This article examines the impact of modern electronic media (satellite television and mobile telephony) on the oral culture of the village. The Soviet experiment, in which the media environment of rural villagers has undergone significant transformation, has not destroyed the oral culture. The weakening of print culture accomplished with the growing influence of television and mobile telephony led to the weakening of the relationship between the village and the state, on the one hand, and to the strengthening of the family integration, on the other.
The authors introduce the special theme of the issue presenting the articles that explore the opportunities and possibilities for the interdisciplinary collaboration among ethnography, anthropology, cultural geography, and human geography in the area of studying the geo-cultural space of the Arctic. The presentation is focused on the range of interdisciplinary projects and approaches undertaken by the Lab for Geo-Cultural Study of the Arctic in Yakutsk.
The Trickster archetype takes one of the key places not only in the history of culture, but also in the political and communication systems of nowadays. It finds a visible embodiment both in the informal political communication and in the institutionalized communication models. The article discusses the main forms of manifestation of this archetype in the images of Russian political leaders, its possible modifications, as well as the role of contemporary media in the replication of the image.
This article examines the phenomenon of South African stokvels and burial societies and the transformations these associations are currently undergoing. Drawing on the socio-culturalist analysis of economic action (Neves, du Toit, 2012: 131, van Donge, 1992), the article investigates the topic of mutuality through looking at the contemporary development on the field of rotating savings and credit associations in South Africa. The article is based on a field study conducted in Gauteng Province, South Africa, during two months stay in October–November 2014, 2015, 2017. Authors claim that in the mid-2010s conventional stokvels and burial societies are becoming the characteristic feature of the ‘normalized’ life of the middle classes, whereas the representatives of the urban underclass are increasingly engaging in the digital Ponzi schemes as a means of day-to-day survival, but also in the pursuit of the magical ‘instant enrichment’.
The article discusses the scholarship, methods, and theoretical approaches that have been involved in the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies from the early 1980s through the early 2000s. It traces the changes in methodological orientations and examines the specificities of ethnographic fieldwork in the STS area, as well as suggests the criteria for evaluating the outcome of research and offers ways of its advancement.