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Constructing GrievanceEthnic Nationalism in Russia's Republics$
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Elise Giuliano

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801447457

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801447457.001.0001

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Does Structure Matter?

Does Structure Matter?

Local Labor Markets and Social Mobility

(p.60) 3 Does Structure Matter?
Constructing Grievance

Giuliano Elise

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores whether adverse economic conditions in republican labor markets at the end of the Soviet era inspired people to support nationalism. It first considers socioeconomic stratification among ethnic groups and presents data on social mobility as well as the macroeconomic contraction of the Soviet economy during perestroika. More specifically, it examines whether the variables of interethnic job competition and an ethnic division of labor are associated with nationalism. It then discusses the claims of nationalist leaders that titular minorities were socioeconomically subordinate to Russians within their republics. It shows that titular populations in all republics demonstrated social mobility, but lagged behind Russians at the end of the Soviet era. This finding suggests that nationalist leaders and ordinary people differed in their interpretations of economic conditions. Variation in nationalism across the republics cannot be explained by structural economic variables alone.

Keywords:   economic conditions, labor markets, nationalism, socioeconomic stratification, ethnic groups, social mobility, interethnic job competition, ethnic division of labor, Russia

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