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Regular version of the site

Article

Extending the Space of Domesticity in Post-Soviet Russia or How the Dacha is Transforming into a Suburban Home in Moscow Region

Urban Studies and Practices. 2018. Vol. 3. No. 4. P. 152-163.

This article describes the transformation of the ordinary Soviet dacha (a summer
country house for urban families) into a suburban home suitable for year-round
living. Based on interviews and observations in Moscow Region, the paper shows
that the Soviet dacha was a place of labor with limited living space and, in post-
Soviet times, it progressively domesticated to a comfortable suburban home with
comparatively limited labor practices. Thus, the contemporary dacha space is a
second home and social institution for urban families with children as well as for
retired people. An intersectional analysis shows that dacha residents are individuals
who have the opportunity to be ‘independent’ from the city: retired people, children,
and parents who work remotely. The data from an online focus group explain why
this place is not an attractive for living among young adults (students) who strongly
connected with urban practices and generally prefer an urban lifestyle. However, the
image of the ‘future home’ for young adults is a ‘cottage’ or townhouse located close
to the city. This means a close suburban home and a comfortable lifestyle could be a
future trend even among adults in Moscow Region.