"My Address is the Soviet Union!": Supranational Selves in Transnational Ukraine
This essay is a part of our series, Graduate Students and The Middle Ground Journal -- for more information, please see HERE.
“I consider myself a Russian—well not a Russian, actually, but a Soviet . . . I am a Soviet. I was born in the Soviet Union; I lived my entire life in the Soviet Union; I am Soviet.”
What can cause a person to think of herself as something other than a member of a nation, a citizen of a nation-state? What does it mean for an individual to be “transnational?” Do any identities go beyond the transnational? In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Ukraine has been “a laboratory of transnational history.” By studying individual Ukrainian citizens, we can gain insights at the grassroots level. We can learn how ideological, ethnic, and national imperatives—as developed and transmitted by elites—are internalized, transformed, or rejected by the rank and file. We can study, at the micro level, how the ethnic and national identities of people in eastern Ukraine developed and changed over time, and how that process relates to the parallel nation-building projects pursued by the leaders of their country. The processes by which the Ukrainians in this study accepted or rejected various national and ethnic identities were open-ended, fluid, and indeterminate.
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Edited by Sarah R. Hamilton
(c) 2014 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 8, Spring, 2014. See Submission Guidelines page for the journal's not-for-profit educational open-access policy.