Anna Pechurina 1
  • 1 Leeds Beckett University, City Campus, Calverley Building, Room 914, Leeds, LS1 3HE

Defining the Russian Diasporic Home and Its Atmospheres: Theoretical Challenges and the Methodological Implications

2016, vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 26–41 [issue contents]
This article discusses the theoretical and methodological challenges in the qualitative research of Russian diasporic homes. Its key argument is that a sense of ethnic atmosphere and domes-tic aesthetics is co-created by the researcher and the participant through their shared percep-tions of place in a process that has both advantages and limitations. Specifically, the article looks into the idea of “Russianness,” which is defined as a collection of material and sensory elements that make one feel “at home.” More importantly, this feeling of being “at (a Russian) home” and the atmospheres related to it can not only be experienced by those who live there, but also by its visitors who intuitively recognize the elements and objects of decor, and the domestic environment as being part of Russian culture. The interview situation helps to both reveal and to limit the meanings of the objects and of the stories which then constitute part of the existing atmosphere. Using examples from the previous study of Russian migrants’ homes and complemented by the researcher’s self-reflection, this article will explore the problematic nature of sensory dimension of home, and the challenges in approaching it both theoretically and methodologically. The article’s enquiry is aligned with the argument of the importance of combining different ways of learning and knowing in sociological research (Smart, 2011), and aims to engage with the research context more critically and creatively.
Citation: Pechurina A. (2016) Teoreticheskie i metodologicheskie voprosy v izuchenii i opredelenii russkogo doma i ego atmosfery v kontekste migratsii [Defining the Russian Diasporic Home and Its Atmospheres: Theoretical Challenges and the Methodological Implications]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 15, no 2, pp. 26-40 (in Russian)
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