Article Information


Tatiana Vlasovaa (
Konstantin Obukhovb (

aUdmurt State University, Izhevsk, Russia

bUdmurt State University, Izhevsk, Russia

Citation: Vlasova T., Obukhov K. (2021) V poiskakh «izhevskogo mifa»: simvolicheskoye prostranstvo goroda kak resurs razvitiya territoriy [In search of the “Izhevsk myth”: the symbolic space of the city as a resource for the territory development]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 24(4): 196–220 (in Russian).

Abstract. The subject of this article is the symbolic space of Izhevsk as a typical example of the city that went through post-soviet transformation, when the implementation of the environment improvement programs have sparked the discussion about city identity. The research allowed to find out the variety of ideas about the symbols of the city, and to correlate the most common ways of Izhevsk representation among the citizens. The empirical basis of the research are 30 semi-structured interviews with the experts in the city development sphere and the survey among the citizens (n=1001). The experts have described three ways to represent Izhevsk. Except “the city of gunsmiths” there may be the imagery of manufacturing and sports, art, and music. But the variety of city symbols used by experts is not common in social media and among the city residents. According to survey results, they prefer to use conventional symbols, along with the industrial past is prevalent. There is no way to form a well-rounded selection supported by the majority by analyzing the preferences of city residents. Despite the most mentioned symbols (names, images, objects) being identified in the survey, there is no clear logic in the associations, and the city and region identity often contradict each other. Regional brands are mostly based on ethnic characteristics of Udmurtia, that imply rural way of living. Its inclusion in the city space is mostly due to architecture or designer choice, with the dominant role of the industrial symbols.

Keywords: Urban space, Post-soviet city, Izhevsk, Udmurtia, Territory, Urban Symbolism, Urban image, Urban Identity.

Acknowledgements: The research was carried out with the support of the Russian President Foundation “Deryabin assembly: Industrial City Development” (no. 19-2-021122 2019-2020).


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