Samara Tatars: features of ethnic identification and interethnic interaction practices in a multinational metropolis

Iagafova E.A., Bazhina E.V. (Samara, Russian Federation)


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The article considers the current features of ethnocultural identification and interethnic relations of Samara Tatars by examining their urban community, which formed in the 18th20th centuries. The study is aimed at determining the features associated with the formation and preservation of the ethnocultural identity of Samara Tatars, as well as the practice of their interethnic interaction in a metropolis. The research is based on the materials of a field survey of Samara Tatars conducted by the authors in 20172019, as well as on the analysis of statistical and published data on the history and current situation in the Tatar community of Samara. The research methodology is based on the concept of ethnic boundaries formed in the course of intra-ethnic and interethnic interaction, within which individual and group forms of ethnic identity are manifested. The study focuses on the cultural and linguistic characteristics of the community under study (language, material culture, religious and ritual traditions, etc.), which determine the nature of interethnic contacts and the features of ethnocultural identification in the group. The study revealed that the origin, nationality of parents and ancestors constitute the basis of ethnic identity of Samara Tatars, which, despite the loss of the language, ensures ethnic reproduction of the group. The Tatar language plays a significant role in the formation of ethnic identity and intra-ethnic communication for a significant part of Samara Tatars; however, it is functionally inferior to the Russian language in the private and public spheres. The role of the kinship group is significant; thanks to it, ethnic traditions in diet, as well as in the spheres of religion and festivities are mastered and observed. Despite the fact that a number of elements have lost their original, utilitarian significance in culture, they continue to influence the process of ethnic identification of community members as symbolic markers of ethnicity. Folk heritage, as well as professional culture, make a certain contribution to the foundation for the ethnicity of Samara Tatar. The activities of Tatar public organisations also contribute to transmitting ethnocultural experience to the younger generation. The long history of the urban Tatar community in Samara constitutes a powerful resource for the local ethnocultural identification of its members as Samara Tatars, as well as an incentive for integration into the modern multicultural space of the region.

Key words: Tatars, ethnic identity, interethnic interaction, Samara, ethnic culture, Tatar language.


Funding. The article has been written within the RFBR and Samara Region Project No. 18-49-630002.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted: 09.12.2019

Accepted: 19.12.2019

Article is published: 02.03.2020


Iagafova E.A.

Samara State University of Social Sciences and Education, Maxima Gorkogo st., 59, Samara, 443099, Russian Federation



Bazhina E.V.

Samara branch of the State Autonomous educational institution of Moscow Moscow city university, Stara-Zagora st., 76, Samara, 443084, Russian Federation