De-Urbanization in Central Russia: Socio-Cultural Transformations in the Life Practices of Modern Rural Communities

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 16:00
Oral Presentation
Yulia DEMIDOVA, Moscow State University of Lomonosov, Russian Federation
De-urbanization in Central Russia: socio-cultural transformations in the life practices of modern rural communities.

The aim of my study is to find out whether de-urbanization in Central Russia can be explained as a form of escapism. The last to be interpreted as the way of overcoming one’s individual and social problems, meeting the aspiration to get rid of political ideology and employment relationships and find piece, solitude and tranquility.

Or, otherwise, is it still an ordinary form of urban-rural life, when a city dweller live in «two homes» of city apartment and holiday village (dacha) in suburb and do not realize his lifestyle as something opposing commonly accepted standards.

The long-term observation and inquiry into the life of eco-villages and dachas enable us to say, that the life in the Russian countryside encourages the inhabitants to become more sensitive to their state of dependence on social system in different spheres of life, such as:

  • Physical self-maintenance
  • Informational autonomy and independence from the official media
  • being beyond the biopolitics (cultivation)

We can also state the situation of cultural divergence between dachas and eco-villages

  • dachas – deal with the soviet legacy, common urban culture, self-actualization practices.
  • eco villages – are inclined to invent their own traditions and generate original ideology. In this way we come across with neopaganism and nationalism.

Such a research is inevitably linked with socio-psychological issues. The concept of de-urbanization for the eco-villagers therefore implies that when you leave the city and move to rural area you take responsibility for your life and escape from the influence of social manipulation and biopolitics.