Natalya Veselkova 1, Mikhail Vandyshev 2, Elena Pryamikova 3
  • 1 Ural Federal University (Russia), 19 Mira str., Ekaterinburg, 620002, Russian Federation
  • 2 Ural Federal University (Russia), 19 Mira str., Ekaterinburg, 620002, Russia
  • 3 Ural State Pedagogical University, 26 Kosmonavtov av., Ekaterinburg, 620017, Russia

The Arrow of Time and the Line of Life: The Deconstruction ofLinearity

2020, vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 85–105 [issue contents]

The article analyzes the data of sociological research obtained by the Life Line (LL) method among schoolchildren and students of secondary vocational education in small mono-towns of the Sverdlovsk region. Particular attention is paid to the heuristic capabilities of this method in the study of mobility and the construction of narratives of the past, present, and future of young people. The article pursues a twofold goal: first, to subject the experience of using LL to methodological reflection, and secondly, to discuss some research findings obtained using this method. A total of 230 drawings from students and schoolchildren from Krasnoturinsk, Revda, and Pervouralsk are included in the analysis. A brief review of the method’s development is given, along with the rationale for the authors’ (less-formalized) version. The typology of LL, constructed according to the criteria of a formal structure, helps to analyze the meanings of (non) linearity, paying attention to both the prevailing logic and the variety of configurations. Classical and modern sociological theory has firmly-rooted ideas about the linearity of social change. At the biographical level, movement and the course of life are also described, taking linearity and direction into account. Most of the drawings of our participants adhere to linear logic; however, a great variety is found inside of it, and various options for deviations from the standard arrow from the past to the future are considered separately. Elements of the sketches testifying to territorial identity are of interest. The use of local names and toponyms gives the drawings a specificity and richness, and demonstrates the local competence of the participants. The life line method allows, in the authors’ opinion, to demonstrate the diversity and the relative isomorphism of biographical visualizations at the same time, placing it in wider social contexts across a region, country, or even the world.

Citation: Veselkova N., Vandyshev M., Pryamikova E. (2020) «Strela vremeni» i «linii zhizni»: Dekonstruktsiya lineynosti [The Arrow of Time and the Line of Life: The Deconstruction ofLinearity]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 19, no 1, pp. 85-105 (in Russian)
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