Project Year



Central Asia


Altai Republic, Russia

Project Description

The proposed project is devoted to an investigation of new money practices among Altaians that have emerged in the post-Soviet period, specifically the use of bank credit and credit cards. The main objective of the project is to research new financial practices related to bank loans and credit cards among the Altaians living in the regional center of the village Ongudai and other villages Ongudai district of the Altai Republicin Russia. Bank loans and credit cards, I suggest, are the first “school of capitalism” for the Altai, who have had no previous experience with monetary credit through the relevant institutions. The use of these banking services is a new phenomenon in the economic and social life of Altaians. In the Altai Republic, as elsewhere in Russia, very few people have their own “credit history” associated with these services, which along with credit cards and bank credit, includes mobile technology to activate credit cards. The main research questions of this study include how people receive and spend store credit received in cash; how Altaians use the kinship network and other social networks to get cash loans; what is the “credit history” of individuals who have least once received loans from banks or individuals; and what are the strategies and tactics of monetary behavior of representatives of various social strata.


Svetlana Tyukhteneva

About the Researcher(s)

Svetlana Tyukhteneva graduated with an MA in history from Altai State University, Department of Archaeology and Ethnology, Faculty of History, Russia in 1989. She received her PhD in Ethnography, Ethnology and Anthropology, Center for Asia and Oceania Studies, Institute for Ethnology and Anthropology of RAS, Moscow, Russia in 1996. She is currently at the same Institute, continuing to explore the culture of Altai. She is the author of two books (one co-authored), has written more than 50 publications in journals and collections of articles, and is an expert of the Network for Ethnic Monitoring and early warning of conflicts in the Republic of Altai.

Synopsis of Research Results

Link to her blog post: "My credit history": New Monetary Practices among Altaians in the Post-Soviet Era.


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