Rogozin D.M., Vyugovskaya E.V. Autoethnography of the rural house in the Russian North // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №1. P. 98-122.
The authors use the ethnographic weak description, i.e. the introspection of personal feelings and impressions, to turn personal reflections into a complete story supplemented with the fragments of narrators’ direct speech and linguistic means that allow to express emotions in words and phrases; thus, the authors reconstruct the concept of the Russian northern rural house and archetypical representations of the traditional rural lifestyle. The article is based on conversations and observations in Siniki, the village in the Ustyansky district of the Arkhangelsk Region, in which the structure of respondents’ houses, their appearances, history of construction and of families were discussed. The distinctive features of the old northern house are determined not only by its architectural forms, organization of everyday-life space (hut) and farm outbuildings but also by its owners’ biographies and destinies for the house reflects cultural identities, family values and memories, and intergenerational connections. The internal structure of the house determined primarily by natural conditions, economic needs and pragmatics of everyday life allows to identify four types of northern rural houses: a hut, a five-wall house, a no-name house and a duplex house. The latter two types represent the most recent housing characterized by functionality, comfort, compactness and the loss of the previously important wide economic multifunctional spaces. Today the new forms of management and organization of the living place and transformations of the rural house by the contemporary villagers (mainly the elderly) are the basis of the rural revival.
autoethnography, participant observation, rural house, rural revival, weak description, rural lifestyle
About the authors
Rogozin Dmitry M., PhD (Sociology), Head of the Laboratory for Social Research Methodology, Institute of Social Analysis and Forecasting, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119034, Moscow, nab. Prechistenskaya, 1.
Vyugovskaya Elena V., Researcher, Laboratory for Social Research Methodology, Institute of Social Analysis and Forecasting, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119034, Moscow, nab. Prechistenskaya, 1.