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Article

Beyond Loyalty and Dissent: Pragmatic Everyday Politics in Contemporary Russia

Zhelnina A. A., Clement K.

In this paper, drawing on empirical evidence from Russian society, the authors seek to analyze the ways in which ordinary people can overcome a perceived gap between “high” politics and their everyday experiences. We argue that the concept of everyday politics is not enough to prepare the ground for politicization in everyday life, at least in highly dismantled society. In examining ethnographic case studies of people who consider themselves apolitical, the paper introduces the concept of “pragmatic politics,” which is defined as an activity of inscribing the broader world within the sensitive everyday experience. The examined case studies speak to four different modes of everyday politics that reveal various modalities of pragmatic politics.