Introduction: On the Definition, Theory, and Practice of Gender Shift in the North of Russia

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Olga Povoroznyuk Joachim Otto Habeck Virginie Vaté


The authors of the paper write about the history of this special issue, explain why they have chosen the Russian North as their focus and render their understanding of changing gender relations through the definition of gender shift. Further, they describe multiple interrelated processes of gender shift, or gender shifts, unfolding in demographic, socio-economic, symbolic and cultural, administrative and political spheres. This description is illustrated with references to the diverse contributions to this issue, which represent a wide range of topics and approaches and provide rich empirical material originating from northern indigenous and multiethnic, nomadic, rural and urban communities. Discussions on and interpretations of gender shift are followed by anthropological case studies presented by the three authors on the basis of their research conducted in Zabaikal’skii Territory, Komi Republic, and Chukotka.

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