Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Shirokogoroff (Shirokogorov) a common link in the theoretical construction of Soviet nationalities policy and South African apartheid

It appears that the similarities between Soviet and apartheid era South African anthropology are not coincidental. They stem from the common influence of Sergei Shirokogorov who in turn was a student of Lev Shternberg on both Soviet and South African scholars particularly with regards to theories of ethnicity. I was not aware of the influence of Shirokogorov or as it appears in the South African literature Shirokogoroff on volkekunde until recently. Evidently the writings of Shirokogorov formed a very important part of the theoretical basis of South African volkekunde.  But, given the similarities and resemblances between the Soviet and the South African literature it is not surprising.

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