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Islamic masculinities in action: the construction of masculinity in Russian visual culture about the Chechen wars

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Although it lasted until as recently as 2009, before an official end was put to the Second Chechen War, famously branded as an anti-terrorist campaign, the process of reintegrating Chechnya in the realm of the Russian Federation started earlier. Politically, the so-called Chechenisation has played a central role in this process. Symbolically, however, popular culture and Russian visual culture about the conflict in particular contributed to the renegotiating process of Chechen and Russian post-Soviet identities and their interrelationship in the aftermath of the conflict. An analysis of the symbolic representation of masculine subjectivities in such cultural productions offers an insight into how popular culture functioned as a means to rehabilitate formerly demonised Chechen masculine subjectivity. It also points to the process of remasculinisation which went along with the introduction of Putin’s neo-traditionalist policy in Russian society.
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Keywords: Chechen wars; Chechnya; Masculinity; Russian popular culture; postsoviet identity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Edinburgh, School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, UK

Publication date: March 15, 2019

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