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"BUT STILL, DISCOMFORT WE FEEL": THE OB UGRIANS IN THE PROCESSES OF SOCIO-CULTURAL ADAPTATION TO THE CONDITIONS OF THE CITY

Elena Pivneva (E-mail: pivnel@mail.ru)

Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Citation: Pivneva E. (2018) “No diskomfort my vse-taki oshchushchayem”: obskiye ugry v protsessakh sotsiokul'turnoy adaptatsii k usloviyam goroda [“But still, discomfort we feel”: the Ob Ugrians in the processes of socio-cultural adaptation to the conditions of the city]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 21(4): 104–129 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2018.21.4.5

Abstract. The article is based on authors' field studies in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug — Ugra (mainly in the city of Khanty-Mansiysk) as well as on the results of the interviews in St. Petersburg (Institute of the Peoples of the North at The Herzen State Pedagogical University), and dedicated to the study of modern adaptation strategies and practices of Ob Ugrians (the Khanty and the Mansi) to urban conditions. The author based her research on the analysis of the "life histories" of Khanty and Mansi, the members of different social categories. Until now, the cultural complexes of these peoples were regarded as options for optimal adaptation to the harsh nature. The process of excluding the indigenous small-numbered peoples of the North from the traditional economy and their migration, sometimes forced, into large towns and cities led to a sharp stratification of this category of population and the creation of various adaptation strategies and practices. The field work material is explored in the article in the context of the concept of multivariate self-development, which assumes the use of different approaches to the various social groups of the aboriginal population. The Ob Ugrian urban population has a complex composition, including people of different dialectal ethnographic groups (their representatives are engaged in various spheres of activity, have their own values, norms, preferences). Particular attention is paid to the gender and age specific features of urbanization, as well as the role of education in the process of adapting the Khanty and Mansi to the urban way of life. A conclusion is drawn about the heterogeneity of sociocultural processes in the city. The author emphasizes that ethnographic / anthropological knowledge can help people in creating "ethnic comfort" in the city. Particularly revealing in this context is the study on the positive experience of adaptation of northern peoples, as well as research on their kinship and place of origin relations, which allow newcomers to less painfully and with less risk adapt to the new environment.

Keywords: Ob Ugrians, Khanty-Mansiysk, socio-cultural adaptation, urbanization, social stratification, ethnic comfort.

Acknowledgements

The work was carried out within the framework of the Basic Research Program of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences “The Arctic — the scientific foundations of technologies of exploration, preservation and development” (project “The quality and life styles of indigenous peoples of the Arctic under conditions of social transformations”).

 

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