about Russians’ learning the Estonian language. 011 the one hand, Isamaa leaders insisted that race or civilization had nothing to do with citizenship. It was only nat» ural ibr a country to require immigrants to learn the language of the country before they could receive citizenship. Indeed, as Pavel sardonically observed, “race” could not possibly be a criterion for the Estonian national chauvinists. After all, he pointed out, his roots are in lngcrland, whose inhabitants are closer to the indigo. nous Ugrics than most Esronians, who have much “foreign” (German, Swedish, Danish) blood. 0n the other hand, many leading Estonian nationalists claimed that the percentage of Russians in Estonia was so high that they would never assimilate. If two-thirds of them were to “return” to Russia (though many of them had been born in Estonia), these nationalists claimed, Estonian culture could survive. This ambivalence led to a program with contradictions. Language centers were. indeed created, but barely Funded, and therefore tuition was high. (The Swedish and us. embassies took the initiative to provide funds for these centers, which the Estonian government was not pleased to accept but could not decline.) Russian speakers who passed the language exam complained that their citizen— ship applications were languishing (or disappearing) in the bureaucratic mill. One of my informants told me that three times oval: the course ofa year he had been told that crucial official documents were “missing” from his file, although he knew he had submitted them. Each time he had to reapply for citizenship. Natasha, Pavel WWWIWM 8 Introduction and Liuha’s daughter, faced the same Kafkesque nightmare. Pavel told me that she passed the Estonian language room without dilficulty in Tallinn, where standards are higher than in Natva, where inliormal dispensations are made, given the extreme difficulty of learning Estonian in a city where hardly anyone speaks it, and where Estonian radio and, TV reception is poor. Yet two years later Natasha was still wait— ing for her citizenship papers. The Estrmian govemment, he reckoned, worked With an unannounced citizenship quota that violated international human rights agreements. Pavel is a realist. He told me that if he had the choice, he would vote for the 5e~ ccssion of northeast Estonia and for reintegrating it with Russia. But this Would not be possible without bloodshed, and he emphasized to me, and to conferecs at a diplomatic panel in Tallinn, that a bad peace is far better than a good war. More- over, his desire to rejoin Russia would not involve emigration, even though his mother lives in the Russian town of Kingiseppaflis dacha keeps him in Estonia. in a former swamp just south of the Baltic coast, thousands of Russian Families have built lovely summer homes from materials appropriated from the state, and in their gardens grow fruits and vegetables that last most families for the entire year. Many men, including Pavel and Andree, spent all their free hours for years constructing those dachas. In fact, Pavel secured a special visa for his mother, and she spends the entire summer managing the garden at the dacha. (I once asked her if she spoke any Estoruan, and she looked at me with astonishment, as if! had asked her whether she had even been to Disneyland.) Property keeps Pavel a loyal Estonian. Pavel’s realism is combined with a complete lack of prejudice. I have heard ln'm make hisinuatiom about colleagues and public officials, burl have never heard him make an ethnic slur. Pavel used to spend hours talking politics with his next~door neighbor, an Estonian, who died of a heart attack a year before i; first came to Narva. Pavcl’s electoral “ticket” for the Nan/a Iéesuu city council, when he success- fitlly ran for chairman in October 1994., was ethnically mixed, without tokens from either the Russimt or Estonian communities. He had even named his youngest son after the Eatonian who founded his ltollthoz. A true Soviet man, he really did not see the world in ethnic terms. In this way, he was quite open-minded about Eston- ian sovereignty. On language, however, Pavel was less open~minded, although still more in tune with the times than his mother. Pavel’s monolingualism was as natural to him as it is to nearly all third-generation Americans. He had traveled as liar east as Samaritand, as far south as Sukumi, as far north as Murmansk, and could communicate with anyone in Russian. For Pavel it was as if the whole world spoke Russian; what need did he have for a second language? This attitude infuriated Mart Rannut, first head of Estonia’s State Language Office, who once complained that Estonia might cave in to international pressure and extend citizenship to Russian‘speakers who had only reached, in Rannut’s phrase “dog level” proficiency in Estonian—in ether words, the ability to respond to a small set of commands. When I repeated this to Gtigor’ev, he laughed upmariously. That much he knew he could do. Pavel would often greet othem with me, the standard Estonian greeting, to show his socialist in— ternationalism; but that was just about the limit of his proficiency. Seven time A’I’hcory of Political ldmtities 9 zones, he was fond of pointing out, and all you need is Russian. Sometimes he would start, eyes glazed, at an Estonian text, making believe he was giving it a gloss, but he rarely caught a word. To be sure, the cataclysm of the Soviet collapse in :99: had opened his eyes, and he was adjusting quite rapidly to the new order. He took Roma out of the local school and enrolled him in Narva, where the principal had given the school an inremational flavor, specializing in foreign languages. The school, because it offered foreign language training, was quickly becoming more popular among parents than the prestigious baccalaureate school. In his school, Roma was getting adequate English and a touch of Estonian, but far more than he was receiving in Nam Joesuu. Pavel, like his wife, believes that Russianopeakcrs in Estonia should speak Estonian, but unlike Liuba, he is not learning it himself. Still, he is making sure his children are equipped linguistically for the new reality. Andrcu, like his father, had no yearning to learn Estonian. He remained more Soviet than his parents and often accused Gorbachev of having destroyed the Soviet Union on behalf of US. intelligence. In his long period of semi~unemploymtot after his demobilization from the armyv— during which he had small jobs at the local TV station and elsewhere—he attained a level B proficiency in Estonian, which qualified him for whitewcollar jobs. But when he landed a job as a senior technician in a new insurance firm and had to teach level C2, he copied the grammar program from my hard drive and installed it on his own computer in the insurance office. He too began to study assiduously. Natasha’s proficiency in Estonian was legendary. Her primary school teacher in Estonian, who became an official at the Nalva Language Center in the 19903, often used Natasha as the example of the possibility for linguistic assimilation. In 1994., Natasha was living in Tallinn, Studying education in order to teach Estonian in a Russianrspeaking school. She keeps her hair short~ and I think bleachcdwto make herself physically indistinguishable from her Estonian counterparts. This was the situation as I left the field in lune 1994.. The news of the Grigor’ev family in the Christmas letter that Liuba sent me in December 1994. was joyous. Liuba had passed her language examination at level I) and at the citizenship level as well, and now had only a year’s wait for her official pa- pers. Natasha had received her citizenship passport from Estonia. Andreu would one day catch up. It would he a mistake to see in this story the assimilation of the Grigor’ev family from “Soviet” to “Esroniau? They see themselves as Russians who have from pure» tieal necessity added a few Esronian cultural practices to their own Russian repet- roireuYer cultural a " iilarion is like religious conversionfind‘as thclitetamrc on religious Emilee ‘“ “ “kfitlefiifih‘filifit’ negotiation considers simple pragniii'ii‘s‘ui l'll the. neat considers'natptal. Tliiis"'cliildreh who are hton'ght up in a religious com~ V cg on,lgyItehgiouawauthotitiesweastigatc their parents for what s their hypocrisy.” What we see with the Grigor’evs, then, is the beginning of a’séimilation, not its end. Their experiences and those of their compatriots MNNW...t....c.. 3 The intetgenetational aspect ofcouversiou is devoloped in the claasic work ofA. I). Neck. Ct)!!- tmitm (London: Oxford University Press, 15,133). .. mama Aath to Introduction ATheory of Political Identities 11 throughout the detritus of the Soviet Union give us a glimpse at" what it means to i changed boundaries of the post~Soviet world might have sundar cficcts on today’s have “identities in formation?” - - in Estonia» W in mainline identity armc‘cfltfigofiiiflififil ' ‘ “'7” aninchoate conception that a,» u es an {Jinan cultural component—all in the space oflanl'cwnyears," the "Weboundanes and social meaninguof theRussian nationalityare w What we nQdTii‘Wé’aiiékd'phm the 's‘icudy of Russian nationalism and identity into a plausible theoretical liamework, isha notion of “identity” and how it might be stud» icd comparatively that does not requiréhs to economic like the Grigor’evs to be anomalous. Wonoflidentitym; is the one provided by the psy~ I? r y r r The Question of Identities Stalin’s ideas on national identity continue to have a profound influence on the national identity question throughout the former Soviet Union. For him, nations were the result of a common culture, a common language, a common economic life, and a common territory. Scientific investigation could determine true nations . . . . . cholo is: Erik H. Enflss, on a generation ago. I build on lirikson’s definition of identity from men: ethnic or religious groups. Children are ham mm national communities wamwfifl—"zmww ' . r . . . . “ . . ,, . . . . . . ' . ‘ to o ulate amxcmtheo ofrdenu ' shift which also relies on the ti (in and their nanonal identification can be fixed, as it were, on the fifth line of a pass- mower I m [y w" w’ M. .. .... .. a »»»»»»»» «RV g model dflgywtdgpcdbnv'fllomauflglgggz This th F, “can ac WWW... m v. M ‘FEfi‘nEEnd the capacisthmtoatmusnnlmm “mm”, menwm « W a!)ch different types of ‘dcntitias that ulations construcosuch a353,; . . . wrwmw 1 . \WW w... roommmmmw are, diasponc, twismuonal, and mtgqu —— wimih a simflgimmmotkl \.M»MMM~MMM.NW))«WIA port.3 Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and especially in light of the arm breaks of grotesque nationalist violence in postcommunist lands, this Stalinesque View of nationality marks quite stroneg the understanding of nationality issues in postconununist countries and throughout the world. Analyses of ethnic conflict point to nationality groups as if they were eternal actors on the stage of warfare. Books on the so-callcd new Russian diaspora worry whether they will become a fifth column, return to Russia in a horde, or become loyal citizens of their new to publics. But the notion that they mightgggilmlatc or dcyglggmujdcntity otherflthan :Russian” is rarely even modded? Reflectingwtliiii'wrathcr rigidwylfiéwyhf nhtiohal identity, Mdtoly'lflféfihov wniés that he “was personally acquainted with Ukrain- ian, Belorussian, Daghesmnian, Tatar, Kazakh, Kalmyk, Buryat, Yakut, and Twin- ian scholars, including anthropologists, who cannot speak their native languach ’l‘hnte people, he judges, were “doomed to acculturation.”5 The notion that for a Ukrainian, Ukrainian is “his” language suggests that he is not fulfilled as a person until he recognizes his “real” identity de~ velops the language skills to become-his real self. Even Robert Kaiser, who wroié"a (M. w“ ,Mpm'wwwuw—m...myw“ ‘ hoolf‘sensitivwed‘iéhovxct «instruction ofifitionality groups, writes that “the gnaw...” a“... aweaw‘am. Macaw Identity in Social Theory Th re is a giggingconagpsus amongstcaglgnimbscrvetsof identity politics that f not inherited like skin colorn—which is tthStali ‘ xylem; its academic “Manimfiii‘dwtfifiifi “Bimini”:Battalion“ like an 5". "object. People, as théit'youth,”ar'e expateaza Emily, community, and national histo- ries; they are brought up with a particular repertoire of languages and speech styles; they may be given training in certain religious rituals. Within their wider societies, others have adopted a vatiety of other social categories, local, national, religion-s, linguistic. Usually people’s identities change with the level of aggregation: Within their community, they may identify dietnselves on the basis of socioeconomic back- ground; within their country, outside of their corrmnmity, they may identify them» selves with a brand of politics; and outside their country, they may identify them- mom “XPMSiW Perception of homeland in evidence among Russians [in the post- V. selves with their nation. All socyietics—peih‘fipTEEpecially toili'ywhavewcultmnl Soviet world] enhances the probability that international conflicts will arise in box» T enfiepreneurs who offer new identity categories (tactal, sexual, regional), hoping to der republics such as Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus: and the Baltics, where RuSsians live in concentrated settlements and where a Russian sense of homeland has devel- oped over time!" He doesn’t cvcn raise the issue that if changed boundaries could afl'ctt national identifications among Tajiks or Ukrainians in an earlier period, the find “buyers.” If their product sells, these entrepreneurs become leaders of newly formed ethnic, cultural, religions, or other forms of identity groups. As individuals grow up they consequently feel pressure, in the plume of Rom Harte, to organize “identity projects”; that is to say, to choose the category that exemplifies them as in- dividualr and ties them to a social group. These identity projects carry with them, whether in religious texts or social practices of past members, sets of “beliefs, prin- ciples and commitments?“ Although the choice of an identity may have had little to do with those beliefs, principles, and commitments, by attaching oneself to such an identity project, one is expected by others hold to them, and perhaps is motivated 5 Imcph StalinJle’m and the Now Question (New York: Intcmational Publishers, 1942). Stalin was an assimilated Georgian whose published views and political programs denied the pmsi bility of nationality shift. See also In. I. Semcnov, W klio: Sahara: mama v film/ii» irmfi (Moslmw: Moskovakii fiziki-mckhanichcskii institlir, 1996), n (so. ‘See Vladimir Shlapenmldt or :11., The New 81min); Dimpmr (Armonk, NY; M. E. Sharpe, x994), and Paul Knitter, Want in ti): Fourier Sam's: Refilon (liloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995). But also see Pail Kolsro, “The New Russian Diaspora-«fin Identity ol‘Its Own?” Erin air and Racial Studies to, no. 3 (who): 609-39, for an openvcndetl approach to Russian identity shift. This paper helped inspire the approach 1 take in this book. sAtmroly M. Klwmnovfiflcr the USSR (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995), pp. :5, 7. ° Robert J. Kaiser, 77:: Gayme nf‘Nuriomrlitm in Rum}: and the USSR (Princeton: Princeton University PMS, toga), p. 371. - 7 For this View, see Edward Shils, “Primordial, Personal, Sacred, and Civil '1‘ its.” Bfittkbjmmnl of WW 8 (lune 1951): 130—45; and Clifibtd Gretta, “The Integrative Revolution,” in his Imm- tiwt ofCalmm (New‘York: Basic Books, 1973). chap. 7. ‘ ’ . a Rom Han-é, Personal flaky: A ‘Ilmryjbr Individual Pnrbahw (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, was). The quotation is from John D. Gmenwotxi, “A Sense of identity: l’rolcgomena to a Social Theory ol’l‘crsonal Identityfjoumljbr tin: Theory qf‘Sm’al Belmont 24, no. 1 (1994): as. E l g n Introduction to do so by virtue of one’s own identifioition. gopmmg blood and inheritnncc is now tho standard ry line ., Uutwidgngigics. mewwmwvmmfimr‘mmw Admin m. y, M WNW ., w, w I I This notion of consmrcrmg an identity odem. Although the ancients raised identity issues, it was not until the nineteenth ccnttny, with Nietzsche and Regal, that social theorists began considering the transfonnation ofidcntitics and the omen genre of new identity Categories. Walt Whitman articulated the revolutionary idea that each indiv'idualihas within him- or herself a nearly infinite set of identity possi— bilities. George Kateb suggests that this idea is quintessch to the democratic age.” Yet twentieth-century political figures, from Woodrow Wilson to Adolf Hitler and )oseph Stalin, continued to assume that social identitiea were primordially given. A school of anthropology gave academic credence to such views. Indeed, some scholars still hold to the biological analogy of identities and assume that they are like inherited characteristics. A I993 study on ethnic idcntiry among Hispanics, relying on psychological theories of cognitive development, sought to find the bases on which Hispanic youth brought up in the UnitodStatcs would have “cor- rect ethnic labels” and “more ethnic knowledge.mo In another psychologically based analysis, Goon-gt: De Vos saw constructed identities as deviant. In his terms, “excosv Sim: instrumental expediency . . . hetokens inner maladjustment? This “chig phe- nomenon,” he suggests, “occurs in what Durkheim termed anemic social condi~ tions,” and its prosencc forecloses strong cmorional tics.‘ ’ Nonetheless, prevailing social science research dctnonsrrams that while there are many constraints .aguinst the chig phenomenon, moirimfaflwgngagc in dingonttxmuggign of “identity projects.” The motivating question in these studies is how to assess “' ofoons't'ihint. In political sociology, the formative tradia doimflehiity shift mom prawns societal shifts in communication patterns. Agcording to Kin-l W. Dough, the pathbrcakgglinwfigwtmditiopbthgrtkgannot be gdljrgtivszunntionalin: thifit unlessthé probahility of inrcraé W w, . t ilPCI'SO“ d1 crgiithnat‘iou tyi ual fin? 'ii‘itting'With ago—national. We are, in this tradition, prisoners of our communiafidiii‘iififfiu'rho search for the social back- ground conditions for identity shift has continued with vigor. A post-collapse study of the “Yugoslav” identity found that in the years after World War II, demographic 95:»: Tracy B. Smmg, ed, The Sclfnmi the 1’0th 0m (New York: New York University Press, 1992), for a series of essays that annularively load to a social history of identity. The reference to Whitman is from George Katch’r essay in that volume, “Walt Whinnan and the Culture of Denmcrauyg” pp. null-co. I ‘0 George P. Knight or 21., mFamily Socialization and Mariam American Identity and Behavior: in Manlm B. Berna! and George 1’. Knight, «13., Efimir Manny: anat‘ion and Tmmirrio» among Hispanic: and OrlmMinmirt‘es (Albany: SUNY Press, 1993), p. 123. "George A. De Vos, “A Psychoculrutal Approach to Ethnic lntctaoion in Contemporary Re~ scarth,” in Rental and Knight, Ethnic [dentin Fm. pp. rag—68. Zelig is the character in Woody Allen’s film of the same name, who, chameloowlikc, can change his personality and physiognomy to fit umbrrusirely in different axial environments. '1 Karl W. brunch or al, Follow (humanity and the North ArkwricAm ('Princaton: Prinocmn University Press, 1957). For a aympathttir critique of the “caught in the net” determinism of this model. we William Foltz, “Modernization and Nation Building: The Social Mobilization Model Roconsidtrod,” in Ridmd L. Merritt and limo: M. Rumor, «15., Fm National Drwlopmmc to Global (immunity (Boston: Mien 8t Unwin, 195:), pp. 25—45. ATheory of Political Identities 1:; conditions, urbanization, participation: in the Partisan war effort, and minority Sta“ tus within the separate republics all “predicted” the declaration of oneself as “Yu- goslav” in the suite census. Even though the percentages who idcnxifiod themselves as Yugoslav were never large, the study did demonstrate the influencc of social con~ dirions on changes in selflpcrecptim of national identity. The authors were lnnn~ bled, however, by the complete collapse of the Yugoslav identity project and remain uncertain about the persistence ofnowly constructed identities.” Proposing an alternative to the fonts on social background conditions, several a ’ ‘<;§ available either by subsidizing or recognizing certain and ignoring otlggts.” Others focused on the cultured material and eeonorhic resourcc‘gol‘thé entrepreneurs sacking to empower a newly formed idcnw tity imagery.“ Still others focused on how strategies of exclusion and inclusion hy dominant cultural groups in a society mud to foster reactive identities.“ A com- pelling research tradition foamed on argued that the burdens of our ancestors weigh heavily on who we are and who we can become.” Yet another research program foamed on how social networkswmarnagc ties, business deal» ings, neighborhood pmximitymlimit but by no means preclude identity shift.18 For all the focus on constraints, there is a shared understanding, as Bhikhu Parekh puts it, that ifidentities are the products of history, they can he remade by historyw’ All of these studies promote a mtmctivist" as opposod to a “primordial t” paraw .MWm-t- H,.,,..,.w--M~""' digm, but they differ on the causes, constraints, and effects of that constructing. Contemporary Understandings of Identity For all the debate between constmcrivists and primordialisrs, Ellcrgwi‘g ling agree- ment on what courtitunzs “identity?” A tried«and~true first cut at an answer to such uwmw. . M... M v '5 Dusko Sckulit, Garth Massey, and Randy Hudson, “Who Wm the: Yugoslavs? Failed Sources of a Common Identity in the former Yugoslavia,” American magicalllm 59 (February 1994): 83“”. . . . “ Emst B. Haas, The Uniting of Europe (Stamford: Stanford Unrvcrsny Press, 1958); Drum! Laidn, Hyunon and Calm (Chimgo: University of Chicago Press, 1986); Melissa Nohlca, “Re— aponding with Good Sense: The I’oliu'io of Race and Censuses in Contemporary Brazil” (PM). dish, Yale University, 1995) _ , . ‘5 Yarn Eapiriuumn American Randomly (Philadelphia: ”l‘cmplc Uiuversity PM 199;); loam: Nagel, “(Summoning Edmidry: Creating and Rmzing Ethnic Identity and Culture," Sana! M» lama at, no. r (1994-): 151—76; Ran Gmmtcin, “Racial Formation: 'lowards a Comparative Study of Collective Identities in South Africa and the United States,” Mal Win12: to, no. 2 (1993): 149. “' Espiritu, Arianzlmmhm Paneflmr'my. " Gmcnstoin, “Racial Formation”; Ian Bumma. The Wag“ quuilt: arm of War in Gennth nndjnpan (New York: Farm, Straus Br Girowt. 1994). ‘3 The landmark work in this tradition is Harrison White, Mandy and (known! Smmml my «y‘smz Action (Princeton: l‘rinceron Univmiry Pm, 1992). Also see Craig Cautpun, ‘fI‘hc Problem of Identity in Collective Action,” in loan Huber, ml, Mm~Macm Latoya: m Smoky} (Beverly Hills, Califi: Sage, x991), pp. 51—75. " Bhikhu Pnrckh, “Discmuscs on National Idouity.” Political Studio 4.2 (1994.): 503ml. “This section owes a great deal to long (fiocussions with my colleague Iamcs D Fearon. lie shared with me his locrurc notes on the oonccpr of identity for his court: “Nationalispi and lnner~ national (‘Amflictj’ and the formulatiom herein owe much to his subtle analysis oftht issue. m. lnrroducrion a question is to observe how the term is uscd'in popular discourse. A survey of re- ports from the English-language press from around the world helps us sort out these academic arguments and gives us a clearer notion of what we mean by iden- tity.’51 In the popular press, there is one realm in which writers insist that our iden- tities are primordial. Indeed, there is a clear notion of -a personal identity (in the OED some of “the condition of being the same as a person or thing described or claimed”) in which “identity projects” are. either criminal or bizarre. These discus~ sions about personal identities~usually arising in legal dismurscuare in a different discourse realm from that of social identities, in which constructivist identity pro— jccts are considered permissible, though not always successful. The resulting social identities are built on cultural materials coming from the family, the community, and the nation, but they are not totally determined by these background condi‘ tions. Since social identities are seen as committed, they are always subject to te- consrruetion. Following from this constructed nature of identity is a popularly ac- cepted notion ofa “crisi identity” when a person fails to lit casilforcomfortahly Vintofinyttogialwgateggry. hortfldi'gression into the language of the popular press on “identity” questions should make this distinction bemoan primordial personal and committed social identities clear. Personal Identities Personal identities are firmly entrenched in a primordial or genetic ciiscoursc realm. A person who isx today will surely box tomorrow. My name, my gender, the fact that I am the father of two children, and my credit history have a DNAdike continuity to, them.22 While I (say, through a sex~changc operation) or others (say, by posing as David Laitin) may tamper with my personal identity, such acts are con- sidered bizarre or criminal. Indeed, press accounts of “stolen” identities have all the appeal of the. bizarre, like reports ofsightings of space aliens. “A titanic network of shared information gives each of us a credit identity but it has a major flaw,” reports the Tampa Wan: (August 7, 1995). “A crook can steal your identity and swamp you in so many bad debts that it could take months or even years to clear your record.” The Chow Mum (lune 20, mos) reports in the 7“ My teacher Hanna Pitkin introduced me to the possibilities of ordinary language analysis. Frederic Schall‘er, another student ofl’itkin’s, gave me the idea infusing the lexioNexis database for such analysis. Schalfcr also directed me away from some misguided distinctions l made in an earlier draft of this chapter. in the Lexis-Nous database for xggawgs, I retrieved 904. stories that had at least seven uses of the term “identity” or “identities.” This section is based on the first 100 ofthesc stories (all from lune-August [995). “That there is currently an articulate social movement in the United States to move gender from the primordial to the communist discourse realm is confirmation that the distinction pro- posed here is indeed part of popular understanding. That the stakes are high is seen in an article on the front page ofthe March 14., 1997, New Tank Timer, “Sexual Identity Not PliableAlier All, Report Says," by Natalie Angler. Angler reports the outcome of a famous case in which a child born with superficially ambiguous genitalia was raised as a girl. It had been expected that socialization as a girl would in lhct produce a girl, but the child had always preferred “boyish” activities. and as an adult opted for a masculine identity. 'l‘hat gender perhaps really is primordial is first—page news for this politically correct newspa . ' AThoory of Political Identities is same vein: “Audioriti‘es have charged lancrzlte, 4,0, of Streamwood with what amounts to the theft of another person’s identity. Police say he used the name and credit history of a 35-yearwold truck driver from Wood Dale . . . and even took out a telephone number in his name. ‘He just took away my husband’s identity,” the truck driver’s wife said. ‘It’s just a big mess? ” This practice can take on Gogolian proper» tions. USA Zbday (July 13, 1995) reports that a Kenneth John took on the identities of forty-live dead souls, using them to kite checks. “The growing crisis,” Cheryl Phillips writes, “costs the living billions of dollars—wand the dead their identities." Legal discourse is replete with references to the genetic aspect of personal iden- tity. The Novjmry Loxin (June 26, 1995) reports on the continued requirement of federal courts that the. public and the defendant “know the identity of the parties in public court proceedings in a civil case for money damages.” The St. Pmbum Timur (Augusr 7, 1995) assures readers that “authorities usually can enter it into a computer network and quickly lean‘t the person’s true identity. But if the alias has not been used, the only way to confirm identity is by comparing fingerprints.” Fur- thermore, “Even though criminals sometimes move in and out of the court system without their true identities being discovered, law enforcement: officials think sus— pects . . . under different names” eventually will get found out. On questions ofim~ migration, the Pedant! New Service (June 30, r995) reports that “without docur merits, there is no place to begin an inquiry into the true identity and the true purpose ol" an applicant for admission. . . . Every recent terrorist act perpetrated by aliens was committed by an alien who intentionally misrepresented his true intcn~ tion for coming to the United States or attempted to conceal some aspect of his identity, using a claim of asylum.” The same problem occurs in Canada; the Ottawa Citizen (August 13. 1995) reported that thousands of Somali refugees “calmer be- come landed immigrants because they have no documents proving their identity” 0n the inane of‘acloption as well, contemporary discourse accepts personal identi~ priinordial. A program reported in the New link Time: (lune 18, 1:995) allows donor-hueminated offspring, when they are eighteen years old, to find out the names of their real fathers. is called the “identity-release” policy. This program “is. "liar your;th whohwahthidlt'now who they “really” are, as opposed to what they have socially become. "'Evcryday speech (as reported in neWspapers and magazines) helps resolve a de— bate that consumes the attention of social scientists. Identities are inalienable, at least when we are talking about personal identities. Identities are also constructed, when we are talking about social membership. To be sure, the languages of these realms are not tutally distinct. We understand when Nader Mousavizadeh means when he writes in the New Republic (lune 19, 1995) that for the Germans and lapa» nest, the “memories of war and defeat have been internalized as burdens of iden- tity.” In a sense, no Gertmn (of the postwar generation) can ignore that burden and remain a German. We can say, hardly requiring metaphor, that the subsequent gen» cration of Germans (an identity constructed through hisrory) inherited that bur- den. So the two realms of discourse, personal and social, at times overlap. But this is not to deny a distincr realm for the legal notion of personal identity (which assumes a primordial quality). In a widely reprinted essay (see the Beam; 16 Introduction Record, July 5, 1995, for one of its printings), Thomas Sowell pointed out that “noth- ing polariws the political left and right like the idea of a national identity and? But the objection to, an identity card is nor that constructed, fictitious, or possibly re- constructed identities will be exposed. The objection (which has also been raised in the United Kingdom) is that the government will know all too much about who we really are. In this debate, as in other legal realms, identities are not in formation; they are absolutely real. Constructed Social Identities Social identities are labels that people assign to themselves (or that Others assign to them) when they claim membership (or are assigned membership) in a social cat» egory that they (and others, whether members of that category/or not) see as plau- sibly connected to their history and present set of behaviors.” It is further implied that this assignment has powerth emotional appeal, both to its holder and to oth- ers in the society. and they are built from available catcgdries that both divide and unint- people in a society. People have inter alia national'idencides, racial identities, religious identities, and hometown identi~ ties. Yet issues of social identity become part of public discourse only when the cat; cgories themselves become fuzzy. Selfiappointed mummy-keepers arise to redefine these categories so that rules of inclusion and exclusion, as well as the behavioral implications of belonging to this or that integrity, can be clarified. One of the main reasons there is so much talk of identity in the press in our times is that the bomidaries and behavioral implications of many of our social categories are being contested. Gerald Poyo reports for the Harman Chronicle (August 2, 1995) i that row. .hsmenséhusnssnhunhsfimmismntossisfstmmmrrhwwl and, Mtgrflgfiomotion of American identity.” Digby Anderson, writing for the Smiley $132!:- gmle (lulfiifi’éos), suéhmfmmto the chief executive of the United Kingdom School Curriculum and Assessment Authority for a similar reason: He is tuidoubtedly right in worrying that the children may be learning a wishy— washy multimitumlism, a sort of cocktail identity But he is wrong in suggesting Bridslmess classes. For the trw: identity of most ofour children is not Britishncss at all. It is Englishness. Indeed, Britishness is almost as artificial and nchangled an imposition as multisultumlism. The vast majority of the British are English . . . not British. Scottish people sell me they think of themselves first as Scottish and only second as British. English people just do not go about thinking of themselves in this explicit sort of way. . . . Englishmen travel, it is the same. An hour from at» ‘5 Plausibility is a key requirement in conventional understandings of group amclnnent. The discovery in Australia that two whites, one a novelist and one a painter, had taken Aboriginal pseu~ donyms to increase the marker for their artistic Works was met with outrage. That thine assump— tions ofAborigiml identity were implausible (one: the truth was revealed) subjected the claimants to the charge offlhbrimtion” and the threat oflegal action. Conventional opinion had it that they had no “right” to assign thonselscsAboriginal identifies. See Clyde H. Farmer/nah, “Two Exposed Artists, Neither Aboriginal (Nor Original) After All,” New Tani Tm, April 2, 1997. A Theory of Political Identities 17 rival at Kennedy Airport, as the passengers scratch their dricd~up ballpoints over their crumpled immigration forms, the attentive British Airways staff have to tell countless of them their identity lest they get it wrong: “No, no, it’s not England. You have to put UK.” Who on earth thinks of themselves as a UKer? There is no such thing as a British village. So, if any identity is to be taught in the schools, at least in English'schools, it is not Britishness but Englishness. To teach Britishnoss would take about 10 minutes. for all there is of it. What does Englishness consist of? . . . If the aim is to educate, to inculcate manners and identity—the manners and identity of England -—thcn it musr be cricket: and oldJashioned cricket at that. But Mike Matqusee, in an earlier article in the Guanine» (luly 4., 1995), on the impliv cations of a Canadian playing on the English teimis team, had trouble finding even Englishness. He reveals that “the truth is that the ‘English’ national identity was problematic long before immigrants from the. West Indies and South Asia began ar- riving in the fifties.” In fact, he admits, ‘Qpfltgmi‘de war zones, sporting the ain visible bearers of ndglgllglmjgcntlty? CWEKW identity is like WE? levag‘of inunigration lend education authorities and other officials to feel the need to grasp that bar. Correspondents, who feel rather more secure than the officials, are freer to report on these issues with a smirk. In Easrern Europe, of course, talk about national identity does not have this ironic tone. In an article about Serbs and Croats, Michael lgnntiei’F in the Ottawa Citizen (July 2, 1995) frets that “nationalism is a fiction of identity, because it conv tmdicts the multiple reality of belonging. it insists on the primacy of one of these belongings over all the others. $0 how does this fiction of the primacy of national identity displace other identities? How does it begin to convince? Here we begin to reach for theory.” He "writes, “Globalism brings us closer together, makes us all neighbors; it destroys boundaries of identity and frontiers between states. We react by insisting ever more assiduously on the margins of difference that remain.” For secure communities—«such as the English in Brim—identity talk has an ironic tone. Like East European minorities, however, race and gender groups in North America and Western Europe take their identity projects with resolute sen» ousncss. The Sr. Low} Pmanardz (June 18, tom) had a headline, “A Respectful His- tory of Clays and lesbians,” and the article reflects on the ioo~year history since the first articulation ol‘a “homosexual identity.” Namath (July l7, 1995) reported that in the 1990s bisexuals are “now claiming their own identity.” The Bisexual Resource Guide, the magazine reports, lists 1,400 groups throughout the world, including “Bi Women of Color.” in a sense, a choice of identity is not, Zeligtlike, completely free (it would be outrageous, at least in some. circles, for a homosexual white men to claim he is a bi woman ofeolor); but in nnorhcr sense, identities are construcred (it is hard to imagine anyone claiming the identity of hi woman of color before 2980). Crises of Identity Because social identities are constructed from the available repertoire of social categories, misfits are inevitable. Some people cannot find a label that adequately 18 Introduction represents their identities. Or they may nor like the identity they have chosen or were compelled to go by. Consider the case of Maria Maggcnti, who in the Village Voice (June 27, 1995) reported that throughout her “adult life, I have called myself a lesbian. A dykc, sapphist, mull“ diver, lover of women. In this identity, I found a home for my desire, my politics, my upsidodown sensr. ofhumor? But to her hor- ror, she fell into a heterosemal relationship. She was in shock: “To me, calling my- self a bisexual versus claiming a lesbian identity is the difference between Muzak and M“constituting;ineusméaxlozenge; numerous The Houston Chronicle (August 2, 1995) diagnoses incidences of this sort as “gen- der identity disorder.” The newspaper reports that “gay and lesbian teen-agers often find satiety unsympathetic to their situation, and this can provoke psychological problems, many of which are also symptoms of gender identity disorder: depres» sion, attempted suicide, alienation and what psychiatry calls ‘borderline personality disorder?” Readers were assured that at least in California, such people would not be hospitalized, since “insurance companies just wouldn’t pay for it.” Ambiguity of identity indeed represents a “problem,” or more commonly a “cri- sis.” In the United States, anday (July 13, 1995) asks whether black children raised by white parents develop a positive sense ofselfand a strong racial identity. The Or- lando Sentinel (Iuly 9, 1995} reports an initiative by the US. Census Bureau to in elude a “multiracial” category in order to “help children of biracial marriages with their selflidentity.” To go back to the sardonic article about British identity (Sunday 'I‘rlemph, July 23, 1995), Digby Anderson fimhor marks that “crises of identity are for people who haven’t got one, like the Belgians, or who have got too many, such as the Italians.” This notion that lack of a clear identity can lead to a “crisis” is strongly contested. In Britain it pits conservatives agents: liberals. In one ibmtulation (reported in the Guardian; Iuly so, 1995), “The liberal believes that a man, once stripped of his na» tional and cultural identity, will become Everymanmcitizen of- the world. The con~ servative knows that, in fact, he will become bewildered, Schizophrenic, unhappy and lonely.” Liberal thinking remains strong in the United Stath An editorial in the Sm: Francisco Chronicle (June 29, 1995) argues that “racism requires the destruction of an individual’s confidence in his own mind. Such an individual then anxiously seeks a sense of identity by clinging to some group, abandoning his autonomy and his rights, allowing his ethnic group to tell him what to believe.” And an article in the Village Voice (June 20, 1995) reported that Georgia O’Keeffe “detested being considered a woman artist. Identity-related adjectives attached to the noun ‘artisr’ always demean.” These protests, in support of the rights of individuals against out- siders’ attempts to label them, demonstrate the power of these identity categories to subsonic and even colonize individuals. In a sense, the protests demonstrate the power of identity categories in spite of their arbitrariness and constructed nature. Intellectuals who understand that identity categories are constructed yet wish to fight for opportunities for people with whom they identify face a problem the re- verse of O’Keetib’s. How can they purposefiilly reify categories, giving people with complex pasts a single dominant label, when they know those categories are com strucde Anthony Appiah addressed this problem with great sensitivity while advo~ A’Ihoory of Political Identities 19 cating the politicization of an African American identity Gayatri Spivak articulated the concept of “strategic cssentinlism” to address this issue. As Lisa Lowe puts it, Spivalt argues that “it is possible to utilize specific signifiers of ethnic identity, such as Asian-Amden, fior the purpose of contesting and disrupting the discourses that exclude Asian-Americans, while simultaneously revealing the internal contradic- tions and slippages ofAsianwAmmcan so as to insure that such essentialth will nor be reproduced and proliferated by the very apparatuses we seek to disem- powerf’" 0n the one hand, Micah or Asian American” mobi- lize thous'aiiflsléfh’dliérents pp the~ glltttlyllldtlchcgc when ar~ mwmhwnmnmw MW...» W». «W M ,ghaculogiguLwork is donefithc V ' Both acadcniiEWid‘pfipfififihwilM ofthmé camp: of identity (and especially na- tional identity) are thus “both awed by its power and dumbfounded by its weak- ness?” By emphasizing the constructed character of identities, they tend to under: rate the power of identity attachments to guide behavior, to drive people into incredible acts of heroism and terror. But when these acts of heroism and terror are reported, suddenly the language of pnimordialism (the Stahnesque categories of membership) is revived. Thus reports of the Croatian and Bosnian ethnic wars in the wake of the Yugoslav collapse often refer to “ancient hatreds,” hatrcds that for some reason did not stand in the way of the high levels of intermarriage in previous generations between the combatants of the mid-19909. These analyses clide the hisv torical facts of oonstructedncss and change. Motown the constructed Mnauue or sggtaij’igugtnfs rim t WW ‘ W— . w WMMWWW pm, WW. , . . M. “xgnwuppalmafla‘ndmgpp pgwer of aiming tings to seem natural to those who hold them. The search for misvbetfltwcflrflhhdcrstdnding mmwriiélicyonfilégggg” Won to approaches developed in psychoanalysis and game theory. A Definition of Identity The popular notion ofa “crisis of identity” comes from the pioneering psychoan~ alytic work of Erik H. Erikson. A reading of his work sheds new light on these do» hates on identity and helps us address the problem of explaining both the con» structedness and the power of social identity categories. Erlltson attributes his focus on identity to a cryptic autobiographical passage in Freud’s corpus, when he spoke about his “consciousness of [his] inner [i.e., Jewish] identity.” Erikson went for be— yond the master in developing a psychoanalytic notion of identity, even seeking to explain the sources of the Protestant Reformation in one man’s identity crisis.” 3“ Kwamt Antlwny Appiah, In My Purim”: How: (New York: Oxford University Putss, £991.); Gayatri Spivak. In Other World: (New York: Routlcdge, 1987). p, 105; Lisa lowe, “Heterogeneity. Hybridity, Multiplicity: Marking Asian American Difl‘crcnrcs? Dimpaqu Jaumal d‘llmmotiwal Swim” i, no. t (x991): 24w“. 3‘ David Laitin, “The Game Theory of Language Regimesf'lnrmmnml Politiral Science Review N. no. 3 (1993): 328. 3" 0n the refinances to Freud, sec Erik H. Erikson, 1M9: Tour}; and Cn‘nlt (New York: Norton, 1963), pp. 2mm. On the Refomtation, not Brikson, 371101ng Mm (New York: Norton, (958). ......t..mw\..im___.......,,w 20 Introduction For Erikson, here relying on William Tamas, identity is “a voice inside which speaks and says: This is the real mc.’ ” Finding that idcntity is often a lifetime quest, and failure to find it (as Erikson suggests was the can: with Hitler) can have a dam- aging impact on oneself and others. In light of this quest, which is both personal and social. Erikson mommiounanoulolamm; why Minimum? Wwfimfich in the light of what hcpcr‘cvcivcs t tho way inwhichmgmtligr’s judgghmiinw '“gfi'ta‘al‘sfisiewégihd to a typology significant to thorn while umuigdgggoijiidging him in the light ofhoui hdpcrccivcs pansgn,to,,mcm.md'to”fipcs didthdiichccomc relevant to him?” This fonnulation elegantly captures what I have elsewhere called the “Ianus~ Wiggcdncss ofcuihturcfi’as Ono face ofculrurc reveals identities to be null and glmo ' bc Eoificfliin'gflthdfcan be searched for and discovered. Theories of culture that rcly on primordialist imagery sec only this facc of idcntiry. Social solidarirics an: built on real foundations. While we may lose our bearings, our true identities are their for each of us to find. But the second face of culturewand her: I focus on the quest rather than the goal, the “real mc”-~is not primordial but instrumental. This face of mlturc reveals idcntitics as constructed and reconstructed as social opportunities change. Ernesto Landau is discussing this face of culture when 11!: argucs that “once the obviousucss of social identities was put into question,” it was no longer possible to imagine peo- ple “discovering or rccogrfizing their own identity.” Rather, thc problem today is to think about “constructing” an identity with the “explicit assertion of a luck at the root of any identity?” Gustave Flaubcrt understood this face of culture well. 3%» Q; III-Icurcux, the clcvcr draper, he wrote inMadame BOW, was “born in Gasoony, a a but a Norman by adoption.” In this way he could marry his southern verbosity with 3 a nortlicrncrs’ cunning. identiticc from of view are adgpggg or con- . y .4, , {it if ifhruuctcd, according to how Well they serve indiyidual rposcs and recon ructcdito ( M “Wm-m». an n r - ,. WNW-v ww- WM ;. M ..,. l. u, n-v'" ' “'V M,.W,.,.M.II""“*~~-~ "vk».,.~,amnmw ‘, “3,: who: ofricw Cromw- 333‘ *‘ ’\ It here that Erikson is so uscliil. Primordialists and construcrivists live in their I g“ X a”: scpamtc intellectual universes, each dcriding the blindness of the other. Ncithcr side comprclicnds that each is looking at only one face ofIanus. But Enkson positioned himsch to see both faces. He understood, with the primordialigts,’ that notwany it ' . . . 1' Wow ,. . -- . '--W~W“w:- ‘ . 53,373 \ 433M193! yyiil,do.l{coplc are hfimdhmck‘ycnmofmflby their megawthcuconr X ‘5? 3353*" , muniucs,,thc prevalcnt typologies of iddlttltxhtlfltfit‘ curiound‘ihcnizwgnd what he i’ . . ‘ ’ .ssibili wimun’iifllnthnuessfi mimxcfimf . 5". $83“ .idcnnticsto woodman £159.19de i m \3 {x w -. .. . . MW . ~~ w ; . * x“) ‘ ~83, tend not to cattle on an identity for mu ofghcxyyoutli. In this period of Search, ‘7 Erikson, Idmtigy, pp. to, ma. 3 3“ In my Hegemony and Culture (Chicago: University of Chicago Prcss, 1986) I discuss the pri~ mordialist approach associatcd with Clifi‘ord Gccrtz and the instrumentalist critiquc asstxiatcd with Abner Collar. See Gram, “‘Ihc integrative Rm'olurion? in his 11mm” nfCrde, and Cohen, film-Dimmal Mm (Bctlocluy: University of California Press. 1974). ’9 Ernesto Laclau, ed, “Introduction? in 71;: Making ifl’oliriml Idenzitir: (London: Verso, X994). 3" Etikson, an'ev, p. 36. A ,. at): a,.'.W}§R&W»¥W§”W'NW‘WWW“§“ ~< ~. . v” A Theory of Political Identities 21 individuals look to thcmsclvcs and others, laying out new identities to see how they fccl, both to themselves and to others judging them, before adopting one pcnna~ umtly. In this cause, for En’kson (and for Whitman’s democratic citizen), identity is constructed. ldgntitigg mcrcforc categories of nicmhcrsliip that are based on all sons of ty» pologicswgcndcr, racc, clasé, personality, custc." Pooplé are limith by, but they arc not thgir‘_g'cncs,,thcir physiognoniics, and'thcir lustorics in settling on their ownidcntitiannd if powerful social forces motivate identity cxplomtionmas they teem to do in our agcwit is the constructivist face of identity that seems the more rcal. How Identities Change A compelling model of identity must not only define the concept in a coherent way-as 1 bclicvc Etikson has donc- but also be able ngwaccountflfor both thewim' prgcsiyopoyvcr of idcnt‘ity groups to give their adherents a sense of natural mcnr betsbip and the equally impressive powcrof individuals to reconstruct their social idc’nti‘ti'c‘s’lilélying on a moch dcvclopcd by Thomas Schclling, I propose to inter- ~W¢¢¢tmou~ r pf a “tip’f’lpr “cascade?” Tips and cascades are common thaturcs of social life. Consider choc-arc at one or two African Americans who buy homes in a stable “white” neighborhood. Suddenly the white families, fearing that they will hi: the last whites in the neighborhood, all seek to sell out at the some time. 13m only African Americans arc willing to buy. Very quickly the neighbofliood “tips” from stable white to stable African American. In the: late [9808, protcst cascaded across Eastern Europe in a similar way. Soci- eties in which sttcct protcsting was nonexistent experienced sporadic demonsth tionr that were not quickly put down. Suddenly, promst grew to literally rcvolu- tionary levels. Thoroughly hopeless and demobilin societies suddenly became highly mobilized and active. in was political protest scorned impossible; in 1989 it was normal.32 Such cascades occur because pcoplc’s choices about their actions are based on what they think others arc going to do. If! think now: of my ncighhors will sell his house if a few African Amcrican families mow closc by, I have no incentivc to sail mine. But if I think many others will-v-or better, if I think many others will think that many others will—then l have an interest in selling my house before those oth- crs do, that is to say, before property values plummet. Orin the can“. of protesting: if I think that no one will be out pickcting in the streets, I know I will be an easy tar. get for the police. But if I think that othch will be outwor ifl bclicvc that many orhcrs will be sure that many othcrs will be out— suddenly prudence no longer dic~ tam-s that I remain at home. 3' Thomas Schclling,Mkmmott'm rim! Wtham‘or (New York: Norton, 1978). 3’ Timur Kuran, “Now out of Never: The Role ofSurprisc in the East European Revolution of 1989," World Minn 44, not i (1991): 748; Susan Lohmann, “Dynamics of lnfonnadonal Car codes," World Politic: +7, no. 1 (1994.): 42‘101. w “lilo 22. lntroducrion Both of these situations have two smblc equilibrium outcomes: an all-‘fwhite” or allm“African American” neighborhood; and streets with no protesters or streets filled with promstcrs. deeggg‘typflhifiwwghggggidephi order to keep the discussion and the model {0. medium.mxmmmarkiteeés “Pm nationhood 1211 t, 9 cometuni. ~33 Like almost all sociilidgfitities, oxifllihwgmuage community““forj mothéimtoiigue:ns it is popularly understood) often has a near mystical quality conferring membership in a category of similarly endowed people. Yet language repertoircs, like social iden- tities, are subject to rapid intergenetational shift. Therefore, we hear stories of len- Mguage retention despite all ciforgg lulustare to Wfifige, stories as tiiéllli'forwmwm‘fileior Luthcgnrm children, Ednéfeéfidifintuiy Ohio mockifigaiéir Win-“Mu; whdhihisted on marine? WW. wwwwuwwwt ggggmpg. Both story lineswdfeitu‘uratc. When my gfidpuenm came to New York in the late nineteenth century, they knew that other children of Yiddish speakers would be learning English, and it would be irrational for them to seek to maintain the hitcrgencrational transmission of Yiddish. Meanwhile, when Russians moved into the “virgin” lands of Kazakhstan at that very time, they fully expected other Russians to maintain the linguistic repel-mites they had in the Russian heart- land. Here we have examples of opposite and extreme equilibria. in New York after a generation, hardly any monolingual Yiddish speakers were left. In Kazakhstan after a generation, very flew descendants of Russian immigrants were even bilingual in Russian and Kazakh. The tipping model can account for both the commuted nature (to those who study it) and the namralness (to those who live it) of social identities. At any cqui~ librium, it appears to actors that the world is completely stable. In this situation, identities are not under question. There is (by the definition of equilibrium) no in» centive for anyone to explore new identities. It is obvious to people who in fact they arc. A point of coordination, in which there is a tacit umlerstnnding among all peo- ple in a conununity that this is an aspect of their identity (for example, that Russians address all others living in Kazakhstan in Russian), is an example of what Thomas Schelllng calls ammt.“ Cultural and political elites of a group in equilibrium, by giving meaning to the equilibriumwthat is, by providing it with the “beliefs, principles and constraints” that Harte identified—make it into a focal point, [guns twaxdwecuandihsimnqnumdgamthe.legitimise speak on “their” Emilia M“behalf. In Max Weber’s terms, these elitesin seek to ascribe ultimate value to the Wdéhfityfifuufismivé it“s/aloe indemnity—in order to dereliié'igiifié"? “momma: considerations.“ 3‘ For more on my prwc‘cupation in this book With language, which I acknowledge to be only one element ol‘d person’s Icomplex social identity, please see the appendix. A “This is a principal theme oflbivo Rauu‘s Bionic: and ti): Emlyn: (Stanford: Hoover Institu- tion Press, 1937). He cites the nutcteeuthwmumy poem oflaak l’emon ~“May not the language of this [and / 0n winds of song and ] Rising to the hem-m / Seek eternity “do show how commit~ man: no a Finno-Ugric identity could overcome historically powerful Germaine and Russian efforts to stamp it out. 35 Thomas Schooling, The Show arm/1m (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, woo). 3$1 owe this: last point to Martin Rimbrodt. / ATheory of Political identities 23 Exogenous events (such as the independence of Kazakhstan), however, can nonetheless bring some instability, with certain people exploring new identities (such as Rmsian-Kazakhstani). At such times, cultural entrepreneurs of the once» stable identity emerge and try to stem any ride away from the old equilibrium, and seek to naturalizc, or essentialize, the status quo ante. :I‘hose claims will appear mpcwllingpggmthgyer‘y fact that theirf was eoouiination at '5 particular equilibrium oveFéeneratigflnsudoes, indeed, make that equilibrium look like a law of nature. entrepreneurs}, more for'wérd‘looking, will seek to induce a “3%; W ’ suecessfid, the change will hcmthought of pamper ine tab “The therefore shows why identities are pow- Merjglwffocal lots” of coordination, yet am also subject to cluuge. ne dintpdopting 31 new lunguage does not automatically mean one hasWedE new identity. Yet ifLiuba Grigofiv had felt like a traitor or a fool For Wibfimfigfidgdlcsmm, her motivation would have been tapped. Her identity was becoming “a Russian who has accommodated to the realities of Eston- ian sovereignty” This was the real “Linba.” But these mieroadjustments in idem dry-«a nuance Erikson did not consider~ alter the identity possibilities ofa follow ing age. In this sense, Liuba’s quest to keep her family intact lays the foundation for a constructed Estonian identity for her grandchildren. In Schulling’s terms, she is in her microactivities moving her family, and the Mission-speaking corruuunity of Nerve, toward an identity rip. One might also object that the tipping gone, with its emphasis on binary choices, does not capture the fixer that multiple identities are common in social life. Many people, for exmnple, want to be lems, Spaniards, and Europeans all at the same time. Some, I am sure, see themselves as lesbians, workers, Catholics, and Hispanics and alter the emphasis to fit the context. A resident of Harlem might identify himself as a black in the context of New York politics but as anAmerimn in the context of international affairs. People’s “identity projects” are clearly more nu- anced than making either/or choices between matched pairs of identity alternatives. Mumpleisisméuoa howsxoflonreguttnithintecmn not new” Yet when the actions or belmviors consistent with one identity conflict with those of another identity held by the some person, as they do when the two identities represent antagonistic groups on the political stage, people are compelled to give priority to one identity over the other. A person who sees herself as both a “Russian” and an “Esconian’” may one day have to choose-"say, if there were a bor- der warwwhich identity is dominant. In this case, the tipping game is a powerful an» alytic tool, as surely Doe’s choice is affected by the number of people (of hm multiple identifies) who have given priority to their “Russian” or their “Estonian” identities.” Consider the rise of a politicized homosexual identity in the United States and its implications for an Ali'ican American whom: sexual preference was heretofore a pri» vane matter. Perhaps his partner or some of his past partners have been mobilized “7 Roger Petersen, in “Rationality, Etlmichy, and Military Btflistmeut? Social SW [W 28. no. 3 (i989); shawls, relied on the tipping game to do just this, using the case of Japanese- Amcricans’ enlilttmenr behavior during World War II. o ylnulcéiiélnawoftmummud‘ié 2+ Introduction into action as homosexuals. Now they are in daily political alliance with whites and Hispanics, and their former political identity group, the Afr-lam American commw nity, becomes less prominent as a basis for their political information and mobiliza. tiou. It is useful to model this man’s choke situation and do an accomuing of the payoffs for “coming out” politically as a homosexual based on how many other black homosexuals have chosen to come out, and the social benefits and costs of ei— ther decision, again depending on the percentage of African American homosexuals who have reoriented their political activity. This is not to deny that this person’s identity is multiple; rather it is to emphasize that the everyday reality of'identity pol- itics forces us to weigh alternative presentations of self, keeping in mind how 0th» like-ourselves, are representing themselves. This is a basic dynamic in identity 3 t. A final objection to the tipping motif has to do with the rational choice frame— work itself. How calculate the commd mrtaquecnauaunnmuy mm In response to this skepticism about ribbnal choioc moods, l shouldlilte to offer two preliminary counters. First, it is correct that a variety of identity projects can be oilfield to a population in crisis. In this book we will observe two of drum, toward a titular and toward a conglomerate identity. Before people can strategize, they need to know what the choices are. Much of the “world” of identity choice, in conse~ (locum-precedes the tipping dymmics"8 In times of crisis, then, people may be playing more than One game at a time. Nonetheless, the tipping model neatly en- capsulates people’s strategic dflemmas once the gamer has begun. In this sense, the tipping game is but a partial rendition of the overall cultural dynamic. Within the tipping game, however, and somewhat counterinmitively, it is no: the case that trauma and uncertainty undermine rational calculation. Despite the palm erful arguments ofAnn Swicller to the contrary, in unsettled times, peoplewat least those families with whom I and my fellow field researchers interactedwfecl com- pelled to calculate and coordinate their calouations with others. In this sense—as the ethnograplucs in this book make clear—uncertainty is the breeding ground for coordirmion dynaan such as those evident in the tipping game.” National Identities ljgfional identifies»,ng social and neighborhood identities, have cascade quali~ “ties. momupr’afm—eworu Fléiiilfili;"ot“Mayizn-«~may scur’qmsuc mflntiquarian at one point in time, yet suddenly burst onto the lustorical stage as if by spontaneous combustion. in the modern age, national projects have usually ,Wmm. ,laxaluummnuruhml ilfé'iortlslcnsiohrfimls W119 53! owe this point to l’rascnjit Dom. 2"’nmn Swidler, “Culture in Action: Symbols and Strategies,” Amm'mn Sodologiml We 51 (April 1986): 2734a. I develop more fully the notion that uncertainty breeds rationality in " Identity Choice under Conditions of Unccminty" (paper presented at the frailty scminar of the Depart- ment of Political Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, November 1996). ATheory or‘l’olitical Identities 25 language, must of. whom rely principally can, 2% fiorggosmo litan‘ggggiakpgpgg‘ guppflewmoyg with the goal of restor- filmmages in dfipggldgans‘to create mtxlerh ' _'ii§, have béén a constant is: n Muslims;magma?“ “ " "' onalist politics im'olve two interrelated identity issues. First is the issue of a “national revival” in a relatively homogeneous region in a culturally heterogeneous state, Consider Estonia in its period as a Union republic oi‘the Soviet state. Esmni~ am: who wished spacializcd higher education and occupational mobility found the inclusion of Russian in their language repertoires to be of great value. Within a gcn~ emtion, it became normal to rely on Russian in a variety of professional and politi- cal domains. This is why families such as the Grigor’evs had no need to loam Es‘ tonian. In the late 19305, radical Estonian nationalists, fearfiil that the massive immigration of Russians into their republic had set in motion a loug~term thrmr to the viability of the Estonian nation, pressed for the elimination of Soviet-period im- migrants from Esronian political life. This move would make possible the sole use of Estonian in all political, educational, and administrative donnins. From their point ol'view, such policies would forestall a tip toward Russianvlanguage domiv name in Estonia.” ’I‘hese nationalists were seeking to midennine a Swieoinspircd identity project that emphasized the merging of nations. Nationalists in other Union republics, where Russian was beginning to replace the titular languages in many social domains, were also seeking to reverse a linguistic tide. r5;— glgmmgnafigmwhpmtlgr stemmin or reversyiflpgpmgimde, 1,550” indueetlmir follow- mmamwmww , crs to algiurgwthe central language. for success i‘swto” get people Wholifiye that all their fellow regionals archli‘eady begin— switchmth a regioniilvdoihixmnt language repertoire. To the extent to which moplehd‘idéiitlfymetlufieallyEs"members of the regional culture rely principally on the regional language for family, work, and cultural affairs, we can say that the nationalists have successfully induced a tip in the nationalerevival game. A second issue in nationalist politics gigglyegmthewffiaaginiilation”; olf‘rnemb’ers of whority:__gtqur,flgru inmjliew or national culture, To the extent that the Estonian national revival is a success, for example, people such as the Grig~ or’evs, who relied principally on Russian, must work to add Estonian to their rcperv mites and to seek education for their children in Estonian. They will, of course, keep a careful eye on the choices made by fellow Russian-speakers, If all Russian- speakers feel that all others will remain monolingual in Russian, they will see little need to learn Estonian. But if they fear that many others are already adjusting to the new language regime by learning Estonian, they will feel pressure to join the cascade. In borh national revivals and assimilation cascades, there are political pressures to alter one’s “identity project.” I shall now explicate these two processes more for» mally from the perspective of the tipping game. 4" Raun, Win and on Will)”, p. 210, cities three documents from the early 19305 in which Bowman intellectual's exptmscd “the fear . . . that the Estonian language and «drum were in danger of Inning their leading role in Estonia as Rossini increasingly beware the language ot‘adminlsmi— den and was cmphns'wod in education.” 26 ' introduction National Revival In his explication ofthc problem of consolidating a national revival, Ernest Gell— ncr referred to the revivalisr region as “Ruritania” and the central state as “illegan~ mania?“ He assumed that the political leaders of Ruritania are fully bilingual in both the language of state power and the language of the region. As Megalomania consolidated power, he explains, the great mass of the regional population became at least partially assimilated as well. But there was rcscnmtent, and Ruritanian lead- ers sought sowreignty for their cultural group in a national revival.“2 Most portrayals of political movements that are dedicated to a region’s political, economic, or cultural autonomy focus primarily on the conflict of interest between the power at the center and the united national movement at the periphery. What these portrayals often miss is the conflict of interest that exists within the regional nationality population. The major problem for regional revivalists is to induce a tip Within their own constituencies. Let us suppose that in Mcgalomania, of which was a part, access to wealth and power required fluency in the language of the state. In fact, residents of any distinct region would be able to communicate with residents from any other dis~ tinct region only through the state language. Usually, under these conditions, people who live in culturally distinct regions become “diglossic.m This is a special form of bilingualism, when: the state language is uscd‘niii‘stl‘fior “high” fiutctions (such as trade, high culture, and contacts with state authorities) and the regional language is used for “low” functions (for intimacy, and for celebrations of folk culture). If Romania, whose population is diglossic, is to achieve a national revival, its leaders must reverse the functional domains of the two languages. Many people who consider themselves Ruritanians will feel uncomfortable using what they see as a folk language in domains of high culture or technology They are likely to believe the myth that “their” language is not capable of expressing complex or modern thoughts. Those Ruritanians who are members of the local bureaucracy— those whose jobs and advanccmmt required Facility in Mcgalomanian—will have an in‘ wrest to maintaining the linguistic status quo. 'Ithe national revival tipping gamemdisplayed in Figure t.I—illusmttes these conw snmnts. Here, for illustrative purposes, I leave Gellncr’s fantasy world oflvlcgalo- hummus and Ruritanians for the actual world of the republics of the former Soviet Union. On the x axis 1 have plotted the percentage of the regional nationality (whom I shall call here, with the Soviet case in mind, dollars) in fiill compliance with the laws and principles of the nationaling movement (the function 11‘) and the percentage of the regional nationality continuing to rely on the language of the fonner center (the function RR). 0n the y axis is the payoff an individual receives for his or her linguistic choice. The payoff for an individual linguistic choice dos pends on how many other individuals made the same choice. ‘1 Ernest Gelhtet, MNmndim (Ithaca: Comell University Press, 1983). in Chapter 9, I elaborate on, current, and extend Gunner‘s theory. 4‘ Ernest Gellner. 7720:4551: and Charge (Chicago: Urdvcrsity of Chicago Press, 1964). ‘3 Charles Ferguson, “Diglossiai’ Wm! 15 (rosy): 325-40. ATheory of Political Identities 27 High Payoli H = Russian T 9-1 Thular I’m” 1.x. National revival game: Percentage of titulars who comply fully with nationalist language laws ‘Thc dilemma portrayed in this diagram reflects practical decisions that real pco~ pie face. Those school principals, directors of industrial plants, newspaper publish— ers, retailers, and professionals who operated in environments where Russian was the dominant language need to decide whether to comply with new state laws re- quirlng the monopoly of official use for the newly legislated national language. Par- ents (of the titular nationality) need to decide whether to send their children to tit- ular~language Schools. If the children have already been attending Russiandanguage schools, the cost of change will clearly be high, and the change will be worth it only if other enterprises (or parents) adopt it as well. Therefore, no organization (or par- ent) has an incentive to move first, even if all agree that the payoffs for all would be higher at too percent indigenous than they are at, say, so percent indigenous, which is the point at which many revival movements wwill vote for a nationalizing program, helieving in it theoretically, butvthewsubvcrt itflin When people personally subvert the goals of the very fléhfiem they have given their elected leaders a mandate to promote, that movement will fail. It will fail not only because of the nefarious interference of the declining center (although the revivalisrs will want to blame their failure on the center’s lust for reintegration) but also because ofthe rational linguistic strategies of already partially assimilated members of the nationality group in whose name the revival is being promoted. (filwtilturalcntrcprcncurs dire ’ innal ’ menfrwtpaustisomchow induce? language” My“: I _ u p I :‘ifiémwmm that'othcr key members are already in the p l‘rhis anon calmer hcpmdictcd not” ( 9m ncwwnational . 3 language laws. With such heavy constraints facing regional revivals, how do their leaders push societies toward the desired equilibrium state? This is clearly the question regional ‘4 In Initin, “The Game Theory of Language Regimes,” Inrmmo'ml Political Sciqu Review 1+, no. 3 (1993): a233, I call this the “private subversion of a public good.” This strategy is similar to that indentured by Will Rogers when he said that Oklahomans would continue to vote for prohibition as long as they could stagger to the polls. ’3 its is $1! kiwi» 5 M “oping, 40?. I )t 18 Introduction tevivalism everywhere face. As we shall see, hfiggitflwp ms in thel‘gvalregions mummswmm. have been hicotpgmtedjhipto centralized states tell us a goodch aboimfi {gigs Morrow, "the degree ol‘ success of regibnal revw s is no important due to the power of competitive assimilation, the second crucial game in the drama of nationality politics. Competitive Assimilation Let us now consider the situation of the members of an innnigrant nationaliatp (let us, following Gellner, call them Ruritanians) in a state (Megaliimania) in whi the donfinant language is difl‘erent from their own. Let us further sum Mvar-Wflwr .Iwm/NWMV‘" a moénsed- These Mimnians very much want r37 maintain their language and audio pass it on to their chil- dren, who will, they hope, subsequently pass it on to their children. If the entire Rurimnian comnumity thinks more or less in this way, they will be able to demand from Megnlomania a certain degree of cultural autonomy, such as the right to main» tain Ruritaniundanguage schools, and to have local administration and legal pro- ceedings conducted in Ruritnnian. Suppose, however, that at the time these people immigrated there were no schools, no local scnrices, and no entry»le middle—class jobs in which Ruritanian was used. Further suppose that those who wanted those jobs would need to be lit- erate in Megalomanian. It would then be rational for an immigrant to send her child to a school that ensured rapid mining in Megalomanian. A Ruritwian child attendhig such a school would have a competitive advantage in the upwardly mo bile job market. But if it is rational for any parent to do this, then all parents will think that other parents will probably do it, and that therefore they should get their children competent in the language of their new society (Lo, move toward linguis- tic assimilation) before the middle-class job market is saturated. glider, thesemgowndirions, which are more or less what innm‘gmts to America ' ‘” " ”“ ‘ "M-m'mm "WWVIWMMVWIWH,M ’ havefgeed for ove a century; we get rapid assimilation into the nadgpgllnnggggc if i: would benefit; if illlwimrnigrant ihmiliegmhcld m. .Wumwmpvmmm» MMW mmvwk m ,, gww nuNfEflihém‘Zlfifi “filmiufii M In the case om“ “Russian: WiEKitiilar tepuhliesyhoivever, as represent in Figure 1.2, the rate of change may be slow at first until the number of people who switch begins to in» crease. As more Russians learn the titular language, others will perceive the trend and calculate that the payoffs for not speaking the titular language will, before too long, be lower than those for learning it. As this process unfolds, and the feeling spreads that the direction ofchangc is toward the language of the national state, the rate of change will rapidly increase. fiber: figmwflwmpfltgg to begin? Because this book focuses on the plight of” the Russian immigrants in the near abroad, this game gets special atten— tion. As a preliminary nutter; it should be clear from a of Figure 1.2 that at the far left ofthex axis, it is still irrational for Russians to third)! the titular language. Something must occur to change the payoffs for at least a few pioneers. £50m macro point of view, changes in world trade puttenir, interstate relations, immigra- ‘ ; If," I? if who ennui ’15 Marti}ng g A Theory of Political Identities e9 Payoff 0 100% R = Russian T : Tilulur Figure (.2. Competitive assimilation game: Percentage of Russians who speak titular language tion possibilities, and state policies on" education and administration have dis- e “Em 6:3“iifiihuwaa'EHFiVés and can eertninly induce a few Russians to shift tlieiEMlihguisti‘cArcpEttoiresrA micro perspective focuses on how such chanch ’M ahd‘under what conditions the tipping point (it) will be reached. WFrom this union perspective, several (unfavorable conditions can be enumerated as initial hypotheses. First, assimilation cascades are likely to occur when the expected "Klifetirnemeamingsv of a young person are substantially greater when that person is fluent in the language of the state in which the family now resides. Second, assimn ~lotion“«nitrides are likely to occur when the immigrant community is itself divided éndblii; . otherwayfiséimflaxléhwmmbe halted ,ii' cultng in“... » .mwm.,m .,,,. inimmm commpnitx figfimgm peoplqh’lw chiseto giveup their eul- we; or louver the status of who, the practices of the majority culture. Wire! occur when minibus either origin, tore aceept as one of their own (on the marriage marker, affairs) those im~ \vho' have attempted to assimilate. I all these three factors V‘WMOI’IA~»»,IMW nomic“gemmgrhiipigtatgghgndnutzgtoup status. Calmlations about these whims, I hypothesize, will have implications for the likelihood of a linguistic up, with a concomitant change in the Russian population’s social identity; perhaps after the tip they will see themselves as “Bilingual Russianw'l‘irularsf’ Assimilation, Diasporas, and Conglomerate Identities Throughout this book, I refer to the Russian population living in the states ofthe former Soviet Union as a diasporawalthough, since they acquired that Stunts be- cause the borders ofthc Soviet Union receded, rather than because they dispersed from their homeland, it is perhaps better to think of them as n benched dfiiypfigprp Yet we should not forget that these Russians are being pressed not only to assimilate but also to consolidate as part ol‘a conglomerate identity group. Calling drew a di- aspora tempts one to forget about the social pressures for assimilation. Calling immté‘ lab-“*5 3 i 4g a {low 4 {nuke} M. 3..»- Eoinmints on its members to remain a tight-knit community. Put an~ Within the v ulna.- éo Introduction them a conglomerate identity group tempts one to place them in the same category as Hispanics or Asian Americans in the United States and appeal to the literature on reactive identity formation. The naming, as it were, presupposes the category of analysis.‘5 One of the advantages ofrhe tipping model I propose is that it allows us to analyze the ldentily situation faced by Russians without presupposing the genre of group they have become. In the socialscimce literature, many attempts have been made to distinguish as- similation from other forms of cultural and political incorporation into dominant nociety.‘6 But the tipping model allows us to cut through many of those distinc- tions, and to talk simply about rates of assimilation in a variety of contour. For our] purposos,_assimilation an be defined as “the process of adoption of the ever chnng’ mg cultural practices of dominant sacicty with the goal ofcrossing a fluid cultural boundary acparating [minorities] from dominant society” From the point of View of the tipping game, assimilation can be thought ofas a successfiil switch, in a vari— at)! of cultural realms, to the practices of dominant society To the extent that in a range of time cultural realms the minority population creases the tipping thresh- old, we can say that societal (as opposcd to individual) assimilation has occarred. Note well that even with apparently complete assimilation, there will always be those “haliiforgottcn poets and lonely philologista” whose expected returns for holding on to languages and rituals in dcsucrude are larger than the returns for as~ simulating.“ These cultural elites will always be ready, in the hope that social condi» dons will someday allow a tip back to the status quo ante. In this sense, assimila~ don, according to the tipping game, is never completely settled. I Whanwlemiuswaufigliagpgw In the conuemporary literature, the attempt to dis- tinguish :‘diusporas” from immigrants, expatriates, refugees, guest workers, exile communities, overseas communities, and ethnic communities has led to a plethora of distinctions. that make little difference.“9 William Safran recognized that origi~ nally “diaspora” referred only to Jews, and it was dicrcfore somewhat redundant to theorize about diasporas as a category of communities. Defining it merely as a “seg~ mum of people living outside the homeland” (as Walker Connor does), however, dilutes it of all its meaning, as it would then include all immigrant communities. Sal‘ran therefore suggests the following criteria, ‘5 Rafael compares nicely across categories. Kills mmpanson‘ of Fill inns lis‘ under a anus: colonial rule with diasporic populations is extremely productive, but hi: appmauc‘ligdoer no]: land to a genuine comparative analysis. He camiot olfer a general calculus, for example, on the relative pfipflhty of assinfidon in imprison settings. See Vicente L Rafael, “Anticipating Nationhood: a rancnun morint e apaneseOccu 'onol‘Manil " ' ~11 mama! » “ammo r, no. i (1991): (574:. Pm a, W 1 mm “The most sophisticated in this genre, where “integration,” “acculturation? and “assimilation” an: ‘shmyu to be distinct, is that of R. A. Schermethom, Comparative Ethnic Mariam (Chicago: University ofChicago Press, 1970). See also, lohn W. Berry, “Ethnic identity in Plural Societies,” in Brutal Might, Ethnic Identity Emma, pp. 279—96. 2: David Leann, “Margmality: AMicmpcrspetrive,”Rndom1ityand M7, no. 1 (1995): as. Dayid Lawn, “language Games,” Compr Politic: 20 (was): 189—302. “This is the point ofKaclfig Tololyan, “The Nation-Suit: and Its Others: In Lieu of 4: Preface? W: A Journal qulnmmrtimal Studio 1, no. 1 (1991): 4., writ'mg as the founding edimr of the oum . A’I‘heory of Political identities 31 r) they, or their ancestors, have been dispersed from a specific original “center” to two or more “peripheral,” or foreign, regions; 2) they retain a eollectivo memory, vision, or myth about their original homelandwim physical location, history, and achievements; 3) they believe that they are nor~and perhaps cannot bew— fully ac- cepted by their host anxiety and therefore feel partly alienated and insulated from it; 4.) they regard their ancestral homeland as their true, ideal home and as the place to which they or their descendants would (or should) eventually retummwhen conditions are appropriate; 5) they believe that they should, collectively, be eom‘ mitted to the maintenance or restoration of their original homeland and to its safety and prosperity; and 6) they continue to relate, personally or vicariously, to that homeland in one way or another, and their cthnocommunal consciousness and solidarity are importantly defined by the cxismnce of such a relationship.” Jews remain the paradigmatic case, but Armenians, Turks, Maghrcbis, Palestinians, Cubans, Greeks, and maybe the Chinese meet at least some of these criteria. From the. perspective ofthc ripping game, no such subtle distinctions, or criteria of inclusion, are necessary A diaspora is a population living in a society distant from the homeland that its leaders claim as their own, and to which they expect one day to return. By emphasizing the group’s diasporic qualities, identity entrepreneurs seek to raise the probability in the minds of their constituencies of a successful to turn to that homeland, Tb the extent that they are successfulmby inwicating a sense of nostalgia among people who have never lived there, for crarnpic“ ~rhey will be able to stem the tide of complete assimilation, for the members of their identity group will want to cultivate intergencrationally the linguistic skills, cultural knowl- edge, distinct names, or at least a sharp memory of ancestral belonging that would become essential if they or their descendants were in fact to return. This is a form of lit-group policing, giving social stams to people who invest in the possibility ofa fu- ture return. A“conglomerate” identity is a category of membership that is a common denom- inator among a set of identity groups that share some characteristics that are disuinct from those in the dominant society in which they live. One mus: not think ol‘con- glomerate identities as false by definition; after all, most of today’s nationalities—— non: the earlier discussion of Britishncssmare conglomerates ofhistorically separable elements. Conglomerate identities often form when members of dominant society refer to a set of distinct groups in a common way (as Saudi Afiican Boers would talk about “kalfirs”); but conglomerate identity groups can also arise when the social boundaries separating a set of related groups all living on a foreign soil (as is the case of Ukrainians and Russians now living in Kazakhstan) are relatively weak. Under conditions of a “conglomerate identity” group, there is often no credible traditional elite to protect the group’s boundaries or to punish defectors who seek to reideutily themselves as members of the dominant society. Conglomerate identity groups may “William Salim, “Diasporas in Modern Societies: Myths of Homeland and humor,” Diaper»: A.ij WW Studio 1, no. 1 (I991): 834%. “This point is nicely developed by Hamid Naficy, “The Poetic-i and Practice of lranian Nostal- gia in Exile,” DW’AJW 11!?me Studio I, no. 3 (1991): asyaoz. 32 Introduction therefore be demographically large but politically weak. Lisa Lowe recognizes this in her analysis of an Asian American identity. “As with other diasporas in the United States,” she reasons, “the Asian immigrant collectivity is unstable and changeable, with its whesion complicated by intergenerationality, by various degrees of identifi» cation and relation to a ‘homcland,’ and by different extents of assimilation to and distinction from ‘majority culture’ in the United States.”52 Thwrenoany it makes no difference whether Asian Americans (or Hispanics) are diasporas or not; the impor» tant point is that by lumping Japanese and Chinese within the same identity group, or Cobain and Moriams-as a conglomerate identity-— the forces of dominant soci— ety easily ()VCx‘flm attempts byAsian American or Hispanic activism to protect the in- tegrity (or separateneas) of constructed Asian American or Hispanic cultures. What, then, am the Russians in the near abroad? Are they a diaspora like the Pales~ tinians, forming a bomb about to detonate? Or are they the forgotten people in the drama of decolonization, like the pint: min, likely to be evacuated from their re- publics and ignomd in their supposed homeland? Maybe the analogous case is the English Rhodosians, a settler comnnmity that will continue to maintain its privi- leges, even though they will never develop a true Zimbabwean identity. Still again, as the Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusans, Poles, and lows develop a sense of a conunon plight, as a “Rossini-speaking population,” the analogous case may be the Asian Americans or Hispanics, in the development ofa docile conglomerate identity. My answer to this question is that the analogy should not precede the analysis, but rather should follow from it. No category— neither settler, diaspora, not ton— glomeratc group~preciaely fits the situation. The real question is the extent to which cultural entrepreneurs in the former Union republics will be able, like the leaders of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, to lay cogent claim to a lost homeland that will one day be returned to them. 1b the extent that this move suc- ceeds, the analogy of diaspora will be self-firlfilling. To the extent that Russian leaders feel compelled to categorize themselves as part of a larger group, involving non-Russian Russian-speakers, they will have a more difficult time making claims about a common religious identity, or a common homeland that one day will be returned to them. 1 do not seek to fit Russians living in the near abroad into a par- ticular category My purpose is rather to understand the. dynamics of identity shift and the implications for the kinds ofstatcs they will be living in, and for the degree of conflict they are likely to experience in their relations with the titular popula» tions. ' Preliminary Statement of Findings This book provides a coherent explanation of why Liuba Grigor’cv has already made some major cultural adjustments in the direction of assimilation. it does so in 5’ Iowa, “Heterogeneity, Hybridity, Multiplicity” p. 2.7. On the grow‘ litiral weakness of the Gillian diaspora in the States as the Culinaan become part of a diaspora of twenty~ five million" Lawns, or Hispanics, so: Roman de la Carnpa, “The Latino Diaspora in the United States: Soioums from a Cuban Past,” Public Cnlmw 6 (1994): 393—917. A Theory of Political Identities 33 a way that differentiates her from Russianopeakers in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, who face different pressures and have different opportunities. This book takes several hefty jumps into the rarefied atmosphere ofrheory—especially as the tipping game is developedwbut it does so in a way that is grounded in the lives of real people. More Specifically, this book shows that each of the titular republics was incorpo~ rated into the Russian and Soviet States in one of three ways (Chapuzr 3). The key to disdnguishing these three macro patterns ofsratc incorporation of peripheral terri- tories is the degree to which elites in the incorporated peripheries had mobility prospecrs in the political center. To the extent that they were treated as equal to the elites in the centerwand Ukraine is the memplarmthc mode of incorporation was what I refer to as “most favored lord.” To the oxtem that mobility prospects were virtually blockedmand Kazaldistan is the exemplar in this study—the mode of in- corporation: was “colonial.” To the extent that mobility prospects were partially blocked but rather rapid within the republic—~Esronia and Latvia fit this picture—I shall refer to this as “integral” incorporation. These macro patterns help us under— stand the setup of the linguistic tipping games that were unleashed with the breakup of the Soviet Union. The micro data presented in this book suggest two fiuidamcntal trends concern— ing identity shift in the republics of the limiter Scwiet UniOn. The prinoipal finding (matched in Chapter 9) concerns the prospects for assimilation by Russians into the national cultures of the states in which they were beached I shall show why the prospects for Russians’ assimilation into the titular society (despite cultural dismncc and momma“ policies and practices by the titulars) is greater in the Baltic states than in Ukraine or Kazakhstan. Furthermore, I shall show that the prospects for Russians‘ assimilation are greater in Latvia than in Estonia, despite the higher ex- pected economic towns for learning Estonian. From both ethnographic and sur» vey data, I shall also show why Russians’ assimilation is more problematic in cultur- ally proximate Ukrainc than in the culmrally distant Baltic states. A secondary movement in the former Union republics is acting alongside and against the pressure to shift from Russian to titular (elaborated in Chapter to). Most of those people who fall outside (by virtue oflanguagc) the nationaling pro- jecrs of the republican governments in the states of the near abroad have begun to form (or be formed into) a single identity group. They have begun to see them— selves~in conglomerate terms—as a “Russian-speaking population.” A major find» ing of this book is that the development ofsuch a conglomerate identity“ although its membership is quite difi‘erent in the different republicswis the principal coun- tertrend to assimilation. With these two trends identified—that of assimilation and that ofrhc creation of a conglrnnerare identity—I shall (in Fan 5) analyze the implications of these find- ings to address two outstanding questions on the post-Soviet: agenda. First is the quesrion whether violent conflict is likely between the Russian inhabitants and the titular nationalities of the nationalizing states. Some analysts, such as my oollabw rator Marika Kireh, rely on Samuel Iluntingron’s notion of a “clash of civiliza- tions” to suggest that a Russian/titular divide is inevitable, no matter how fluid the actual cultural scene My response is that a micro theory of identity shift, such as 3+ Introduction thetipping game, reveals conflicrs within civilizations which diminish the cogency of a model that focuses principally on claims to broad cultural difference as the fountainhead of" post-Cold War conflict. Other analysts, relying on models of interstate confiiCt, study the issue of ethnic conflict as if it were a game between a team of Russians and a team of titulats. lg- noring civilizational divides, these analysts portray ethnic conflict as purely an issue oft-he security dilemma. My response (provided in Chapter 12.) is that there is a cru— cial diflbrence between internationality and interstate conflict. In the fonner, the boundaries of group membership are always subject to redefinition. Political leadch of ethnic groups must constantly worry about defections from their own group, as people move into other identity groups. This situation, 1 argue. puts great pressure on sclfoppointcd representatives of nationality groups to rely on coercion to assure group solidarity. The sources ofa significant part of intetethnic violence, I contend, are to be found in the intmgmnp politics of internal policing and boundary protecv tion.'1he politics of identity itself-of cultural elites seeking to protect the bound- aries of the groups they purport to representmcrcates even more incentives for vio- lence than the tensions between identity groups do. Second,.therc is the debate about whether the “nationalizing states”53 of the for- mer Soviet Union will become nation-sums (on the order of France, (lemony, and the United States) or retain their multinational character (on the model of Belgium, Switzerland, and the Soviet Union). Elsewhere 1 have shown that both hitema- tional conditions and the nature of state-building itselfin the present era make the construction of nation-states quite unlikely today, even ifthere are significant pres~ sures for assimilation ofminorities.“ In accord with this perspective, I shall show (in Chapter '13) the comiderablc constraints that leaders in the republics of the for- mer Soviet Union face in fashioning nation~states. Yet, in contrast to my projec- tions in We Raymoim, I show how Soviet rule helped to undemiine those constraints, leaving the toad open for successfiml nationalizing projects in the Baltics and Kazakhstan (but not in Ukraine). I do not return to the theses concerning violence and the nationvstate until Part 5, in the final two chapters of this book. In the remaining two chapters «2me 1‘, I pro- vidc a macrohistorical framework for understanding the nationality situation that Russians faced as the republics they lived in consolidated their nationalizing pro~ grams. In Part 2. I then provide an externive ethnographic description of the identity scene among Russians in the former Union republics after the collapse of the Soviet Union. These chapters provide the flesh mid blood that past renditions ofthe rather skeletal tipping game lacked. In Part 3 I introduce survey data and a sociolinguistic experiment to probe limiter the question whether Russians can become titulars. In Part 4 I address the question whether Bumsians in diaspora may develop a new con« glomcmtc identity, neither titular nor “Russian.” I ask repeatedly throughout: Who 53 For a sensitive definition of what “nadomlizing sore” means in pittance, see Rogers meaker, “National Minorities, Nationalizing States, and Emma! National Homelmtds in the New Eu rope? Daedalus we, no. 2 (1995): iowgz. 5‘ Dal/id D. Laitin, WW: Wm and Sum Wm in W (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992.). ‘ A'Iheory of Political Identities 35 were the Russians and what are they becoming? The answer to this simple ques- tion—with data from Kazakhstan, Estonia, Latvia, and Ukraine—consumes my at» tendon for the hull: of this book and helps provide a coherent yet novel set of answers to the questions ctmoerning what type of state and what sort of ethnic violence we can expect in the post~Soviet world. ...
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