Cellular Globalization and the Environmental Awareness in Rural Communities

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 5:30 PM
Room: 512
Oral Presentation
Nikita POKROVSKY , General Sociology, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
A multidisciplinary team of social scientists (sociologists, economists, social geographers and demographers from main Moscow universities under the auspices of the Society of Professional Sociologists) works in the Russian region of Kostroma, which is similar in size to West Virginia and has a population of 800,000. 70 percent of its territory is virgin forest. The Soviet era chemical plants in Kostroma have gone out of business, leaving Kostroma's environment as the region's main asset. Despite the region's seeming isolation from the flow of globalization, a process of "cellular globalization" (Pokrovsky, 2008) is subtly but inexorably changing the character of the region. This process is changing traditional rural ‘solidarity in despair and poverty’ towards recognizing wealth as a value. Against this social background one can indicate the growth of rural communities made up of the migrant residents from big cities who decided to move out from megapolises in order establish a new environmental Utopia based on the value of ecological balance and downshifting. In the countryside ‘new re-colonizers’ continue their basic professional work through Internet and telecommunications, they make use of all modern commodities of life, they travel much on business—they are on the move or in the condition of ‘liquid mobility’. Those new ‘infocommunication settlers’ (ICS) exemplify a much higher degree of social solidarity and vitality as contrasted to the deteriorating solidarity of the traditional population of the region. Is this an early evidence of the forthcoming general turn to ‘infocommunication ruralism’ in the spiral trajectory of social change?