A Symbolic Limit of Frontier: «the Gene Pool of People» and Migration, Past and Present
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migrants ethnogenetics frontier gene pool «international marriages» «genetic securi-ty» ethno-nationalism modernization DNA genes

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1. Ovchinnikov A. A Symbolic Limit of Frontier: «the Gene Pool of People» and Migration, Past and Present // Journal of Frontier Studies. 2020. № 2 (5). C. 60-76.


The author considers the problem of contemporary symbolic restrictions of the frontier of migration flows. The role of ethnogenetics in the design of imaginary boundaries between representatives of ethnic groups, migrants and the local population is determined. Social and political features of the society are revealed, which make the narratives about biological differences of peoples prestigious and relevant. The hypothesis about the important role of myths about blood relationship in the mobilization of population is proposed. The prevalence of ideas about the biological component of ethnic identity is explained by the presence of elements of (post) traditional culture in the modernizing society. The Soviet and contemporary stages of formation and development of ethnogenetics are analyzed. An attempt is made to characterize the worldview of the leaders of ethnogenetics using available sources. It is stated that the ethnogeneticists have traditional conservative views with a religious component. The characteristics of the methodological foundations of the work of leading ethnogeneticists are given. The conclusion is made about the serious theoretical contradictions in the constructions of ethnogeneticists: the physiological parameters of the composite urbanized and mobile population are placed on a par with the similar indicators of endogamous small populations (often isolates), which creates the illusion of a stable structure of the gene pool. The author indicates the direct identification of the population and the people («ethnos») in the dissertational works and articles of Russian ethnogeneticists in the leading profile journal «Genetics». An imaginary obstacle to the migration frontier postulated by the scholars as necessity to “preserve the structure of the gene pool” and “genetic security of the people” can be included in the arsenal of anti-migrant rhetoric and criticism of mixed marriages.

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