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Перспективы российского Севера: сельские сообщества

Nikita Pokrovsky's team is conducting a research in the Russian region of Kostroma, with a population of 800,000. Its main agricultural products are dairy, flax, rye, and timber (70 percent of its territory is virgin forest). Pokrovsky noted that the Soviet era chemical plants in Kostroma went out of business, leaving Kostroma's environment as the region's main asset. The conclusion of the research team was that the process of "cellular globalization" is subtly but inexorably changing the region's population despite its seeming isolation from the global trading system. Cellular globalization refers to the emergence of internalized changes within the individual attributable to the effects of globalization. Pokrovsky notes that almost every family in the region's rural areas has relatives in the regional capital of Kostroma, Moscow, or St. Petersburg, and that extended network is carrying the influences of globalization back to the Russian heartland. This process is slowly changing traditional rural attitudes towards wealth-more rural residents are placing greater importance on wealth than in the past, according to the group's research. Another result is a narrowing of accepted community interest in individuals. According to Pokrovsky, this takes the form of an erosion of social mores and respect for law, a reduction in accepted cultural demands limiting individual behavior, increased moral relativity, and a lack of respect for history and tradition. There is an overall marked increase in consumerism and interest in the virtual world of celebrity and mass media at the expense of traditional social values. The effects of globalization will not be limited to the internal lives of the residents of Kostroma, predicted Pokrovsky. The era of diverse, small-scale agriculture within the region that support networks of rural villages is over. Likewise, the Soviet era of thickly concentrated infrastructure in Kostroma, such as the Soviet chemical plants, is past. Pokrovsky suggested that new urban-rural aggregations would come to support each other in the formation of new communities. The economic basis of these communities will include niche agriculture (such as tourism or organic agriculture), regulated hunting and fishing resorts, and local handicrafts.