Multiple cultural encounters of urban youth in Russia's Muslim regions
The article presents the results of studies of urban youth culture in Kazan and Makhachkala. It draws on the theory of cultural encounters and the cultural scene approach. First, a case study of a Tatar post-folk metal group demonstrates that elements of ethnic culture can be used as a resource for creating communicative ties among young people. Second, a study of anime fans describes the formation of a new cultural style in Makhachkala and the difficulties of interaction of its carriers with a mostly conservative environment.
The ethnographic tradition in which this research was conducted requires the nurturing of close and trusting relations between researchers and respondents. Building and maintaining this level of closeness, it transpired, also demanded significant emotional labour from all those involved since it meant overcoming the mistrust and inequality that haunt the research process. We addressed this by modelling our relations with respondents on the everyday practices of the group itself. We also tried to move beyond a purely formal commitment to ‘equality’ in our relations by recognising the equal right of the respondents to question and ‘research’ us. Adopting such an approach, however, had an unanticipated consequence; our interlocutors persistently expected ‘something extra’ from us and, through tests and provocations but also demonstrations of affection, turned the research process on its head, making themselves the agents and us the dependents in the research relationship
Clothing and fashion play significant role in the process of ageing, helping to put the bodily experience in the context of culture (Twigg 2000). It is especially important for young people as social subjects, becoming independent and not having sufficient experience and social competences. In this case, clothing is the space of social experiment in which youngsters socialize, explore, measure and learn to construct presentations of their bodies.This paper focuses on the meaning of fashion and clothing in everyday life of Russian working class youth mainstream without subcultural (or any specific cultural) background. Following results is based on 61 IDI with trade schools students of St. Petersburg. Conventionally, students of trade school are related to working class in Russia, whether representatives of middle or higher class associate themselves with higher education (Walker 2000, Zaslavskaya 1997, Belenkii 2005).
The article discusses the map of youth cultural scenes in Makhachkala, the capital of the Republic of Dagestan, and the third largest city in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation. The uniqueness of Makhachkala’s youth space is associated with the specific geo-political and cultural circumstances of the history of the republic. This is set against the context of post-Soviet transformation: rising unemployment and severe inequality; the revival of Islam; radical changes in the gender regime, the ethnic and religious composition of Dagestanis; and a complicated political agenda involving the struggle with radicalization, and the growth of a terrorist threat. Thus, we consider it important and timely to study the local youth socialities, which exist in such a contradictory context. The research that underpins the article is focused on two opposing youth scenes in Makhachkala: street workout (inscribed in the context of the local patriarchal regime), and the anime community (symbolically resisting the pressure of social “normativity”). Using the theoretical concept of cultural scenes and a case study approach (in-depth interviews, participant observation, community mapping), the potential to categorize youth that are not centred (that is, who are outside the “core” of the capitalist world-system) are critically considered through the opposition between subcultural and mainstream groups. The key aim of the article is to demonstrate the importance of using the construct of the “other” (that which is alien or dangerous) as the main way to define the more subtle (often latent) structure of group identity and cultural capital of a community. This also describes the intra- and inter- group solidarities and the value conflicts of youth in a complex and contradictory local urban environment. In this case, the process of growing up and the socialization of youth involve the selection of different strategies of acceptance and resistance to the social order, the structure of normativity and images of success.
The paper presents an analysis of the key events associated with changes in youth culture and civic activities in modern Russia, occurring during the first decade of the 21 st century. Discursive representations of youth typical for this period (government programs directed toward the youth theme, media projects, activist initiatives), as well as policy responses to the growth of youth activities, including projects of youth mobilization, are also discussed. A key event - the financial and economic crisis (recession) in 2008 - is regarded as a turning point / the turn of the century, which particularly affected the reconceptualization of the youth question in modern Russia in different dimensions: political-activist, patriotic, urban, subcultural and others. In this article we suggest a new focus of considering new forms of youth activism, through the prism of the solidarity approach. We analyze key trends in new youth solidarities in the political, cultural and economic dimensions.
In Raised under Stalin, Seth Bernstein shows how Stalin's regime provided young people with opportunities as members of the Young Communist League or Komsomol even as it surrounded them with violence, shaping socialist youth culture and socialism more broadly through the threat and experience of war. Informed by declassified materials from post-Soviet archives, as well as films, memoirs, and diaries by and about youth, Raised under Stalin explains the divided status of youth for the Bolsheviks: they were the "new people" who would someday build communism, the potential soldiers who would defend the USSR, and the hooligans who might undermine it from within.
Bernstein explains how, although Soviet revolutionary youth culture began as the preserve of proletarian activists, the Komsomol transformed under Stalin to become a mass organization of moral education; youth became the targets of state repression even as Stalin’s regime offered them the opportunity to participate in political culture. Raised under Stalin follows Stalinist youth into their ultimate test, World War II. Even as the war against Germany decimated the ranks of Young Communists, Bernstein finds evidence that it cemented Stalinist youth culture as a core part of socialism.
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.
This article is talking about state management and cultural policy, their nature and content in term of the new tendency - development of postindustrial society. It mentioned here, that at the moment cultural policy is the base of regional political activity and that regions can get strong competitive advantage if they are able to implement cultural policy successfully. All these trends can produce elements of new economic development.