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PERFORMANCE OF GENDER IDENTITIES IN NEW AGE (THE CASE OF PILGRIMAGE TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES IN KRASNODAR REGION)

Andrey Tiukhtiaev (atiukhtiaev@eu.spb.ru)

European University at St. Petersburg; Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kuntskamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia

Citation: Tiukhtiaev A.E. (2017) Proigryvaniye gendernykh identichnostey v srede n’yueydzh (na primere palomnichestva k arkheologicheskim pamyatnikam v Krasnodarskom kraye) [Performance of Gender Identities in the New Age (the Case of Pilgrimage to Archaeological Sites in Krasnodar Region)]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 20(5): 151–166 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2017.20.5.9

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Abstract. The paper describes some specific features in the functioning of gender identities among newagers. The author relies upon the data collected in a pilgrimage to the archeological sites in Krasnodar region which is based on the ideas of New Age religion. A pilgrimage is considered as the specific context where pilgrim’s identities can be manifested in a special way in comparison with everyday life. Relying upon the investigations from anthropology of pilgrimage, especially ideas of Victor Turner and the concept “identity performance”, the author tries to make an outline of an analytical model for the interpretation of gender functioning in a pilgrimage. New Age is considered as the traditionalist project, appealing to the idea of “golden age” and constructing the images of nation and gender based on a specific interpretation of history. The rhetoric of family values and such models of gender behavior as “a woman-housewife” and “a man-breadwinner” play a key role in this project. Besides, the images of masculinity and femininity imply some norms of appropriate appearance, specific dress code based on the images of “golden age” society, ideas of connection with nature and the opposition to the urban culture. Wherein, a pilgrimage provides the infrastructure where these images can be performed. The author demonstrates that this performance differs from the everyday activities. For instance, gender roles of “a housewife” and “a breadwinner” are rarely applied to the pilgrims’ everyday life. However, these models constitute the basis of the scenario performed in the pilgrimage. Basing on an analytical model chosen, the author supposes that the performance itself turns out to be more important than implementation of shared gender models in the everyday life. Moreover, cultural logic behind a pilgrimage implies that performance of specific ideals will contribute in their implementation in a pilgrims’ life.

Keywords: traditionalism, new age, pilgrimage, identity performance, gender and nation

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