Informal learning in Russia – Informal education in the anarchistic youth milieu
This paper examines attitudes towards education and explores informal educational structures inside the urban community of anarchists. Informal education is one of the parts of lifelong learning that implicate the process of gaining knowledge and skills while individuals interact with their social environment. Many anarchists tend to criticize prevailing educational practices and maintain the concepts of libertarian pedagogy and postmodernist critique of formal education. They suggest that governmental institutions reproduce social inequality and constrain people from acquiring knowledge in order to create governable and disciplined subjects. Our findings show that anarchists realize their own learning needs and carry out appropriate learning activities that are concerned with their values and beliefs. By offering opposition to formal education and suggesting authentic ways of knowledge and skills producing and sharing (distro, workshops, open sources, etc.), anarchists incorporate their values and beliefs into their daily routine. Their rhetoric, deeds, consumption practices and forms of communications are tightly connected (in a dialectical way) with those attainments that are distributed by channels of anarchistic knowledge and skills sharing. The research was conducted by the Center for Youth Studies at National Research University Higher School of Economics (Saint-Petersburg, Russia) within the frameworks of MYPLACE (»Memory, Youth, Politics, Legacy and Civic Engagement«) project.