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A political ethnography of rural communities under an authoritarian regime: The case of Belarus

Abstract : This article firstly explains the conditions for a political ethnography survey conducted in rural Belarus between 2006 and 2013. Three difficulties became apparent: conducting a survey primarily among the lower classes; carrying out this ethnographic study in an environment – the rural world – in which the State, via its economic and administrative structures, is omnipresent, and in which there is particularly strong control over the people; and studying politics in an authoritarian regime inherited from the Soviet Union, which does not tolerate challenges to its authority or critical debate. The article then characterizes the implementation procedures for a “discrete ethnography”, which proved to be a fruitful approach for the collection of material, based primarily on three techniques: the “deceremonialization” of the survey situation, familiarization with the subjects of the survey and the symmetrization of relationships by self-exposition. It is worth noting that this article is the translated version of an article called “Enquêter en Biélorussie. Une ethnographie politique des mondes ruraux en régime autoritaire”. The original version is openly available on the BMS website as a complementary document to this article.
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Contributor : Karine Jenart Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 8:59:03 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 3:48:06 PM

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Ronan Hervouet. A political ethnography of rural communities under an authoritarian regime: The case of Belarus. Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique / Bulletin of Sociological Methodology, SAGE Publications, 2019, 141 (1), pp.85-112. ⟨10.1177/0759106318812790⟩. ⟨halshs-01981398⟩



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