Between City and Village; Models of Dual Lifestyles in Russia

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 16:15
Location: Hörsaal 6D P (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Vladimir ILIN, St. Petersburg University, Russia
Town and country are the two poles in the continuum of settlement patterns. Each of them is a special world with its pluses and minuses. It is a foundation for their coexistence in the mode of complementarity. Although historically, urbanization has been and remains the dominant trend, there are a lot of forms of dual lifestyle involving living on two houses. Many of these forms have deep historical roots, but they acquire new capabilities in modern society.

Dacha lifestyle involves a combination of permanent residence in the city with seasonal stay in the countryside. Historically this way of life is associated with nobility, combining public service (mainly in town) with estates in the countryside. Currently this style is greatly democratized and by improving the transport situation the dacha zone is often located hundreds of miles from the big cities.

Labour commuting peasants is also a traditional form of dual lifestyle. Peasants often combined life in the village with regular work in the city. This form is  widespread and today.

Downshifting as upward social mobility is a new form of integration of urban and rural lifestyles in one of the biographical project with the ordering in a sequence of stages: career in the city is exchanged for a quiet life in the countryside. The common economic base of downshifting is income from apartment leasing in the city.

Remote employment is a purely modern phenomenon, involving a stay in the village while working in the city using remote communications. The construction of rural houses, not inferior in comfort urban dwellings, is also a compromise between the two lifestyles.