It is difficult to overestimate the contribution of Sergei Tokarev to the formation and development of Soviet ethnography. The scientist has always been distinguished by an extraordinary breadth of scientific interests. Tokarev's knowledge was striking in its encyclopedic nature. For many years Sergei Aleksandrovich conducted fruitful scientific, teaching and publishing activities.
From the biography of Sergei Alexandrovich Tokarev
The future Soviet ethnographer was born in Tula on December 29, 1899. Sergei's father was in charge of the gymnasium. The younger Tokarev began his career in 1917 as a school teacher. Four years later, the young man decided to continue his education and entered the Faculty of Social Sciences, from which he graduated in 1925. In subsequent years, Sergei Alexandrovich made a solid career in science.
Since 1927 Tokarev has been a researcher at the Central Museum of Ethnology. In 1932, he headed the sector of the North here. Subsequently, he worked at the Academy of the History of Material Culture and the Central Anti-Religious Museum.
During the war he was in evacuation, headed the Department of History of the Abakan Teachers' Institute. In 1943, Tokarev was offered to head a sector at the Miklouho-Maclay Institute of Ethnography, created in the system of the USSR Academy of Sciences.
In 1961, Sergei Aleksandrovich began to lead the sector of ethnography of the peoples of Europe. At the same time, the scientist headed the Department of Ethnography of the History Department of Moscow State University. The daughter of Sergei Tokarev, Evgenia, became a specialist in the field of religious studies.
Scientific activity, creativity and achievements of Sergei Tokarev
Sergei Aleksandrovich received his Ph.D. degree in history in 1935 without defending a thesis. Five years later, he became a doctor of sciences, having defended a dissertation, the topic of which was the social structure of the Yakuts in the 17th-18th centuries. In 1945 Tokarev became a professor.
Over the years, the area of scientific interests of Sergei Tokarev were: ethnography of the Turkic-speaking peoples; culture and history of Australian Aborigines and American Indians; culture of the peoples inhabiting the Soviet Union. Such a variety of interests of the scientist was based on his highest encyclopedism.
One of the central places in Tokarev's life was occupied by publishing and educational activities. Works by J. Fraser, A. Elkin, T. Heyerdahl, J. Lips, P. Worsley were published under the editorship of Sergei Alexandrovich. The scientist was a member of the editorial board of the famous multivolume series "Tales and Myths of the Peoples of the East" and the two-volume encyclopedia "Myths of the Peoples of the World".
Tokarev's scientific works were based on extensive ethnographic material. The scientist paid special attention to the study of the content of religious beliefs, the study of the conditions for their emergence. Tokarev traced the influence of religion on the formation of worldview and social consciousness at various stages of the evolution of society. The scientist is one of the authors of the Atheistic Dictionary, popular in the USSR.
For many years of scientific and teaching activities, Tokarev was awarded the title of Honored Scientist of the RSFSR. He twice became a holder of the honorary award - the Order of the Red Banner of Labor. In 1987, the scientist was posthumously awarded one more award - the USSR State Prize.
Sergei Alexandrovich passed away in Moscow on April 19, 1985.