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Regular version of the site

Article

Дискурсивные репрезентации жилища рабочих на примере построек СССР и КНР

Социология власти. 2017. Т. 29. № 4. С. 172-196.
Рудь Д. С.

This article describes today’s discursive representation features of buildings created
for non-regular everyday use in socialist cities. Descriptions of residential
complexes for workers in two countries are used as empirical base: one case in
Russia, Moscow, and two cases in China, Taiyuan and Wuhan. We use collective
memory concept by A. Assman to analyze strategies implied by different agents to
attract attention to the described residential quarters. For all cases, narratives include
a legitimate discourse of collective memory on the years of construction, i.e. glorious
start of industrial progress in the PRC and making of yet another Soviet avant-garde
architectural masterpiece in the USSR. For Chinese cases, representations are clear
and consistent for residents, experts and visitors from outside; Moscow case requires
expert knowledge and organization of special events to transmit knowledge to guests
and even residents. Authentic features, nominated as valuable and subject to
preservation, coincide in expert and "philistine" narratives for cases of the PRC; in
Moscow case, expert discourse becomes the leading one. At the same time, in both
cases troubled memories of national historical events could be found: "cultural
revolution" and the Great Terror. In Moscow, these memories are not presented at the
residents level, however, corresponding information is transferred from archives to
local public memory, being included in exhibition and excursions. In the PRC,
memories of traumatic events exist in individual and social memory, manifesting
themselves through direct communication. The study contributes to "post-socialist
ethnography" by highlighting universal and particular features of discursive
representations.