Elena V. Lebedeva
Candidate of Sociology, Associate professor, Belarusian State University, Minsk, Republic of Belarus
"Right to the city": experience of analysis of courtyard communities from the position of critical theory (by the example of Minsk).
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2022. Vol. 13. No. 1. P. 44-66
Дата поступления статьи: 26.10.2021
This Article is downloaded: 40 times
Topic: Modern Belarusian Sociology
Lebedeva E. V.. "Right to the city": experience of analysis of courtyard communities from the position of critical theory (by the example of Minsk). Vestnik instituta sotziologii
. 2022. Vol. 13. No. 1. P. 44-66
Traditionally, the Soviet courtyard was presented in urban studies as a sphere of attraction for the interests of most neighbours. However, the changes in the post-Soviet period (the commercialisation of public space, the stratification and segregation of citizens) significantly weakened the activity of courtyard communities. Recently, under the influence of a number of factors (the Covid-19 pandemic, the growth of socio-political activity), cities, on the contrary, are experiencing a significant civic upsurge, the traditions of spending time together in residential courtyards are gradually being renewed. The revival of the activity of courtyard communities actualises the study of issues related to the perception of citizens of their "right to the city", the boundaries and possibilities of its practical implementation, as well as the influence of communicative factors. The neo-Marxist interpretation of critical theory (A.Lefevre, D.Harvey, D.Mitchell) has been used as the methodological basis for the analysis of courtyard communities. The empirical materials collected in the course of the study (results of a questionnaire survey, supplemented by the analysis of the content of neighbours chats) revealed a number of fundamental differences between “new” courtyard communities and traditional (“Soviet”) ones. In the "Soviet" courtyard communities, urban participation was not so much the realisation of the "right to the city" as an example of communal (rural) cooperation (a form of grassroots self-organisation to achieve the set goals at the lowest cost). In the case of the "new" courtyard communities, the driving force is "urbanity" as the ability to define oneself as a city dweller, the desire to leave one's mark in the urban environment. At the same time, the "right to the city" goes beyond its utilitarian understanding (as the improvement of the urban environment) and acquires the features of symbolic self-determination, becomes the right to produce one's own identity. Courtyard communities formed on the basis of the realisation of their own “right to the city” are characterised by the ability to reach a compromise and develop generally accepted rules of communication. If such trends continue, the “right to the city” will be closely correlated with such concepts as “communication”, “public sphere”, “forum”, and its practical implementation will be less and less tied to the direct “reconquest” of physical territories and will increasingly begin to unfold in the communicative plane.
urban environment, urban participation, "right to the city", self-government, neighbourhood communities, communication, critical theory
- Belyanskaya L. V. Post-Marxist Universalism in the Context of Globalization Problems. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, 2015: 3 (29): 30–39 (in Russ.).
- Bogdanova L. P., Smirnov I. P. Social activity of urban communities: research experience on the example of medium-sized cities of the Tver region. Ekologiya urbanizirovannykh territoriy, 2018: 1: 50–57 (in Russ.). DOI: 10.24411/1816-1863-2018-110503
- Boltanski L., Teveno L. Kritika i obosnovanie spravedlivosti: Ocherki sociologii gradov [Criticism and justification of justice: Essays on the sociology of cities]. Transl. from Fr. by O. V. Coveneva. Moscow, NLO, 2013: 576 (in Russ.)
- Veselov Yu. V. Trust in a digital society. Vestnik SPbGU. Sotsiologiya, 2020: 13 (2): 129–143 (in Russ.). DOI: 10.21638/spbu12.2020.2025
- Gerasimova E., Chuykina S. Ot kapitalisticheskogo Peterburga k socialisticheskomu Leningradu: izmenenie social`no-prostranstvennoj struktury goroda v 30-e gody [From capitalist Petersburg to socialist Leningrad: changes in the social and spatial structure of the city in the 30s.]. Normy i cennosti povsednevnoj zhizni: stanovlenie socialisticheskogo obraza zhizni v Rossii [Norms and values of everyday life: the formation of a socialist lifestyle in Russia, the 1920s – 1930s].T. Vikhavaynen (ed.). St. Petersburg, Neva, 2000: 27–74 (in Russ.).
- Griber Y. A., Litvinova T. N. Tactical urbanism as a form of modernization of everyday life. Sotsiodinamika, 2015: 9: 1–19 (in Russ.). DOI: 10.7256/2409-7144.2015.9.161967
- Dobryakova M. S. Issledovaniya lokal`nyx soobshhestv v kontekste pozitivizma, sub`ektivizma i teorii globalizacii [Research of local communities in the context of positivism, subjectivism and the theory of globalization]. Sotsiologiya: 4M, 2001: 13: 27–59 (in Russ.)
- Zhelnina A. “Hang-out”, creativity and the right to the city: urban public space in Russia before and after the protest wave of 2011–2012. Stasis, 2014:2(1): 260–295 (in Russ.).
- Kolba A. I., Kolba N. V. Urban conflicts as a factor in the civil and political activation of local communities. Politicheskaya nauka. 2019: 2: 160–179 (in Russ.). DOI: 10.31249/poln/2019.02.08
- Lydon M., Garcia E. Tactical Urbanism. Short-term action for long-term change. Transl. from Eng. by Lyubov Summ, Alexey Ognev. Moscow, Strelka Press, 2019: 304 (in Russ.)
- Lebedeva E. V. Transformation of the public space of post-Soviet cities. Sotsiologiya, 2016: 4: 107–115. (in Russ.)
- Ledyayev V. Sociologiya vlasti. Teoriya i opyt empiricheskogo issledovaniya vlasti v gorodskix soobshhestvax [Sociology of power. Theory and experience of empirical research of power in urban communities]. Moscow: VHSE, 2012: 472 (in Russ.).
- Lefevr A. Production of space. Transl. from Fr. by Irina Staff. Moscow, Strelka Press, 2015: 432 (in Russ.).
- Pavlov A. V. Local city communities in social networks: between “neighborly” and “civic” communication. Labirint. Zhurnal sotsial’no-gumanitarnykh issledovaniy, 2016: 5: 46–57 (in Russ.).
- Piir A. Okno vo dvor (k opisaniyu dvorovogo prostranstva) [Window to the courtyard (to the description of the courtyard space)]. Antropologiya. Fol'kloristika. Lingvistika: Sbornik statey. Vyp. 2 [Anthropology. Folklore. Linguistics: Collection of articles. Edition 2]. St. Petersburg, EU v SPb., 2002: 194–230 (in Russ.)
- Piir A. What is a yard for? (Age communities of Leningrad courtyards). Antropologicheskiy forum, 2006: 5: 345–378 (in Russ.)
- Piir A. “The Lost Courtyard” (describing the phenomenon of the Leningrad courtyard culture). Cahiers slaves, 2010: 11–12: 149–171 (in Russ.)
- Tykanova E., Khokhlova A. The urban political regime in St. Petersburg: the role of real and imagined “growth machines” in the struggle for urban space. Zhurnal issledovaniy sotsial'noy politiki, 2015: 2: 241–256 (in Russ.).
- Tykanova E. V., Tenisheva K. A. Trapped by the “neighborhood effect”: social capital and activism in the new enclave condominiums. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsial'noy antropologii, 2020: 2: 7–35 (in Russ.). DOI: 10.31119/jssa.2020.23.2.1
- Habermas Y. The relationship between the system and the life-world in the conditions of late capitalism. THESIS, 1993: 2: 123–136 (in Russ.)
- Harvi D. Social Justice and the City. Transl. from Eng. by E. Yu. Gerasimova. Moscow, NLO, 2019: 440 (in Russ.)
- Chernega А. А. “The power of local communities”: practices, mechanisms and models of resident’s participation in sociocultural development of territories (on the materials of small towns and villages in the vologda region). Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsial'noy antropologii, 2020: 3: 51–77 (in Russ.). DOI: 10.31119/jssa.2020.23.3.3
- Chernysheva L. А. Online and offline conflicts around urban commons: caring for urban space in the territory of a large housing estate. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsial'noy antropologii, 2020: 23(2): 36–66 (in Russ.). DOI: 10.31119/jssa.2020.23.2.2
- Chernysheva L., Gizatullina E. “Vkontakte with neighbors”: features and practices of hybrid neighborhood in a large residential complex of St. Petersburg. Laboratorium: Zhurnal social’nyh issledovaniy. 2021: 13(2): 39–71 (in Russ.). DOI: 10.25285/2078-1938-2021-13-2-39-71
- Yurchak A. E`to by`lo navsegda, poka ne konchilos`. Poslednee sovetskoe pokolenie [It was forever, until it ended. The last Soviet generation]. Moscow, NLO, 2014: 664 (in Russ.).
- Elias N. Towards a Theory of Communities. Colin Bell and Howard Newby (ed.) The Sociology of Communities: A Selection of Readings.London, Frank Cass & Co. Ltd, 1974: ix–xliii.
- Hardt M., Negri A. Commonwealth. Cambridge, An Imprint of Harvard University Press, 2011: 434.
- Harvey D. The Right to the City. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 2003: 27(4): 939–941.
- Lefebvre H. Writing on cities. Blacwell Publishers, 1996: 272.
- Lofland L. H. The Public Realm: Exploring the City’s Quintessential Social Territory. New Brunswick and London, Transaction Publishers, 2009: 326.
- Mitchell D. The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space. New York, Guildford Press, 2003: 270.
- Park R. On Social Control and Collective Behavior.Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1967: 274.
- Parker P., Johansson M. Challenges and potential in collaborative management of urban commons. In T. B. Valic, D. Modic, U. Lamut, & T. Luckman (Eds). Multifaceted nature of collaboration in contemporary world,2012: 92–113.
- Purcell M. Neighborhood activism among homeowners as a politics of space. Professional Geographer, 2001: 53(2): 178–194.
- Purcell M. Urban Democracy and the Local Trap. Urban Studies, 2006: 43 (11): 1921–1941.
- Robins K. Prisoners of the City: Whatever Can a Postmodern City Be? Space and Place: Theories of Identity and Location. Carter E., Donald J. and Squires J. (eds). London, Lawrence & Wishart, 1993: 399.
- van Dijk J. The Network Society. Thouthand Oaks, New Delhi, Sage Publishing, 2006: 272.
- Walker D. M. Networked Public Talk: Attention, Difference, and Imagination in Online Urban Forums. Michigan, University of Michigan, 2001: 308.