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 author reconstructs the history of the Plotnikovo village in the Novosibirsk district of the Novosibirsk Region in the late 1920s – 1930s. The research was conducted in the microhistoric format, which allows to consider the agrarian history of Russia in the everyday perspective of its direct actors – peasants united in their primary communities. The article aims at presenting the course of collectivization and its price for a certain rural settlement. In the Plotnikovo village, collectivization began at the end of 1929 with the creation of a giant commune which collapsed after the publication of Stalin’s article “Dizzy with Success”. The small collective farm “Zavety Ilyicha” was established on the basis of this commune. Collectivization resumed in 1931 and ended in the late 1930s. The author also considers anti-peasant repressions, de-kulakization, local famine in 1934-1935, state regulations of the size of the collective farmers’ smallholdings, behavioral strategies of peasants and rural officials. The author concludes that in the early 1940s the Plotnikovo village was at the same or even lower level of development than in the early 1920s. Thus, in general collectivization had a negative impact on the development of agricultural productive forces in the village under study, and the difficulties the villagers survived in the 1930s cannot be counted – only named by V.P. Danilov’s term ‘tragedy of the Soviet village’.
Peasantry, village, agrarian policy of the Soviet state, collectivization, collective farms, smallholdings, microhistory, Siberia, Т. Shanin, V.P. Danilov.
Il’inykh Vladimir A., DSc (History), Head of the Agrarian and Demographic History Sector, Institute of History, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 630090, Novosibirsk, Ac. Nikolaev St., 8.
The article considers reasons that determine the very possibility of the townspeople moving to the village for permanent residence. The non-standard grammatical form of the question in the title in Russian stresses the double context of the Russian word “why—from what”: on the one hand, it is a pronoun with a preposition (from what) indicating a certain phenomenon; on the other hand, it is an interrogative pronoun (why), a synonym of the adverb “wherefore” asking about reasons for moving to the village. In recent decades, the scale and speed of the civilizational development have changed the functionality of the place of residence, which makes the researchers reconsider their previous approaches to the study of the reasons of migration from the city to the countryside. However, in contemporary sociological works, both Russian and Western, little attention is paid to the issue of the townspeople moving to permanent residence in the countryside, as compared to the studies of the reverse process—the migration of villagers to the city. Based on the analysis of the interviews data, the article focuses on the reasons that determine the possible and necessary decisions of the townspeople to choose a new place of residence under the current conditions of everyday rural life. The author emphasizes that such reasons, which explain a seemingly ordinary and rational fact of the townspeople moving to the village for permanent residence, help to understand the evolution of life practices in both rural and urban social systems.
townspeople, village, former townspeople, villagers, migration, everyday practices, rural world, phenomenon, fact
Vinogradskaya Olga Ya., Senior Researcher, Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82, Moscow, 119571.
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.