Changing Gender Roles in Communities-in-Transition in the Russian Arctic (Case Study from the Nenets Autonomous Okrug)

Authors: Marya Rozanova*, George Washington University; Russian State Hydrometeorological University; University of Northern Iowa (ARCTICenter)
Topics: Polar Regions, Russia, Gender
Keywords: Russian Arctic, indigenous peoples, gender, sustainability
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Iris, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Nenets Autonomous Okrug, located in the North-West Russia, is currently gradually undergoing a climate change, new era of Arctic exploration for economic purposes, and the emergence of new international transportation routes (Northern Sea Route). In this context, local nomadic indigenous communities (predominantly, Nenets) in the remote Arctic areas will inevitably experience a transformation of a life-style and become involved in the process of ongoing urbanization. The paper presents the key findings from the author’s field research in the Nenets Okrug (2017–2018) conducted with Dr. Andrey Gretsov with a focus on the following specific features of indigenous communities: • Changing gender roles and erosion of the traditional family institution as a result of an ongoing identity crisis. • Transition from traditional to modern/configurative (as per M. Mead) culture (from traditional nomadic towards urban and urban-type sedentary living). Current processes require new effective strategies for communities-in-transition’s sustainable development and new forms of comprehensive support for indigenous peoples in the context of a rapidly changing environment of the Russia’s Arctic.

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