Territorial Identity: Structure, Boundaries, Reproduction

Territorial Identity: Structure, Boundaries, Reproduction

Mokin K.S.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia. mokin_konstantin@list.ru

Baryshnaya N.A.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Professor at the Department of Sociology, Ethnography and Sociometry, Russian State Social University, Moscow, Russia. socis64@gmail.com

ID of the Article:

This work was supported by RFBR “Territorial identity: factors, mechanisms and instruments of formation (comparative analysis of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Ossetia)”, grant № 20-511-07004.

For citation:

Mokin K.S., Baryshnaya N.A. Territorial Identity: Structure, Boundaries, Reproduction. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2023. No 6. P. 101-111


The purpose of the article is to analyze the phenomenon of territorial identity as a reflection of modern transformation processes and a relevant indicator of the potential for social mobilization of residents in local territories. The research objectives were to analyze the structure of territorial identity, the forms and mechanisms of reproduction of the external and internal social boundaries of the territorial identity area, and the role of social networks in its reduction. The analysis of the data is based on sociological studies conducted in the Saratov region, the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, and the Republic of South Ossetia. It describes the structural characteristics of territorial identity, the processes of formation of its social boundaries, and evaluates social networks as tools for its preservation, formation, and transformation. The authors conclude that territorial identity occupies a leading place in the structure of an individual self-identification and can be a powerful group consolidating factor.

territorial identity; ethnicity; social boundaries; social mobilization; social networks; Saratov region; Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria; Republic of South Ossetia


Anchabadze D., Kushkhabiev A., Pashtova M. et al. (eds) (2022) Adygs: Adygeans. Kabardins. Circassians. Shapsugi. Moscow: Nauka. (In Russ.)

Anderson B. (2016) Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, Moscow: Kuchkovo Pole. (In Russ.)

Brubaker R., Cooper F. (2002) Beyond Identity. Ab Imperio. No. 3: 61–115. DOI: 10.1353/imp.2002.0025. (In Russ.)

Brubaker R. (2012) Ethnicity without groups. Moscow: The Higher School of Economics Publishing House. (In Russ.)

Drobizheva L.M. (ed.) (2002) Social Inequality of Ethnic Groups: Perceptions and Reality, Moscow: Academia. (In Russ.)

Drobizheva L.M. (2003) Social Problems of the Interethnic Relations in Post-Soviet Russia. Moscow: Tsentr Obshchelovecheskich Zennostei. (In Russ.)

Gelman V., Popova E. (2003) Regional Political Elites and Strategies of Regional Identity in Modern Russia. In: Gelman V., Hopf T. (eds) Center and Regional Identities in Russia. Saint-Petersburg: EUSP Press: 187–254. (In Russ.)

Kachanov Y.L., Shmatko N.A. (1998) Territorial identity as a subject of sociological research. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Research]. No. 4: 94–98. (In Russ.)

Kazakova G.M. (2017) “The Vernacular Area” аs Condition for the Intensification of Social Processes. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Research]. No. 9: 57–65.

Kozyrev Y.N., Kozyreva P.M. (1995) Discursiveness of Social Identities. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Research]. No. 2: 23–43. (In Russ.)

Krylov M.P. (2010) Regional Identity in the European Russia. Moscow: Novyj khronograf. (In Russ.)

Lefebvre A. (2015) The Production of Space. Moscow: Strelka Press. (In Russ.)

Malakhov V. (2014) Cultural Differences and Political Boundaries in the Age of Global Migration, Moscow: NLO. (In Russ.)

Mikhajlov V., Runge J. (2019) Identification of Individual. Territorial Communities and Social Space: An Attempt of Conceptualisation. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Research]. No. 1: 52–62. DOI: 10.31857/S013216250003747-4. (In Russ.)

Myakshev A.P. (2021) The national composition of the Saratov region at the beginning of the XXI century: The stages of folding and prospects. Izvestiya of Saratov University. History. International Relations.Vol. 21. Iss. 4: 541–548. DOI: 10.18500/1819-4907-2021-21-4-541-548. (In Russ.)

Melville A.Yu., Ilyin M.V., Polunin Yu.A. et al. (2007) The Political Atlas of Modernity: Experience in Multidimensional Statistical Analysis of the Political Systems of Modern States. Moscow: “MGIMO University” Publishing House. (In Russ.)

Semenenko I. (ed.) (2017) Identity: the individual, society, and politics. An encyclopedia. Moscow: VES MIR. (In Russ.)

Tatarko A.N., Lebedeva N.M. (2011) Methods of ethnic and cross-cultural psychology: textbook, Moscow: The Higher School of Economics Publishing House. (In Russ.)

Tishkov V.A. (2021) The National Idea of Russia. Moscow: AST. (In Russ.)

Twigger-Ross С.L., Uzzell D. (1996) Place and identity processes. Journal of Environmental Psychology. Vol. 16: 205–220.

Volkova N.G. (1973) Ethnonyms and tribal names of the North Caucasus. Moscow: Nauka. (In Russ.)

Yarlykapov A.A. (2016) The Islamic Mosaic in the North Caucasus: Challenges for State-Confessional Relations. In: Tishkov V.A., Stepanov V.V. (eds) Ethnopolitical Situation in Russia and Neighboring Countries in 2014. Vol. 1. Moscow: IEA RAN Publ.: 27–33. (In Russ.)

Content No 6, 2023