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PLASTIC, BICYCLES AND URBAN CITIZENSHIPS: TWO CASES OF INFRASTRACTURAL REORGANIZATION IN ST. PETERSBURG

Anastasiya Halauniovaa,
Liubov Chernyshevab
(corresponding author. E-mail: lchernysheva@eu.spb.ru)

aUniversity of Amsterdam, Netherlands
b European University at St. Petersburg, Russia

Citation: Halauniova A.V., Chernysheva L.A. (2017) Plastik, velosipedy i gorodskiye grazhdanstva: dva sluchaya reorganizatsii infrastruktur v Sankt-Peterburge [Plastic, bicycles and urban citizenships: two cases of urban infrastructures’ reorganization in St. Petersburg]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 20(3): 7-31 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2017.20.3.1

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Abstract. The article is concerned with the scripts of urban citizenship’ emergence in which residents are connected with communities of different scale through the usage of the infrastructures. We examine two cases of urban infrastructures’ reorganization in St. Petersburg: the introduction of bike renting system in 2014 and efforts in the building of separate waste collection system. Based on the interviews with the users, city bureaucrats, activists, as well as participant observations and digital ethnography, we analyze several issues concerning the formation of urban citizenship. First, we illustrate the diversification of communities’ scale that infrastructures connect its users to, which are the community of users and the city in general as an object of care. Second, we compare the performed practices of citizenship with the scripts and orientations built into the infrastructures by its producers. In contrast to the producers’ expectations, infrastructures may acquire specific moral-political connotations that were not considered before. And finally, we show how various practices of infrastructure usage work as ‘political drivers’ capable of transforming an urban dweller into the ‘responsible citizen’. We emphasize how the infrastructures are problematized by the city residents and how they become ‘visible’: it is not always preceded by the systems’ breakage, but instead it may be problematized become of the particular moral framing in which some of the infrastructures are considered as ‘dangerous’ and their users as ‘irresponsible’ dwellers.

Keywords: citizenship, infrastructure, city, sustainability, community, collection of garbage, cycling

Acknowledgments

The work was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Humanitarian Research within the framework of the project «Quality of urban space: vectors of development of civic initiative groups in Russia and Germany» (№ 16-03-00508). Additionally, the authors are grateful to the members of discussion meetings, organised by Science and Technology Studies Center at European University at St. Petersburg, and especially, to Olga Sezneva and Diana West, for their valuable advice on the first drafts of the analytical papers that later became a foundation for this article.

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