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Article

PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE “LIFE WORLD’ OF URBANITES IN THE OUT-OF-TOWN SPACE IN THE RUSSIAN NEAR NORTH: HOME AND DOMESTICATION

Social Sciences. 2020. Vol. 51. No. 1. P. 20-31.
Pokrovsky N., Nikolaeva U., Demidova J.

The article attempts a phenomenological reconstruction of the “life world” of urbanites who buy houses in the countryside for recreation and who then begin to create a different, non-urban model of existence focused on the rural house.  The empirical frame is based on the so-called “distant dachas.” These are houses bought by urbanites in the villages in the outlying rural areas located more than 500-600 km from the major cities - Moscow or St. Petersburg. This process is accompanied by the formation of a special “life world” (in terms of phenomenology) among urbanites with associated mental structures such as “home,” “hearth,” “possession,” “historical past,” “world of belongings of previous owners,” “abandonment in space,” “seclusion,” “significant other,” “archaica,” etc. In the Near North of Russia, specifically in the villages of the Kostroma Oblast, among the urbanites - summer residents and downshifters -- one can observe a special approach to organizing everyday life, involving the individualization of their living space with the priority of intangible values that fit into the context of preserving the socio-cultural space of what they see as the ideal Russian village.

N. Pokrovsky, Dr. Sc. (Sociology), Professor, National Research University “Higher School of Economics; Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Sociology, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. E-mail: npokrovsky@hse.ru. U. Nikolaeva, Dr. Sc. (Economics), Associate Professor, Senior Research Fellow, Lomonosov Moscow State University. E-mail: ylnikolaena@gmail.ru. J. Demidova, graduate student, History Department (Ethnology and Anthropology), Lomonosov Moscow State University. E-mail: demidova.jullia@gmail.com.