Today, urban-type settlements still have an ‘intermediate’ position between the city and the village, as in the Soviet period. However, the consequences of the 1990s’ crisis and the transition to the market economy have changed the social-economic situation in such settlements. The authors consider Lokot in the Brasovsky district of the Bryansk Region as an example of the peripheral urban-type settlement and describe its changes on the axis of urbanization in the post-Soviet period based on the following indicators: appearance of the village, employment, mobility, migration and lifestyle of its population. Each indicator has undergone transformations of various scale since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but there is no single trend (pro-urban or pro-rural): the appearance of the village and the lifestyle of the local population have become more urban due to the development of the services sector, while employment, mobility and migration, on the contrary, have become more rural primarily due to the closure of the city-forming industrial enterprises, which led to a significant outflow of the able-bodied population to cities. Thus, the multidirectional nature of transformation does not allow to unambiguously define Lokot as a city or a village.
Urban-type settlement, city, village, lifestyle, Bryansk Region, socialeconomic transformation.
Samburova Svetlana A., Master’s Student, Department of Economic and Social Geography of Russia, Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University. Leninsky Gory, 1, Moscow, 119991, Russia.
In the interview, Professor N. E. Pokrovsky describes his scientific path related to the issues of rural-urban development. Based on his experience as originally a city dweller, Pokrovsky considers how and why city-dwellers move to the countryside with their projects and plans to change the rural reality; identifies the life trajectories of different social strata of city dwellers in their rural searches; focuses on the essential characteristics of rural changes in recent decades, including those identified on the basis of his long-term observations in the Ugorsk rural development project in the Kostroma Region. As a sociologist-Americanist, Pokrovsky refers to the American roots of the rural lifestyle — ideas of T. Jefferson and H. Thoreau — and to his personal impressions of rural regions of the United States. Pokrovsky also mentions the spatial rethinking of rural-urban development as related, on the one hand, to the criticism of life in large cities, and, on the other hand, to the new economic-technological, culturalhistorical and recreational-environmental practices in rural areas. In conclusion, he considers the possibility of a new mapping of rural spaces in order to assess the development of local territories.
City, village, suburbanization, deurbanization/counterurbanization, migration, dachas, ecology, Henry Thoreau, Ugor project.
Pokrovsky Nikita E., DSc (Sociology), Chief Researcher, Institute of Sociology, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor, National Research University Higher School of Economics. Myasnitskaya St., 20, Moscow, 101000.
Nikulin Alexander M., PhD (Economics), Head of the Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Vice-Rector for Research, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82, Moscow, 119571.
The article considers the novel “Last Greetings” by V.P. Astafiev as a historical source of descriptions of the peasant world. The author emphasizes such basic categories of the peasant life as traditional family, kinship ties, working, parenting, attitudes to nature, concepts of shame, conscience, and duty. Based on this literary material, the author concludes that the peasant worldview is a result of close interaction with nature, which determined both respect for the environment—forest, field, river, animals—and such qualities as moderate consumption of natural resources, diligence, foresight, concern for the future. Knowledge and understanding of nature also affected labor that did not pursue enrichment but aimed at ensuring the family’s prosperity. The villager in Russia, as everywhere in the world, was not a money-grubber, and his social ideal was a hardworking and sober middle peasant. The system of upbringing and the social structure of the village (community) aimed at developing and preserving these qualities. The community structure was primarily to prevent such disasters as crop failure, famine, flood, fire, and their catastrophic consequences. The centuries-old history of life in nature and with nature has cultivated mutual assistance, mutual support, and the charity of the sick, poor, and injured. The author concludes that such a social order was the foundation of the social unity in the past, which in turn influenced the strength and power of the Russian state.
peasant, city, phenomenon of ‘village writers’, traditional family, man and nature, kinship ties, labor, shame, conscience, duty, Russian community, childhood, village street
Zverev Vasily V., DSc (History), Leading Researcher, Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 117292, Moscow, Dmitry Ulyanov St., 19.
The article considers key reasons for townspeople moving to the village as a permanent residence. The author believes that the main reason is that the technological world of the big city forcibly deprives the man of subjectivity and does not allow him to influence continuous plunge into mandatory daily household routine and everyday endless cycle. The daily technological routine of urban life enhances the feeling of hopelessness and even danger of everyday practices, isolates people from each other. Some townspeople believe that rural world can provide them with a place and nature to live as “human beings”. Townspeople try to at least temporarily escape from the technological world that seized them by getting out of the city to visit one’s country house, by taking a journey, by visiting one’s relatives in the village or, sometimes and today more and more often, by moving to the countryside. Townspeople, unlike villagers, consider the village an unusual expolar space that makes them happier and more creative and provides opportunities for activities that are possible only in this new world. The difference of the new world from the urban “mechanized” one is not the degree of mechanization but that the “technology” no longer subjugates the man but frees him from dangers and provides with opportunities to skillfully and effectively master a variety of innovations.
City, village, former townspeople, villagers, migration, economic practices, technological world, technological development.
Vinogradskaya Olga Ya., Senior Researcher, Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571, Moscow, Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82.