Organizing Diversity: Determining National Categories in the Russian Empire and the USSR (1897-1939)
Title: Organizing Diversity: Determining National Categories in the Russian Empire and the USSR (1897-1939)
Author: CADIOT, Juliette
Citation: Revue d'Etudes Comparatives Est-Ouest, 2000, 31, 3, 127-149
Recording statistics on nationalities in the Russian Empire and the USSR was thought to be an especially difficult task till the late 1930s. By studying preparations for the general censuses of 1897, 1926 and 1939, we can see how statisticians and ethnologists tried to gauge the country's national and ethnic makeup. From the outset, they had to define their subject of study - membership in a national or ethnographical group - by drawing up criteria for measuring it. In particular, they tried to arrange the diverse responses given in these censuses by persons belonging to a multiethnic state that quite gradually restructured itself on the basis of national principles. In this context, political and scientific ideologies had a major impact.
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