Xenofophobic Youth Groups in Krasnodar/Sochi Rissia
Russia’s Skinheads: exploring and rethinking subcultural lives provides a through examination of the phenomenon of skinheads, explaining its nature and its significance, and assessing how far Russian skinhead subculture is at the “lumpen” end of the extreme nationalist ideological spectrum. There are large numbers of skinheads in Russia, responsible for a significant number of xenophobic attacks, including 97 deaths in 2008 alone, making this book relevant to Russian specialists as well as to sociologists of youth subculture. It provides a practical example of how to investigate youth subculture in depth over an extended period – in this case through empirical research following a specific group over six years – and goes on to argue that Russian skinhead subculture is not a direct import from the West, and that youth cultural practices should not be reduced to expressions of consumer choice. It presents an understanding of the Russian skinheads as a product of individuals` whole, and evolving, lives, and thereby compels sociologists to rethink how they conceive the nature of subcultures.
This article couples framing analyses with social identity issues to provide a critical discourse analysis of the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony, along with the various media depictions surrounding it. Moreover, it explores the idea of 'derzhava' as a rediscovered political narrative/frame in Russian symbolic politics. We argue that images and symbols alluding to different events in the past and present play significant roles in the social construction of people’s identities. Our lives are largely dependent upon what we tend to forget, and what we still remember. As the first impressions of the Sochi Olympics Games pass away, we are finally able to see what stayed hidden, and what was deliberately left in light. Relying upon the research on the connection between collective memory and social identity, we examine several Sochi Olympics events, seeking to identify what the organizers of the Games wanted us to remember, and what was meant to be forgotten. What symbols and signs were deliberately and repeatedly manifested to evoke Russian national pride? What was left behind the scenes in order not to revive traumatic collective memory of the past? An analysis of two frames – “the frame of commemoration” and “the frame of obliteration” - helps to shed light on the veiled elements of new Russian social identity construction today. In addition, our analysis helps to explain how the Sochi Olympics became a springboard for launching a more forceful symbolic politics commensurate with new Russian power ambitions.
The diverse and contested nature of the contemporary skinhead scene makes it impossible to identify a single common body regime, or set of gender norms, characteristic of the skinhead (sub)culture. This chapter explores one example of how these fraternal bonds and spaces are constituted. It pays particular attention to practices of the body (individual and collective) within the group and how these practices were enacted to confirm its skinhead identity while shaping a particular regime of closeness and intimacy. It considers, firstly, the group as a particular form of fraternity based on homosocial bonds of friendship, closeness and (dis)trust. Secondly, the aesthetics and the ethics of intimacy within the group are discussed. In particular practices of displaying the – naked and bare – body of the skinhead are considered as well as tests of, and conflicts over, the meaning of the intimacies that these practices forge. Finally, the chapter explores these practices in the context of the wider and competing masculinities through which they are enacted.