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Title: The construction of national identity in Ukraine : a regional perspective
Author: Jackson, Louise Jane
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 1998
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Since Ukrainian independence, in 1991, issues of nation and statehood have become topics of concern to Western social scientists, and Ukrainian scholars and political and cultural activists. Nonetheless, the ways in which national identity is being conceptualised and constructed have not been studied in depth. This thesis aims to explore the processes through which national identity is being constructed at a time of rapid social, economic and political change. It does this at a variety of scales: at the state, regional and individual levels. The methods used are primarily qualitative in their nature, as these allow the researcher to capture the complexities and subtleties of identity issues. The study demonstrates that many interpretations of the new state and its people existed at the time of research, but that certain visions had more influence than others. It also highlights the ways in which concepts of ethnic, and civic identity were highly intertwined, which raises fundamental questions about social, political and cultural inclusion and exclusion. The thesis argues that a crucial aspect of establishing the state's identity has been a (re)imagining of its geography. This has involved defining and interpreting regional differences in Ukraine, and at the same time new geographies of power - between the regions and the centre - have been established. A case study of Zaporizhzhia, located in the eastern part of Ukraine, demonstrates that at the local scale some of the same ambiguities and tensions uncovered at the state scale could be identified. However, this was taking place through a local framework of debates and ideas. The study thus raises fundamental questions about whether an inclusive sense of national identity can be developed in Ukraine which celebrates and embraces diversity, and opens up new challenges for Western social scientists to develop concepts which can illuminate and incorporate Ukrainian and post-Soviet experiences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available