The aim of this thesis is to encourage the multidimensional approach in the study of social identities. 'Identisation' is presented as an amalgamation of factors, forces and interests that should not be analysed in isolation or reduced to a mono-causal approach. These theoretical claims are based on an in-depth and long term empirical exploration of the processes of identisation in the specific institutional context of Tatar and non-Tatar gymnasias (secondary schools) in the Republic of Tatarstan, part of the Russian Federation. Data generation consisted of semi-structured and unstructured interviewing and long- term participant observation in Kazan (the capital of Tatarstan). Analysis of the data shows that a complex dialectic emerges between political discourse, institutional praxis and quotidian representations, a dialectic and interrelation that often has been ignored in the study of identities. In Tatarstan it is a dialectic between processes of Russification, Sovietisation and Tatarisation which show the need to devote special attention to the historical background in order to be able to analyse the current dynamics and representations."