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Title: What it means to be a herdsman : the practice and image of reindeer husbandry among the Komi of northern Russia
Author: Habeck, Joachim Erich Otto
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis explores the social, economic and political aspects of reindeer husbandry among the Komi, a people living in the north of European Russia. Taking agency as an initial concept, successive chapters examine how agency can be understood in various domains: the reindeer-herding unit and enterprise, the household and village community, relations with oil companies which are using the same land, and other actors further afield. The concept of agency is developed in counterpart to forms of structural and other constraints, yielding a complex picture of opportunity and resources. A simultaneous historical strand allows us to focus down on the concept of tradition. Through an analysis of differing and contradictory scales of image and value, I show how the concept of tradition is the most constraining of all since it originates and is validated from outside. In conclusion, I argue that gaining control of their own image is a vital requirement for the reindeer herders and their family members in order to develop a viable future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral