|dc.description.abstract||This thesis is based around fieldwork conducted among political activists in Kaliningrad, Russia. Special attention is paid to activists who belong to the National Bolshevik Party and to the Baltic Republican Party, due to their connection to one of the major themes of this thesis, namely how politicized nostalgia is played out in social drama.
The NBP and BRP have formed emotional, nostalgic connections to the Russian / Soviet and Prussian / German heritages of the Kaliningrad region respectively, and this nostalgia forms a fundamental axis around which their political activism revolves. These two political movements often stand in opposition to each other, as the NBP seeks continued cooperation with Russia, while the BRP wants more independence for the Kaliningrad region. This leads to interesting possibilites for comparison of whether or not their political activism share the same, cultural basis.
In order to investigate this cultural basis, this thesis views culture as shared knowledge, with the analytical focus being on the concept of 'cultural models', borrowed from cognitive anthropology. Such knowledge is furthermore viewed in relation to emotions, and how these are connected to knowledge. In this context, literature from the ethnographical region of postsocialist eastern Europe is used extensively, as issues such as nostalgia, loss and anger are key terms in the ethnography of this region. Once the relationship between knowledge and emotions are established (with reference to the empirical reality of Kaliningrad), the thesis turns towards explaining how this dialectical relationship is played out in political activism as social drama. Some special attention is here also paid to the seeming counter-pole of social drama, namely the purposeful obscuring and hiding of some social facts. This 'clandestine mode' is also highly defining for how political activism in Kaliningrad is organized, and in how the activists and authorities relate to each other.
This thesis takes a somewhat alternative view on relationships of power. First of all, this analytical direction is somewhat deemphasized in favor of analytical directions that emphasize not why political activists feel and act the way they do, but which forms such emotions and social acts take. In order to illuminate this, this thesis makes use of theories which views power not in terms of how it is embodied, internalized or forced upon people in hierarchical fashion. Rather, the focus is on how relationships of power is also used by the people who are subject to them.
In relation to nostalgia, social understandings of 'time' and 'space' are also highly important. However, this thesis does not start working with such fundamental concepts from the outset. Instead, the focus returns to these concepts towards the end of thesis, where they are seen in relation to the issues that have already been discussed. This is done in an attempt to work from the specific (empirical) towards the abstract, rather than the other way around.||eng