This chapter provides a theoretical framework for the study of the titular/Russian interrelationships. The meaning of nation and national identity has been the subject of intense discussion among western sociologists and political scientists as well as among Soviet ethnographers and nationalist elites themselves. Nations are seen as creations of the capitalist epoch—as bourgeois instruments to control the proletariat through the creation of false consciousness. The conceptual dichotomization in the treatment of nations misses as much as it captures. Nations would disappear with world communism and be replaced by proletarian internationalism. According to Communist Party officials and Soviet ethnographers, national identities were being supplanted by an inter-national or a-national Soviet identity. By locating the cause of the conflicts in the growing disparity between expectations and capabilities, relative deprivation theory identifies the problem that inter-national conflict management must address. The interactive process, beginning with majority or titular nationalism, operates on several geographic scales in the former USSR.