Issue 4

FRONTIER AS A RESEARCH PARADIGM
Year 2018 Number 4(61)
Pages 63-71 Type scientific article
UDC 930.2 BBK 63.01
Authors Zubkov Konstantin I.
Topic FRONTIERS IN THE HISTORY OF RUSSIA
Summary The article is a study of the frontier concept offered by F. J. Turner and its methodological value for the study of the colonization processes. The author developed the concept primarily as a tool for the understanding of the unique aspects of the national historical experience of the USA and reflected both the rise of the Americans’ emerging national identity awareness, and the rise of the USA to the leading positions in the global economic development at the turn of the 19th and the 20th centuries. At the same time the concept owing to the originality of the academic approach and its universal sociocentric simplicity gained tremendous popularity in the academic literature despite a severe criticism of its flaws by the professional community of the American historians. The frontier concept was widely used by the historians in other countries for the analysis of the processes of colonization in various parts of the global oecumene, however even the very superfluous examination of the notion of “frontier” demonstrated that it served only as a common, and a very conventional at that, marker of the qualitatively different versions of the colonization process, and as such was prone to various rather controversial interpretations — often failing to stick to the main idea of the Turner’s concept, the meaning of which was the ground-breaking role of the free self-organization of the economic and social life in the recently colonized territories. The author draws a conclusion that the wide use of the frontier concept in the modern global and Russian historiography should be treated as only an initial step in the elaboration of an adequate historical typology of various national and country-specific colonization patterns as well as of a respective group of notions.
Keywords frontier, colonization, border, Frederick J. Turner, United States of America, historiography, methodology
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