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TWO KINDS OF ISOLATED LOCAL COMMUNITIES AS OLD AND NEW GEMEINSCHAFTS IN CONTEMPORARY RUSSIA

Artemy Pozanenko (apozanenko@hse.ru)

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

Citation: Pozanenko A. (2017) Dva vida izolirovannykh lokalnykh soobshchestv kak staryye i novyye tonnisovskiye obshchnosti v sovremennoy Rossii [Two kinds of isolated local communities as old and new gemeinschafts in contemporary Russia]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 20(3): 161–178 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2017.20.3.8

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Abstract. In his seminal work «Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft», Ferdinand Tönnies back in the late nineteenth century already predicted that the end of the gesellschaft era will be marked by the appearance of new gemeinschafts, which may give birth to a new culture. Nowadays, we may be witnessing the emergence of such gemeinschafts in the form of self-isolated local communities (ecovillages, intentional and religious communities, kin’s domain settlements, etc.). The situation in Russia is unique and unforeseen by Tönnies — new local gemeinschafts coexist in the same country and even in the same ethno-religious environment with the remaining old ones — territorially isolated local communities (remote hard-to-reach villages). Based on the identified features of a gemeinschaft, the article compares territorially isolated and self-isolated local communities (on the example of the so-called kin’s domain settlements — its most widespread variety in Russia) with an ideal gemeinschaft. The author concludes that territorially isolated communities are closer to an ideal gemeinschaft. This can be partly explained by the fact that kin’s domain settlements are still at the initial stage of their development. They grew out of the gesellschaft and bear some of its traits. And even now, gemeinschaft features in kin’s domain settlements are prevailing over the gesellschaft ones as evolution towards an ideal gemeinschaft continues. Nevertheless, new gemeinschafts will remain qualitatively different social ties as compared to the old ones. The data were collected in remote villages and kin’s domain settlements using such methods as in-depth interviews and observations with elements of participant observation.

Keywords: community, gemeinschaft, Ferdinand Tönnies, territorial isolation, self-isolation, rural communities, ecovillages, Anastasians, kin’s domain settlements

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