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GeoJournal

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 83–89 | Cite as

The politics of identity: Ethnicity, minority and nationalism in Soviet Estonia

  • Joni Virkkunen
Article

Abstract

Identity has become one of the core concepts of political geography. This reflects the wide recognition of a post-structural conception of society and space, as well as the acknowledgement of the political character of identity. The present article focuses on the politics of identity, and discusses the politicized forms of identity as related to the Soviet state building policies and the Estonian spaces of resistance. It will be argued that neither identity nor the political demand in Soviet Estonia can be viewed in isolation from their historical and social contexts. Both Soviet state politics and the Estonian spaces of resistance reflected the prevailing conceptions of past and the contemporary political realities. This article examines those preconceptions of the political and territorial development in Soviet Estonia, and also illustrates the interdependent character of state politics and non-state activism. The first part of the article concentrates on the Soviet state building practices – the use of power, symbols, education – and the second part examines the various forms of non-state activism of Estonians.

Estonia identity Soviet Union spaces of resistance state building 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joni Virkkunen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of JoensuuJoensuuFinland(E-mail

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