Language as a way of ethnic self-identification (through the example of minor indigenous peoples of Berezovsky district of Ugra)

Volume 5, Number 3, 2020, P. 419–425


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The article discusses the attempts to study the identity of ethnic groups geographically concentrated in Berezovsky district of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Yugra through the example of the native languages of the indigenous minorities. They include the Ob-Ugric peoples (Khanty, Mansi) and the Samoyed group (nenets). Their population is estimated to number approximately 31 thousand. The aim was to reveal the peculiarity of ethnic self-identification of indigenous peoples. To achieve it, the following variables were used: your native language, what it means to you, what brings you closer to your people. The results of the sociological survey made it possible to conclude that the level of the native language does not prevent the titular ethnic groups of Ugra from feeling kinship. This factor is not the only one in the identification of ethnic groups; nevertheless, it is its main part. The research helped to reveal that ethnic selfidentification through language is accompanied by such concepts as «a sense of common origin», “traditional clothing», and “outer image”. The author found out that the linguistic identity of the respondents is based not on the use of the language, but on the attitude towards it as a mother tongue. The survey participants demonstrated sensitivity and reverential attitude to the issues of the importance and resilience of native languages. The ethnic marker as a language is one of the ways of ethnic self-identification of the indigenous peoples of the region represented.


questionnaire survey, indigenous peoples, Ugra, ethnic identity, native language


Natalia V. Tkachuk, Researcher of Socio-Economic Development and Monitoring Department of budgetary institution of Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous okrug – Ugra, Ob-Ugric Institute of Applied Research and Development, Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia

For citation:

Tkachuk N.V. (2020) Language as a way of ethnic self-identification (through the example of minor indigenous peoples of Berezovsky district of Ugra). Sotsial’naya kompetentnost’ = Social Competence. Vol. 5. No. 2. P. 419–425. (In Russ.)


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