Performing Resistance: Liminality, Infrapolitics, and Spatial Contestation in Contemporary Russia
This article explores protest tactics in Russian cities, stressing the liminalityof spatial contestation practices. In this authoritarian context, spatial contestation typically has a liminal character, where citizens employ strategic ambiguity of their actionsvis-a-vis (a) legal regulations, (b) official discourse, and (c) transcripts of legitimate beha-viour. Showing how urbanites develop creative and subversive infrapolitical forms ofresistance, the article contributes an analysis of the ways in which public space in thecity can be appropriated from below, temporary protest communities formed and activecitizenship claimed under non-democratic regime conditions.
The article discusses the issues of urban public space in Russian cities in the context of the anti-electoral fraud protests in 2011-2012. The role of urban public space and its contestation has become central to the debate on the worldwide wave of Occupy movement, but it is important to contextualize the protest movements in national and local developments in public space use. Therefore, the article focuses on the post-socialist transformations of public space in Russian cities, St. Petersburg and Moscow. Attitudes, representations, and perceptions of public space are studied on the basis of media analysis (including mass media, blog entries, as well as official documents). The analysis shows, that the importance of the space in Russian anti-electoral protests in 2011-2012 was significant, the protesters strived to reclaim the central and symbolically loaded parts of the city, and thus regain the political authority as well. The way of reclaiming the space is now not only organizing rallies and protest street actions, but also a variety of direct actions aiming at transforming the urban space.
The article considers the resistance value of the parties in negotiations and mediation, are the main reasons for resistance. And offer methods of work with resistance aimed at the effective conclusion of the negotiations.
The volume includes scholarly articles and primary documents on the war on the Eastern Front of World War II. Particular attention is paid to everyday life under the Nazi occupation and experiences of ordinary people under different regimes.
The article discusses the post-socialist developments of urban public space in St. Petersburg, Russia. The city with a historic center protected by the UNESCO World Heritage status in combination with the Soviet legacy of lack of public participation is facing the problem of public space development. There are two controversial concepts of urban space represented in the public discourse that are analyzed in the article: the concept of a ‘museum city’ and the ‘city for people’. The historic context of transformation (the Soviet period of the strict divide of public and private, and the post- socialist era of individualization and the decay of the public) is used to explain the current debate and difficulties of building an inclusive and tolerant model of public space in St. Petersburg.
In this article. the author tries to argue about how you can consider Soviet culture monolithic and not suggesting for the artist and the intellectual for any deviations from the official line.
It would seem that the totalitarian regime creates all the condition for eliminating the independent search for the individual style, nevertheless, in the depths of a totalitarian culture, resistance practice may appear.
The author gives a number of examples of such resistance in Soviet culture.
The political process is a constant interaction between the power and opposition. The political process is a constant clash between the formal and informal, between direct speech and metaphors. Power always makes sense only if there is resistance. The power resistance is balanced in favor of its dialectical opposition. Practice protests are taking place at all political regimes, but not always the possibility of resistance are similar. In some political systems interlocutor on government and realization of the right to revolt are an essential political and moral principle. In other cases, in dictatorships, the right to revolt conquered by a hard struggle, not always being efficient and not always getting massive. The author shows how, depending on the cultural traditions of the images may vary resistance. Indeed, the figure of the rebellious person differently perceived in the political landscape. The discourse of resistance can be filled by individual practitioners of dissent, as well as robust tradition of protest. Relations between the power and rebellious man shows and interpreted by the author in a variety of subjects belonging to different cultures. From the point of view of the author, in the practices of rebellious man in his quest for freedom and demonstrate their own position, you can find both special and general, is equally emphasizes the integrity of the political process.
In this exploratory study, we examined several interethnic ideologies held by individuals (assimilation, colorblindness, multiculturalism, and polyculturalism) from a social ecological perspective. We examined moderation effects of neighborhood ethnic density (ED) on relationships between interethnic ideologies and intergroup bias towards various minority ethnic groups in the Russian context. Intergroup bias was assessed as a composite score of bias toward four ethnic groups who have different cultural distances from the Russian mainstream population: Chechens, Belarusians, Uzbeks, and Chinese. We obtained a gender balanced sample of ethnic Russians from the Central Federal District of Russia (N = 359) comprising of 47% women and 53% men. The measures were used in a Russian translation by an adaptation using the back-translation and cognitive interviews. Multiple regression analysis was used to test the relationships. The results showed that high perceived neighborhood non-Russian ED weakened negative relations between intergroup bias and ideologies that purportedly accept cultural diversity (multiculturalism and polyculturalism). On the other hand, for interethnic ideologies those purportedly reject cultural diversity, high perceived neighborhood non-Russian ED weakened the positive relations between intergroup bias and assimilation and strengthened the negative relations between intergroup bias and colorblindness. The pattern of results suggests that the relationship between attitudes and intergroup bias may change based on the perceived ethnic composition of the local area and frequency of contacts. Although our findings are relatively novel they support the emerging view that attitudes and intergroup relations need to be studied from a social ecological context.
The present paper discusses perspectives of Activity Theory (AT) in the context of contemporary globalizing world, describing which we refer to the notion “De-structuralized modernity” (Sorokin & Froumin, 2020). Radical changes in everyday life challenge social sciences and humanities. Approaches are in demand, which have the potential to comprehend the changing human étant and éntre. We argue that Activity Theory has the potential to face these challenges. Leontiev’s AT grounds on the idea of qualitatively new mental features arising to deal with novel environmental challenges, which is much in line with J.M. Baldwin reasoning on evolution. AT also offers a method to prognosis the upcoming neoplasms. In the same time, applying classics of AT to the current reality, “De-structuralized modernity”, entails the need for new theoretical elaborations of the latter, stemming from the radical transformation of the relations between individual and socio-cultural environments. A unique societal context emerges on the global level, which, on the one hand, requires individual to adapt constantly to changing socio-cultural reality, and, on the other hand, dramatically expands his/her potential for proactive actorhood transforming surrounding structures. We argue that the major and novel challenge for the individual is the task of maintaining the integrity and coherence of the a) Self-identity and b) system of links in and with the socio-cultural environment - in their dynamics and unity. The notion of “culture” has particular relevance and importance in this context because it allows grasping simultaneously two dimensions in their dynamic dialectical interrelations. First, the “internal” (“subjective”, “in the minds”) and “external” (“objective”, material and institutional environment) realities. Second, individual (“micro”) and societal (“macro”) scales of human activities. Discussing the ways to understand these dynamics, we dispute the popular “constitutive view” on personality and refer to the concept of the “ontological shift” (Mironenko & Sorokin, 2018). We also highlight how technological advancements change and “expand” human nature making it capable to deal with the outlined new tasks.
The article deals with the ways Russian authorities have constructed the social problem of HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immune deficiency syndrome) in Russia. The statistical construction of HIV/AIDS includes data indicating the significant rise of HIV prevalence in Russia since 2000. The study focuses on what and how Russian authorities speak about HIV/AIDS, while there are official data on the rapid spread of the virus in the country. The work is based on a discourse analysis of the authorities’ rhetoric about HIV/AIDS. During his first presidential terms, Vladimir Putin constructed HIV/AIDS not as an epidemic in the country, but as a “global problem,” representing Russia as a participant in international efforts to combat AIDS. The president problematized the HIV spread through the rhetoric of endangerment but without its crucial term “epidemic,” while at the same time de-problematized HIV in Russia by the strategy of naturalizing (“this is a problem that all countries face”). The Russian authorities appealed to traditional moral values and spoke about marginal or risk groups, rather than risk practices. After the deterioration of relations with Western countries since 2007, the Russian president excluded HIV/AIDS problem from his public agenda, despite the existence of the data on steep HIV growth in Russia. The Russian president’s traditionalism, de-problematization, and silence concerning HIV/AIDS lead to the absence of the HIV/AIDS issues in media agenda, the agenda of local authorities, and consequently the personal agendas of Russian citizens. The consequences are ignorance, fears, stigmatization of people living with HIV, semi-legal status of needle, and syringe exchange programs for intravenous drug users, low antiretroviral therapy coverage, and the continuing HIV epidemic.