Social Crisis, Ethnic Distance and Memory along the Chinese—Soviet Border. The Chinese Russian Old-Settlers narratives about the “Chinese” Famine and Cultural Revolution in Inner Mongolia

Ivan Peshkov


The key feature of socialist modernization was the routine use of mass violence both as a tool to eliminate the existing sociocultural structures and as a basic mechanism of social regulation. The literature related to the subject lists a number of issues connected with repressions, deportations and conscious provocations of malnutrition and famine in agricultural areas (connected with the preference of industry to agriculture). The social costs of this model of modernization as well as its destructive consequences for the society’s everyday life have been subject to numerous analyses, both descriptive and theoretical. Nonetheless, the cases of the long-standing use of mass violence towards the near-indigenous groups inhabiting North-Eastern China have hardly managed to attract researchers’ attention. Such a situation can hardly be considered as satisfying. Th is paper aims at showing—using the example of Chinese Russian memory practices—the relationship between the special ethnic status and memory in the social modernization trauma in the Chinese-Soviet border area.

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