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Regular version of the site

Article

Russia’s ‘fortresses of solitude’: Social imaginaries of loneliness after the fall of the USSR

Social Science Information. 2020. Vol. 59. No. 2. P. 288-309.

Based on the distinction between three approaches to loneliness, and the

development of the phenomenological and existential framework of loneliness

studies, this article explores Russia’s discourse of national loneliness on three

levels: a) the level of the official discourse of the Russian government; b) the level

of political and philosophical concepts; and c) the level of popular media and cinema

(with a specific focus on a case-study of the post-Soviet Russian blockbuster film

Brother  and its sequel, Brother 2 ). In this article I concentrate on the particular

experiences of loneliness and their interpretations in Russia after the fall of

the USSR. The case of the fall of the USSR has shown that social and political

exploitations of different forms of national loneliness can become the flip side of

the doctrine of autonomy, equal individual rights and freedom from authoritarian

rule. This should be considered and never disregarded within our analysis of the

contours and new transformations of emerging hegemonic discourses, including the

different forms of nationalism in Russia, and in a wider cross-cultural perspective.