A. V.Kovalevsky

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  • № 1, 2021

    • Without Leaders, Mottos or Billboards: Fight for the City and Routine Resistance in the Private Sector of Cities in East Russia (Case of Khabarovsk)

      The article examines the forms of routine resistance of the community that was established within the space of the Soviet private sector in the cities located in the eastern part of Russia. Despite active regular construction, these spaces still make up a significant part of cities. However, in contrast to the Soviet period, when living there was perceived as forced and temporary, today this form of residence is a conscious choice. The former private sector witnesses the emergence of the community, whose existence is based on values, social and communicative practices, and forms of economic activity that are noticeably different from the official ones. This community “produces space” that is appropriate to its lifestyle. For the official authorities (at the state and city levels), this space turns out to be “empty”, representing “promising areas of development”. Its population remains invisible to these authorities. This creates a latent conflict that gives rise to the forms of re sistance described in the article. With all the variety of such forms, there is one main thing that unites them — people’s desire to distance from the state and the city it regulates.

      The authors find out that another group of city dwellers with a much higher socio-economic status — residents of urban mansion districts — share the same aspiration. According to the authors, this desire can be explained by the fact that a resident of a Russian city has few opportunities to find soli da rity community within the existing urban structures and therefore builds his/her life “outside the city wall”, creating analogs of the pre-modern Euro pean municipalities. The remaining “urban” part of the city is increasingly turning into a feudal lord’s castle that from time to time sends troops to punish the “rebels”.

      As long as a feudal lord has an understanding that he really needs townspeople, and they have the opportunity to “escape” from the raid, the situation seems stable. When the raids become too frequent, and it is impossible to escape from them, the population will attack. At the moment, judging by the attitude of the group studied in the article to the rallies in defense of S.Furgal, ex-governor of Khabarovsk region, the authorities still have room for maneuver. However, for how long this situation will last remains to be seen.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2021-100-1-75-105

      Pages: 75-105