ISSN online: 2221-1616

Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

Research Article

Olga V. Aksenova, Doctor of Sociology main researcher, , Doctor of Sociological sciences, leading research fellow. Institute of Sociology of the FCTAS RAS, Moscow city, Russia.
Cultural milieu of the border lands: structure and actors.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2014. Vol. 5. No. 4. P. 47-58

This Article is downloaded: 380 times
Topic: Modern Russian borderland

For citation:
Aksenova O. V. Cultural milieu of the border lands: structure and actors. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2014. Vol. 5. No. 4. P. 47-58


The paper presents the results of the research on the activities of the state cultural structures of the three border regions (Smolensk, Pskov and Kursk). The public cultural infrastructure of Russian localities includes “houses of culture” or clubs, museums of local history, and libraries. The paper shows that the structure of these organisations is transforming by the creation of new subdivisions. The organisations could also incorporate non-governmental organisations and groups in any form. State structures could initiate the creation of such groups in some cases. As a result, complicated and unique networks are forming in each district. These networks contain various actors, such as religious and political structures, businesses, nongovernmental organisations, etc. All these organisations provide the possibilities for both the consumption of culture and  active participation in it. This is one of the most important features of the local cultural milieu. The paper reveals the role of an actor in the functioning of the above state structures and shows that their efficiency depends on the social activism of the employees and the form of the networks. The forms of activity are determined by the personality of the managers or professionals and reveal the phenomenon of the conjunction of public administration and self-organisation. The activities of all structures are focused largely on the local culture, local history and local nature. Such patriotic orientation is revealed in all investigated regions. Local cultural organisations interact with a neighbour state’s cultural structures at the local level and create a positive image of the country. The paper shows that such ties could be destroyed because of radical worsening of the relations between states. There are small differences between the cultural milieu of the border and all other Russian regions because of traditionally good relations with Ukraine, Belarus and Estonia on the one hand and the absence of a clear state strategy for the cultural development of border regions on the other hand. Such a strategy is vitally important under modern circumstances.


culture, cultural milieu, cultural infrastructure, local culture, structure, actor, sustainable practices