Ethnosociology: from the frontier research field to a branch of sociology

Ethnosociology: from the frontier research field to a branch of sociology

Drobizheva L.M.

Dr. Sci. (His.), Chief Researcher, Head of the Center for the Study of Interethnic Relations, Institute of Sociology, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor-researcher, National Research University «Higher School of Economics», Moscow, Russia

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Drobizheva L.M. Ethnosociology: from the frontier research field to a branch of sociology. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2018. No 6. P. 17-29


The article considers main stages of development in ethnosociological studies. The first stage lasted from the late 1960s to the late 1980s. At this stage the studies of social structure of the contacting ethnic groups in the Union- and Autonomous republics dominated. Social aspects of culture and interethnic relations were considered in the context of social and professional groups. Large-scale interRepublican comparative studies were conducted. The second stage since the 1990s was related to the actualization of ethnicity in the country and to the expansion of research problems: the study of national movements, nationalisms, causes and consequences of interethnic conflicts, social and cultural distance and the impact of social and structural changes, social inequality in the society, the inflow of migrants, interethnic attitudes. The importance of expanding contacts with world sociology, increasing attention to research methodology and expanding constructivist approach to understanding identity is noted as well. The next stage since the 2000s was connected to the obvious movement of ethnosociology from the discipline at the intersection of sociology and ethnology toward the sociology. This is manifested in clarifying the subject of study and presenting it as a study of ethnically marked space, the disclosure of the object of study, taking into account the fact that ethnicity can be nominal and real, manifested both in the form of categories and network connections, associations and communities, understanding the flexibility of ethnicity and the desire to get away from the rigid “binding” of people to an ethnic group. The publications topics show that changes in subject and specification of an object of research proves that ethnosociology Acknowledgementsturns from the interdisciplinary discipline into a branch of sociology. The analysis of main directions of studies shows similarity of modern Russian ethnosociology to the Western sociology of the racial and ethnic relations. The difference is mainly in methods and terminology. The author suggests directions which demand further studying.

ethnosociology; sociology of racial and ethnic relations; integration; civil and ethnic identity; inequalities; interethnic relations; interethnic conflicts; safety; adaptation and integration of migrants; methodology


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Content No 6, 2018