From Outsiders to Heroes: Army Veterans, Patriotic Values and the Militarisation of Russia, 1991-2022
Seminar 2 of Trinity Term’s Sociology Seminar Series

Please join either in person or online. For in-person attendees, the talk will be preceded by a light lunch at 12.15pm.

Please email with any questions or to receive the Microsoft Teams link.

This paper investigates the aftermath of the Soviet-Afghan war (1979-1989) and two military operations in Chechnya (1994-1996, 1999-2000) and shows that they still have a significant impact on Russian society, influencing it in fundamental ways, from political and social processes down to the socialisation of private citizens.

It contributes to answering two key research questions: in what ways do Russian citizens experience the shifts in social norms, conventions and public discourses brought home by former soldiers? And how exactly did the veterans of these wars become one of the powers supporting the regime?

The paper shows how the interests of war veterans have been corresponding to, conflicting with, or existing in interplay with, the interests of the state during the last three decades, and how the wars made veterans continue building their self-identity in compliance with the narratives accepted by their comrades-in-arms. The paper is based on interviews with war veterans conducted in 2019-2021 and interpreted in terms of narrative analysis, and large amount of official governmental regulations.
Date: 29 April 2024, 12:45 (Monday, 2nd week, Trinity 2024)
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Sociology
Speaker: Dr Elena Racheva (Department of Sociology, University of Oxford)
Organising department: Department of Sociology
Organiser contact email address:
Part of: Sociology Department Weekly Seminar
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Laurel Quinn