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Lyashko, A. M. Are Cossacks an Ethnos (Nation) or a Social Class?

Published in journal "Politics and Society", 2014-8 in rubric "COMMONALTIES AND ASSOCIATIONS", pages 910-923.

Resume: As a result of social disruptions of the fi rst half of the 20th century, Cossacks have been spread all over the world and deprived of their own social institutions. The concept of Cossacks as a social community has been formed under the infl uence of the political nature of the issue through history, the complexity of the phenomenon of Cossacks and peculiarities of relations between Cossacks and the Russian government. In the USSR scientifi c researches of Cossacks as a social community were subdued to the existing ideology that sometimes was radical. Russian social studies barely ever touched upon the phenomenon of Cossacks. Cossacks were studied by culture experts, historians, lawyers, political experts and military scientists. Within the framework of the research A. Lyashko uses the terms ‘ethnos’ and ‘social class’ as the categories of social studies. Based on this, Cossacks are viewed from the point of view of ethnosociology, sociology of culture, military and political sociology. A. Lyashko carried out the comparative analysis of the military social structure of Cossacks with the military social structures of other societies. The researcher also analyzes the social structure of Cossack (four social classes inside the Cossack class). The researcher shows that Cossacks are one of the indigenous communities of Russia and Ukraine and possess the main features of ethnos. The departure from the stereotypes on Cossacks as a service class community allows to take a new look at Cossacks as a social community, in particular, Cossack culture and traditional Cossack democracy.

Keywords: Cossacks, ethnos, social class, social stratifi cation, social institution, material culture, intellectual culture, national identity, military structure, political culture.

DOI: 10.7256/1812-8696.2014.8.12737

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