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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The authors of this article base their reasoning on the fact that company towns are a special type of city space. In order to successfully implement programs for supporting and developing company towns, one must take into account the specific features inherent to the social-territorial community in question. Drawing attention to individual movement practices, them being activities in space, allows for identifying specifics and patterns in that particular social space where they are practiced, and the production of which they are contributing to. The study of the moving practices of industrial company town residents, which in scientific literature is represented by a very limited amount of studies, bears considerable potential for research, since it allows for tracing the entire process of space reproduction. Mobility has a systemic and routine character, being based on specific activity stereotypes and implicit “background expectations”. As a result they are rather difficult to register using classic survey methods. The authors of this article base their reasoning on the assumption that studying social movement practices requires the examination of those situations which violate the established social order. The article takes into consideration publications from the “VK” social network as a description for such “situations”. As such, the empirical base for the study consists of messages from open-access virtual territorial communities. The authors analyze communities that publish local news from three company towns in Sverdlovsky region (Pervouralsk, Krasnoturyinsk and Revda). The main distinction of the chosen data source is that publications appear upon user initiative, which rules out any influence the researcher might have on the meaning of the message. Content-analysis results allow for drawing a conclusion on the leading role of the automobile for company town residents, as well as on their dissatisfaction with public transport services. Also, the study allows for identifying the city space peculiarities inherent to Ural region company towns, which are defined by the locals’ mobility practices and also reproduced by said practices. According to the authors, these peculiarities are as follows: regarding a company town as a closed social-territorial community, perceiving such a city in the vein of outdated, unsafe space and obsolete infrastructure, as well as a certain tension existing between the population and local authorities within the city’s social space.
sociology, movement, social practices, social order, single-industry cities, city space
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