Aleksey Musiyezdov 1
  • 1 V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, 4 Svobody Square, Kharkiv, 61022, Ukraine

The City as a Cultural Form

2013, vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 121–136 [issue contents]

The article deals with the interpretation of the city as a cultural form. Rapid social changes led to the problematization of personal certainty; in the attempt to define their own identity, people turn to the most obvious classifications, such as territorial ones. This search for personal certainty actualizes the problems of urban identity. The peculiarity of the city as a social entity is the absence of unambiguous patterns for identification within the urban community. The contemporary “information society” only enhances the existing diversity of urban residents and communities. Therefore, instead of the traditional interpretation of urban identification, it is proposed to consider urban identity in the logic of the concept of the “imagined community”. The bases of urban identity are the ideas about the city itself, not about the community. In the search for a theoretical apparatus to describe the contents of these ideas, the author refers to the concept of cultural form as used by L. Ionin in his concept of “cultural staging”. The “classic” sociological model argues that cultural patterns are formed from objective social interests that becomes the bases for corresponding behavior. In a society undergoing a profound transformation where the usual identification model had lost its meaning and the “interest” is reduced to the necessity of survival, such a model is unlikely to work. The concept of cultural staging offers an explanation for the formation of cultural identities as the deployment of the patterns which had been latent for some time, but not currently embodied in social practice.

Citation: Musiyezdov Aleksey (2013) Gorod kak kul'turnaya forma [The City as a Cultural Form] The Russian Sociological Review, 3, pp. 121-136 (in Russian)
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