Abstract

The paper employs the categories of ideologeme and kulturnost for the analysis of post-Soviet urban mass celebrations. The paper delves into how Soviet ideological clich s and stereotypes are manifested in the language of contemporary Russian urban inhabitants. The paper also explains the interdependence between a survey situation, a research setting, and the celebrative lexicon of post-Soviet urban inhabitants. Kulturnost is considered as the set of practices, which is a heterogeneous and fragmented mixture of uncouth upbringing, high culture, satisfaction, seduction, and inaccessibility for the masses. The research setting is the industrial city of Perm with approximately one million inhabitants. The data comes from the survey, conducted with 429 visitors of the “White Nights in Perm — 2012” Festival. The results demonstrate that visitors have a complex structure of their opinions including the clich s rooted in Soviet discursive heritage. In terms of Soviet ideologemes the festival looks like a public good providing dignified leisure for Perm citizens. Desirable and non-desirable behavioral patterns are constructed by the dichotomies referring to the content of kulturnost concept. Applying Bourdieu’s idea of “the objectivisation of the objectifier”, the paper reflects on the influence of surveys on the usage of Soviet discursive heritage. The results suggest the necessity to regard Soviet discursive heritage as an influential source of signifiers for articulating opinions in post-Soviet Russia. The paper also questions the uncritical usage of Western originated measures as the main tool for festival impact evaluation.

Keywords: mass celebrations, kulturnost, post-Soviet studies, urban festival