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Mass Movements in Historical Research and Collective Memory

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Abstract. The discussion analyzes the history of the study of mass protest movements, which are still shaking state institutions in many countries of the world. Since ancient times, their scale, composition of participants, their ideology, has distinguished popular movements but at the same time, they had a number of common features. The discussion focuses on issues related to popular movements in Russia during the 17th and 20th centuries. The questions of the formal classification of the hierarchy of popular movements from “uprising” to “people’s war” and their driving forces were previously considered the most urgent. Modern research focuses on the cultural and anthropological characteristics of a participant in the uprising, a “rebellious man”. Among its basic characteristics is belonging to the Russian peasantry with an established communal psychology and traditions of behavior. The possibility of such an approach is associated with the expansion of the range of sources, where, along with traditional written monuments and folklore texts, archaeological materials acquire importance. The study of the history of the insurgents’ everyday life, or “routine of rebellion” shows the importance of ethnographic approaches, including for the analysis of the phenomenon of modern “everyday nationalism” in the public life of the United States.

Keywords: mass popular movements, social protest, riot, uprising, rebellion, peasantry, Cossacks, everyday life, artistic images.

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