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Building a Tatar elite

[journal article]

Alvarez Veinguer, Aurora; Davis, Howard H.

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Abstract Tatarstan, a bi-cultural region in the Russian Federation, has been experiencing a significant revival of Tatar language, culture and ethnic identities during the post-Soviet period. This article examines the significance of language policy in schools, and elite Tatar schools in particular, for this Tatar renaissance. It describes the political context and institutional setting and uses qualitative research data to analyse ethnic identification among pupils, parents and teachers. It shows that language has central importance in the Tatar schools and is treated as essential to what it means to be Tatar. Till now, the `Tatarstan model' of partial autonomy within the Russian Federation has successfully accommodated ethnic diversity. However, asymmetries between `national' education in Tatar schools and predominantly Russian education in non-Tatar schools have potential to generate tensions, as the republic of Tatarstan develops its policies for interethnic relations, religion and culture.
Keywords post-socialist country
Classification Sociology of Communication, Sociology of Language, Sociolinguistics; Special areas of Departmental Policy; Education and Pedagogics
Free Keywords ethnicity; language policy; post-Soviet; Russia; schools; Tatarstan;
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 186-207
Journal Ethnicities, 7 (2007) 2
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)