Gazdanova A., Bogomaz S. Using Digital Sources in Studying Ossetian Wedding Rituals (the Case of Instagram)

Anastasiya Gazdanova
Russian Museum of Ethnography
Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
ORCID: 0000-0001-7288-1300

Svetlana Bogomaz
ORCID: 0000-0002-5414-809X
Moscow, Russian Federation


Download  |  Go to Issue #4. 2021


ABSTRACT. The digital space stores a large amount of data on the Ossetian wedding ritual, which allow to understand its current state, trace the dynamics of changes and discover new issues in its research. Accordingly, the purpose of the authors’ study was to identify opportunities that digital sources of information can provide for studying contemporary Ossetian weddings. Firstly, the sources themselves were identified, i. e. social media where materials on wedding topics are presented. The study was carried out in two directions: (1) testing social media as platforms for interacting with users through electronic questionnaires (for collecting quantitative data) and (2) analyzing published posts (photo, video, and textual materials) to obtain qualitative data. As a result, we collected data on the wedding and its dynamics between the late 1990s and 2019. Having analyzed the photographs, we obtained information about the Ossetian wedding, dynamics of wedding rituals, paraphernalia, and modern wedding trends, which supplemented the data collected by means of the questionnaires.


KEYWORDS: Ossetian wedding, digital ethnography, social networks, Instagram, questionnaires


DOI 10.31250/2618-8619-2021-4(14)-92-105
УДК 392.51



  • Airoldi M. Ethnography and the Digital Fields of Social Media. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 2018, vol. 21, issue 6, pp. 661–6733.
  • Alessandro C. Digital Methods for Ethnography: Analytical Concepts for Ethnographers Exploring Social Media Environments. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 2018, 47 (5), pp. 551–578.
  • Cottica A., Hassoun A., Manca M., Vallet J., Melancon G. Semantic Social Networks: A Mixed Methods Approach to Digital Ethnography. Field methods, 2020, vol. 32, issue 3, pp. 274–290.
  • Gazdanova V. S. Traditsionnaia osetinskaia svad'ba:mif, ritual, simvol [Traditional Ossetian Wedding: Myth, Ritual, Symbol]. Vladikavkaz: Iriston, 2003. (In Russian)
  • Hsu W. F. A Performative Digital Ethnography: Data, Design, and Speculation. The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography. London; New York: Routledge, 2017, pp. 40–50.
  • Kaloev B. A. Osetiny: istoriko-etnograficheskoe issledovanie [Ossetians: A Historical and Ethnographic Study]. Moscow: Nauka, 1967. (In Russian)
  • Magomedov A. A. Sem'ia na Severnom Kavkaze [Family in North Caucasus]. Stavropol: Stavropol'skii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1999. (In Russian)
  • Magometov A. Kh. Sem'ia i semeynyi byt osetin v proshlom i nastoiashchem [Family and Family Life of Ossetians in the Past and Present]. Ordzhonikidze: Severo-Osetinskoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 1962. (In Russian)
  • Pink S., Horst H., Postill J., Hjorth L., Lewis T., Tacchi J. Digital Ethnography: Principles and Practice. London: Sage, 2016.
  • Postill J., Pink S. Social Media Ethnography: The Digital Researcher in a Messy Web. Media International Australia, 2012, vol. 145, issue 1, pp. 123–134.
  • Shanaev D. Svad'ba u severnykh osetin [North Ossetian Wedding]. Sbornik svedenii o kavkazskikh gortsakh. Tiflis: Izdatel'stvo Kavkazskogo Gorskogo upravleniia, 1870, vol. 4, pp. 1–30. (In Russian)
  • Smirnova Y. Sem'ia i semeinyi byt narodov Severnogo Kavkaza (vtoraia polovina XIX — XX v.) [Family and Family Life of the Peoples of North Caucasus (the Second Half of the 19th — 20th Centuries)]. Moscow: Nauka, 1983. (In Russian)
  • The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography. London; New York: Routledge, 2017.
  • Uarziati V. S. Razvitie sovetskoi obriadnosti v Severnoy Osetii [The Development of Soviet Rituals in North Ossetia]. Sovremennye sotsial'nye i etnicheskie protsessy v Severnoi Osetii. Ordzhonikidze: Severo-Osetinskii nauchno-issledovatel’skii institut istorii, filologii i ekonomiki, 1987. (In Russian)
  • Uarziati V. S. Prazdnichnyi mir osetin [The Festive World of the Ossetians]. Vladikavkaz: Severo-Osetinskii institut gumanitarnyh i social’nyh issledovanii, 1995. (In Russian)