This article synthesizes Wimmer's and Brubaker's processual approach to analyzing ethnic groups with Jenkins and Bentley's practice-based theories of ethnicity to explain the role played by socio-emotional experiences and practical concerns in Carpatho-Rusyns, both mobilizing as an ethnic group as well as resisting such mobilization. Data were gathered from interviews and participant observation during the eight months of fieldwork in 10 different villages, towns, and cities in the Prešov region of Slovakia and the Zakarpattia oblast of Ukraine. Carpatho-Rusyns live in an area where borders have changed frequently and where religions, states, and political movements have encouraged the inhabitants' assimilation to a new or larger group. Rusyns tend to describe ethnicity as instrumentalist theorists do, that is, something largely produced as a result of struggles over territory, resources, and political power. Nevertheless, they evince a profound emotional connection to their language, land, and spirituality. This emotional connection manifests itself among “ethnopolitical entrepreneurs” as well as among the general population, but only motivates explicit political organization among the former.