Space, Change, and Society: Urban Life of the Post-soviet City

By Yuliya Dudaronak.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper attempts to look at the city not just as a backdrop of modern life, but as the means and the product of modernity, as it is realized through the city. To do that, it focuses on the space as an analytic category and on the dynamic discrepancies between discourses, spacial practices, and subjectivities in the case of post-Soviet Russia. This paper provides an systematic literature review, aiming at inspiring more theoretical and empirical research on the subject. The post-socialist city is seen as the space of dynamic negotiation of different modernities. Based on extensive research of primary and secondary literature and short-term ethnographies in the summers of 2010 and 2011, two aspects of the city are analyzed: commodities in the city and the street. The paper argues that the city plays a vital part in defining the self, and reconstruction of the Soviet city may be seen as an attempt at “civilizing” post-soviet citizens into Western neo-liberal modernity.

Keywords: Post-Soviet City, Modernity, Urban Environment, Self

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 890.757KB).

Yuliya Dudaronak

PhD Student, Department of Sociology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA

Yuliya Dudaronak was born in 1982 in Minsk, Belarus—the country that attained its independence in 1991 after seven decades as a constituent republic of the USSR. In Minsk, Dudaronak studied cultural studies at the European Humanities University with a particular focus on national identity, culture, and agency. In 2006, Dudaronak got a BA degree in sociology from Elon University in North Carolina. Currently, Dudaronak is working on a PhD dissertation in the sociology program at the University of Virginia. This project compares fundamental transformations in the modes of self-hood in the early 20th century in the US and USSR. Dudaronak focuses on the issues of social discipline and self-regulation and the role of the state structures in this process in the time period between 1900 and 1940.