Mobility and Sense of Place among Youth in the Russian Arctic

in Sibirica
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  • 1 European University alla.bolotova@gmail.com
  • 2 European University asya.karasyova@gmail.com
  • 3 European University leravasilyeva11@gmail.com
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Abstract

This article explores how the mobility of young people influences their sense of place in different parts of the Russian Arctic. In globalization studies increasing mobility has often been set in opposition to belonging to place, and interpreted as diminishing local connections and ties. Recent studies show that the role of mobility in shaping a sense of place is more complex. The Russian Arctic is often considered a remote, hard-to-access area, despite the fact that local residents have always been very mobile. We compare three case studies from across the Russian Arctic—namely, the Central Murmansk region, the Central Kolyma, and Eastern Taimyr—showing how mobility shapes differently young residents’ sense of place. These regions have a different population structure (urban / rural, polyethnic / monoethnic) and different transportation infrastructure, thus providing a good ground for comparing the relationships between mobility and a sense of place in the Russian Arctic.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Alla Bolotova is a research fellow at the European University at St. Petersburg. She holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Lapland, 2014. Her dissertation dealt with perceptions of the environment and practices of interaction with natural environments at the northern periphery of the Soviet Union/Russia, as well as concepts of nature characteristic for the official Soviet discourse (Bolotova 2014). Her current research interests are industrial communities, human-environment interaction and youth in the Arctic. She has published about 15 scientific articles and book chapters on these topics. E-mail: alla.bolotova@gmail.com

Anastasia Karaseva is a PhD candidate at the Anthropology Department at the European University at St. Petersburg, writing her thesis on the emergency imaginaries in the Russian North-East, and also works as a junior research fellow at the Arctic Social Studies Program there. She holds an MA in sociology (Russian State University for Humanities) and in anthropology (European University at St. Petersburg). Her research interests include Arctic social studies, security studies, anthropology of the contemporary, knowledge, infrastructure, crisis, risk, and emergency. She is a winner of the Russian Public Opinion Research Center prize for the best student research project (2007). She is a translator into Russian of the textbook What Is Anthropology? by T. H. Eriksen. E-mail: asya.karasyova@gmail.com

Valeria Vasilyeva is junior research fellow at the Arctic Social Studies Program, European University at St. Petersburg, and a PhD candidate at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera). Her research interests are transport and mobility studies, infrastructure studies, informal economy, and the Taimyr region. E-mail: leravasilyeva11@gmail.com

Sibirica

Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies

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