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History Professor’s Book Examines Racism In Modern Russia



History Professor's Book Examines Racism In Modern Russia

In his insightful work, “Racism in Modern Russia: From the Romanovs to Putin,” University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign history professor Eugene Avrutin explores Russia’s complex racism past. His investigation shockingly reveals the nation’s history of prejudice.

Avrutin’s story centers on Russia’s deep-rooted bigotry. From the fall of the tsarist government to Putin, it covers 150 years. In 2013, Moscow had a massive anti-migrant riot, which Avrutin highlights. Angered at the arrest of a migrant worker for murdering an ethnic Russian man, the mob chanted, “Russia for the Russians.” Amazingly, this phrase was employed in the late 19th century to recruit extreme rightists as the tsarist authority collapsed. These activists saw the old order under threat.

Understanding Russia’s history of racism is crucial to this subtopic. Avrutin’s work emphasizes the significance of identifying and overcoming racial tensions and prejudice, which still plague the country.

Racism In Modern Russia: Race-based Thought In Soviet Russia

Avrutin’s research shows that race-based cognition in Russia is complex. Russia’s uninterrupted colonial expansion blurred the borders between conquerors and colonized people, unlike many other empires. People were classed by religion, then class or nationality. Official paperwork lacked a racial categorization.

Soviet rule caused a contradictory change. Soviet Russia sought to construct an equitable, anti-racist social paradise. Interestingly, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and W. E. B. Du Bois regarded the Soviet Union as a model for Black equality. However, the state’s categorization system, which rejected numerous identities, gave individuals a clear racial perspective.

This subtopic shows Russia’s complicated connection with racism. Soviet equality principles clashed with a classification system that condensed the world into racial categories, affecting Russians’ self-perception and surroundings.

Contemporary Racism In Putin’s Russia

Eugene Avrutin analyzes modern Russia and its changing racism. Putin’s presidency has changed ethnic Russians’ self-perception and worldview. The social position now depends more on race and whiteness.

Russia has accepted fringe views into mainstream debate in recent years. This change happened when Russian politics and culture became more conservative, normalizing sexism and homophobia. Putin’s autocratic methods bolstered the European extreme right and set a global example for white nationalism.

Avrutin describes a rise in racial violence and xenophobia in Russia due to an unequal economic recovery and fears about southern border migrants. Those who don’t match the ethnic Russian mold face racial discrimination. It’s a potent reminder that race and identity continue to affect the country and present difficulties that need attention and understanding.

The book’s three subtopics reveal Eugene Avrutin’s significant insights about racism in Russia, including its historical beginnings, paradoxical forms throughout the Soviet period, and current development under Putin. The tale connects past and present to emphasize the need to solve these complicated concerns.

The Complex Tapestry Of Ethno-racial Groups In Russia

Russia’s history is shaped by ethno-racial diversity. Russia takes a different approach to race and rights than several countries. Despite this diversity, biases and divides formed against East Asians, Poles, and Jews.

Russia’s race relations changed in the late 19th century. Fears of occupation, economic domination, legal restrictions, and demographic transitions drove daily violence and prejudice. These concerns were present in both the far-western borders toward Jews and Poles and the far-eastern periphery against Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese.

Diversity in Russia has not always led to unity. Hidden ethnic and racial tensions have woven a complex tapestry of intergroup relations that shape society’s beliefs and behaviors.

Read Also: Charles And Jeanne Morris: Champions Against Racism And Pioneers For Black Progress

The Elevation Of Whiteness In Putin’s Russia

Vladimir Putin has changed how ethnic Russians see themselves and their place in the world. Whiteness and race are increasingly crucial in social rank. Whiteness’s impact on social status has become more apparent in a color-blind culture.

This change is not isolated. Many fringe concepts have entered the mainstream in recent years. It coincides with a conservative movement in Russian politics and culture that normalizes sexism and homophobia, strengthens ‘traditional family values,’ and regulates family and reproductive behavior.

Putin’s government has supported the European extreme right and enabled this change. Putin’s Russia has inspired white nationalist governance globally. Modern Russia has elevated whiteness amid a worldwide movement toward right-wing ideas and exclusionary policies.

Racial Strife In Contemporary Russia

Racial violence and bigotry are rising in Russia, putting it at a crossroads. The uneven economic recovery and fears of immigration from Russia’s south have led to this worry. Over 11 million post-Soviet migrants entered Russia between 1992 and 2006. Thus, ethnic Russians are diminishing. 

Russia had 4.5 million unauthorized migrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus by 2000. Anyone who does not meet the ethnic Russian stereotype faces racial discrimination. This racial struggle has caused most ethnic Russians to distinguish themselves from ‘blacks.’ 

In Eugene Avrutin’s work, racial biases are engrained in Russian society. These three subtopics illuminate Russia’s ethnic-racial variety, whiteness’s rise, and current racial conflict. The paper stresses the importance of recognizing and tackling these difficulties.

Economic Factors And Racial Strife In Russia

The rise of racial violence and xenophobia in Russia is complicated, but economic considerations are a significant component. The unequal post-Soviet economic recovery has caused instability and resource rivalry. An economic imbalance has raised concerns about foreign immigration, notably from Russia’s south.

Over 11 million post-Soviet migrants moved to Russia between 1992 and 2006. The percentage of ethnic Russians is declining due to this migration. Russia housed 4.5 million unregistered migrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus by 2000.

Migrants are blamed for economic competitiveness and resource scarcity. Many countries experience this when economic challenges exacerbate racial tensions. Economic developments, along with other sociological and political changes, have increased prejudice and racial conflict.

Putin’s Role In Shaping Racial Attitudes

Vladimir Putin’s leadership has shaped racial dynamics in Russia. Race and whiteness have been more critical in social standing during his rule. Racial views changed with socioeconomic developments. Russian politics and society turned conservative under Putin. This trend normalizes sexism and homophobia, strengthens ‘traditional family values,’ and regulates family and reproductive behavior.

Putin’s government has supported right-wing groups worldwide and helped reshape Russia. Putin’s Russia has inspired white nationalist groups worldwide. Putin’s influence on race is complicated. His administration’s policies and sociopolitical milieu have elevated race, identity, and nationalism. This trend has led to widespread racial conflict and prejudice in Russia.

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