Abstract

The article is based on the territorial identification study where two methods were used: biographical interviews and focus groups (2013-2014). The author discusses several issues. The first issue is the role of routine, common experience in the identification with a territorial community. The perсeption of the climatic conditions and other difficulties, work and leisure, temporary residence, northern long vacation, which divides the year into parts and other socio-cultural features of the territory are important for understanding the identity and the most common trends in public opinion. The second issue is the construction of meanings of a community through the appeal to history and the comparison with others. Meanings, determined by the history and the daily life of modern people of Yamal are articulated through comparison with other important areas: the world as a whole, Moscow, major regional centers, depressed regions, developed northern regions, including such popular examples of social welfare as the Scandinavian countries. The third issue is the difference between an image of a territory and an image of a territorial community. A public discourse about the area (Polar Circle, natural resources, ambitious infrastructure projects and the others) can present it as unique and attractive, but doesn’t necessarily give inhabitants positive identification images. Finally, people can use several different territorial categories with different semantic content expressing pride, solidarity and territorial attachment: northerners, Yamal, Arctic, specific urban communities.

Keywords: territorial identification, territorial community, area image, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug