[pp. 287—288 of paper issue]
Its variety of themes notwithstanding, the 119th NZ issue focuses, in some way or another, on different forms of social connections, which form the basis for personal and collective subjectivity, cultural identity and common good.
The issue opens with an article by the French sociologist Laurent Thévenot, translated into Russian. Its analytic subject is developed on two levels. The theoretical question considered here concerns a description of different modes of social communications and their role if the shaping, destruction and restoration of personal identity. Thévenot answers this question before going on to demonstrate its research potential, looking at examples of labour mobility from a postcolonial perspective. The same issue of labour migration and grass-root cultural activity, which serves various purposes — maintaining links to one’s home country, reproducing national identity, adapting to global trends — is raised in the piece “Migrants’ Creativity as a Problem of Sociology of Culture: Natives of Tajikistan in Russia” by Vladimir Malakhov, Saodat Olimova and Mark Simon.
The first thematic section, “Life Cycles of Soviet Culture”, is structured around three articles. The second part of Michael David-Fox’s work “Toward a Life Cycle Analysis of the Russian Revolution” completes his analysis of the Russian Revolution’s long history (and the equally long history of its historiographic reception) published in previous issue of NZ. Tatiana Savina’s piece “‘Pioneers of the Island of Java’: Peculiarities of the Political Language of the Pionerskaya Pravda newspaper (the Second Part of the 1920s)” tells an engaging story of how the mental map of the world was formed in the mind of Soviet children. The section ends with Vadim Mikhailin and Galina Belyaeva’s article “An Alien Generation: On ‘New Wave’ in School-Themed Cinema of the Late 1980s”, which describes the symptoms of mutual alienation between the adult and adolescent worlds that characterised perestroika-era cinema.
Our regular column Culture of Politics offers a collective study by Julie Fedor, Simon Lewis and Tatiana Zhurzhenko “War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus”, which talks about the way in which an established frame of WWII memory defines the perception of the war in the Donbass.
The next section, “Girl Studies: Power, Age, Gender”, centres on a new area of gender studies known as girl studies. To begin with, Olga Zdravomyslova introduces the reader to problems this field of research is concerned with, and then the theme is further developed in its various aspects. In “Turgenev Girls of Contemporary Russia: Living Your Life Honestly, Waiting for a True Love” Yana Zhilyaeva outlines life strategies of young girls in Russia, whose behaviour is increasingly based on examples found in a typical ethos associated with classical Russian literature. Analysing a number of interviews, Lyubov Borusyak writes about psychological mechanisms behind individuals’ involvement in protests organised by Alexey Navalny (“‘What Am I, a Vegetable Sitting at My Computer, Complaining about the Authorities? No, I’m a Citizen’. Analysing Motivation and Gender Characteristics Typical for Young People’s Participation in 2017 Protests”). Nadezhda Azhgikhina presents the increasingly narrow and homogenised list of existing specialised magazines in “‘Girls Asking for Attention’: On the History of Russian Publications Aimed at Teenage Girls and Young Women”. In “Intensive Motherhood in Russia: Mothers, Daughters and Sons on Growing up at School” Olga Isupova talks about consequences of the normative perceptions of motherhood that require exceptional efforts both from mothers and from children.
Finally, the third section, “Social Capital: A History of the Notion”, is where the main subject of the issue is concentrated on a theoretical level. Articles by Maria Yashkova (“Social Capital: The Evolution of the Concept”) and by Thomas G. Poder (“Criticisms of Social Capital Theory”) give a systematic treatment of various approaches that enunciate the notion in question, while also summing up its various criticisms, with their accent on the vaguely defined content and uncertain nature of what can be defined as “social capital”. The section concludes with the piece “Social Cohesion and Social Capital: Possible Implications for the Common Good” by Anita Cloete, which follows the other articles in their general theoretical reflection, revealing the inner potential of social capital in relation to the events in South Africa after the end of apartheid.
Politics of Culture features “The Invention of a Tradition as a Meme and as a Characteristic of Sociocultural Reality: Eric Hobsbawm and His Co-Authors in a Post-Soviet Context”, in which Vladimir Malakhov addresses Hobsbawm’s classical works and the future of invented traditions that provide a structure for the symbolic universum of the post-Soviet states.
The issue ends with a conversation between NZ editor Kirill Kobrin and one of the founders of Moscow conceptualism, Viktor Pivovarov, on the subject of Chinese culture and its perception, which, despite seeming exotic, became an important element of artistic thinking in the unofficial art of the 1960s—70s.