The Antinomies of the Current Crisis and the Futures of Complex Societies

Monday, 11 July 2016: 18:31
Location: Hörsaal 33 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Nikita POKROVSKY, General Sociology, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
Vladimir ILIN, St. Petersburg University, Russia
The current European crisis brings both – the acceleration of the process of urbanization (the growth of the cities) and the opposite – the exodus of the middle class residents from the cities. De-urbanization recovering the ancestral reunion with the natural environment and upgrading the quality of life beyond the city is not only a matter of personal choice; it is becoming almost an imperative. This trend stands true for many societies in the contemporary world, including Russia. To break through the forces of urban modernity more people recognize that, by returning to the ancestral rural lifestyle, it is possible to uncover alternative ways of life – a path to a healthy, balanced and autonomous existence based on (but not involving the denial of) the latest achievements of technologies and infocommunication. The crisis and de-urbanization bring into being diverse forms of creative consumption based on a more deliberate and thoughtful use of energy and natural resources including some reminiscent ‘archaic’ consumer patterns implanted in the context of high-tech economy. The ‘new consumption’ in the time of crisis becomes a value orientation in itself for a growing number of post-urban residents.