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Dr Anton Popov - Aston University. Birmingham, , GB

Dr Anton Popov

Senior Lecturer, Sociology and Policy | Aston University


Dr Popov's research interest is in social anthropology, with a particular focus on postsocialist societies.






CORE Talk on youth, culture and identities with Dr. Anton Popov




Dr Popov is a senior lecturer in Sociology at the Department of Sociology and Policy in the School of Languages and Social Sciences of Aston University.

He graduated from the Department of Ethnology, Archaeology, Ancient and Medieval History, the Kuban State University in Krasnodar, Russia.

Then he studied social anthropology in the Institute for Ethnology and Anthropology (Moscow, Russia), cultural studies and Russian and East European studies in the University of Birmingham (UK).

He received his PhD from Birmingham University based on the study of the cultural production of identity among Greeks in southern Russia and the North Caucasus. His research interests are in social anthropology (with a particular focus on postsocialist societies); identity and transnationalism; violence, ethnicity and (non-Western forms of) civil society; youth culture; qualitative research methods (ethnography, life story and family history); history, social memory and cultural heritage.

Anton conducted ethnographic research on nativist and ethno-cultural revivalist movements, migrant and ethnic minority communities in southern Russia, the South Caucasus, north-eastern Turkey and Britaine.

His past research includes a study of enacted social memory among the Cossack youth; an investigation of ethnicity and cultural heritage in a provincial Georgian town; an exploration the impact of collective memory on the youth activism in the UK.

Currently Anton Popov is co-ordinating the EU-funded project ‘Cultural Heritage and Identities of Europe’s Future’ (CHIEF; www.chiefproject.eu ).

Areas of Expertise (5)

Social Anthropology

Postsocialist Societies

Cultural Heritage

Identity and Transnationalism

Youth Culture

Accomplishments (1)

Aston Achievment Award for Excellent Research


Education (3)

The Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, The Russian Academy of Sciences: Part time PhD study 2001

Centre for Russian and East European Studies (CREES), The University of Birmingham: PhD 2005

The Kuban State University: BA (Hons.) and MA, Ethnology and World History 1997

Affiliations (3)

  • 2016-Present: Member of the Association for Study of Nationalities (ASN)
  • 2012-2014: CEELBAS representative (board member) in the University of Warwick
  • 2008-2014: Expert of the Centre for East European Language Based Area Studies (CEELBAS)

Media Appearances (3)

Podcast: Russia could suffer economic collapse and civil war over Ukraine

Aston University  online


Dr Anton Popov, a senior lecturer in sociology and policy, said that the country faces economic collapse, social unrest and possible civil war following its attack.

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CORE Talk on youth, culture and identities with Dr. Anton Popov

Pompeu Fabra University  online


In this CORE Talk, expert on social anthropology Dr. Anton Popov is interviewed by UPF professor Dr. Roger Soler i Martí on youth, culture and identities.

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Decolonisation of the curriculum from the sidelines? Responsibility transfer and neo-nationalism

BERA  online


The tragic events in Minnesota with the death of George Floyd have given rise to mass waves of protest around the world, setting at the forefront of public debate the workings of racism, discrimination and exclusion both in its institutional and everyday forms.

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Articles (3)

Dramatising Cultural Diversity: Youth Theatre as a Performance of Local Memory and Identity in a Multiethnic Environment

Slovak Ethnology

2021 This article presents a comparative analysis of two ethnographic case studies conducted in local theatres in the Slovak town of Komárno and the British city of Coventry. These two locations are very different - one is a small town on the Slovak-Hungarian border and the other an urban centre in the Midlands region of Britain - and yet they are both characterised by the multiethnic and culturally diverse composition of their populations. The two youth theatres in question are also distinct in their genres: one bases its performances on folklore traditions, whereas the other is an avant-garde physical theatre. At the same time, the productions of both groups manifest a deep involvement in the representation of cultural heritage and the current social issues in their respective locations. Drawing on anthropological conceptualisations of theatre as a form of ritualised performance (see Turner, 1969, 1982; Schechner, 1985, 1993), this paper explores the processes and contexts of the enactment of past conflict and/or violence presented by the two theatrical groups in order to engage with traumatic events in local (and national) history. These processes, which embrace the values of cultural diversity and inclusion, are important for the construction of community identities. The liminality of ritualised performance enables actors and audiences to cross social (including ethnicity and class) and temporal boundaries. They reproduce memories of past violence to make sense of present tensions, such as growing nationalism and xenophobia, and to project their vision of the communal future. This often results in the contestation of the very meaning of place, community and belonging. Furthermore, the article demonstrates that such artistic interpretations of the local past and heritage are instrumental in shaping the identities of the participating youth. the comparison of the two cases also reveals noticeable differences between cosmopolitan and ethno-cultural discourses, which are prevalent in imagining the place, history and heritage of Coventry and Komárno respectively.

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Normative Multiculturalism and the Limits of Inclusion in School Lives: Qualitative Insights from Three Secondary Schools in England

The Challenge of Cultural Heritage and Identity for Inclusive and Open Societies


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Re-visiting the Past and Shaping the Future in the Cultural Practices of Young People

Slovak Ethnology


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