Year of Graduation
Russian-speakers on the Karelian Isthmus in the 1930s: Acculturation Strategies
Applied and Interdisciplinary History "Usable Pasts"
The present thesis is an attempt to write a transnational history of the Russian-speaking community of the Karelian Isthmus – a region that in the interwar years belonged to the independent Finland – in the 1930s. I am trying to link two analytical perspectives – the “history from below” of the Russian-speaking community and the study of Finland’s governmental policies towards Russian-speakers, at the same time overcoming the homogenization of the Russian-speaking community that could be observed in some of the existing historiography. Thus, I am exploring Russian-speakers’ acculturation strategies in the context of Finland’s policies of the “nationalizing state”, which aimed at a bigger consolidation of the society against a common enemy, applying a theoretical framework partly borrowed from social psychology as well as nationalism and diaspora studies. The sources I am analyzing are ego-documents, the majority of which are interviews conducted with Russian-speakers in the 1980s, and publications in journals in Russian published on the Karelian Isthmus in the 1930s.