DiMe panel at the Aleksanteri Conference, Helsinki

DiMe team will organize a panel  A1 Young People’s Mundane Mobilizations, Solidarities, and Expressions in Public Space in Russia and Finland at the 16th Annual Aleksanteri Conference.  Come and discuss with DiMe team our search findings!  

Venue: Hall 12, University of Helsinki Main Building, 3rd floor, Fabianinkatu 33
Chair: Päivi Honkatukia (University of Tampere, Finland)
Discussant: Oksana Zaporozhets (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia)
Yana Krupets, Margarita Kuleva & Nadezhda Vasilieva (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, Russia): “The Street Is My Gallery”: Invisible Mobilities And Public Traces of Young Sticker-Artists in Saint Petersburg
Heta Mulari (Finnish Youth Research Society) & Arseniy Svynarenko (University of Tampere, Finland): Multisensory belonging: Young people claiming their space and expressing their belonging in Helsinki and Saint Petersburg
Elena Omelchenko & Guzel Sabirova (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, Russia): UrbanYouth Cultural Scenes in Russia: Regional Differences
Nadya Nartova (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, Russia): The Living in Leningrad Region: Local Identities And Everyday Life of Young Rural Russians

Panel description

Serious economic difficulties and at the same time ideological flourishing in contemporary Russia provoke new cleavages, inequalities, and boundaries among different social groups. They are reinforced by neo-liberalization of economy and by the crisis of policy of multiculturalism/tolerance. New national ideology manifests the return to traditionalism, collective responsibility, and the strengthening of the national state. The society is transforming and these changes have to be analyzed by sociologists. This panel is dedicated to the analysis of challenges Russia faces during last years from the perspective of young people at the micro level of everyday life.
Youth traditionally is seen by the Russian state primarily as a source for political mobilization and exploitation, or as an object of upbringing (‘vospitanie’) and ideological formation, or as a threat – disturbers of public order. At the same time as contemporary research demonstrates young people can become the significant force for social change. It is youth who actively participates in the life of society, expresses their views and attitudes in public space, and becomes the active actor of development of different innovations. However, their civic engagement and public activism often escape the space of traditional politics, many young people in Russia do not trust state institutions and many more want to distant themselves from the politics, but they can be really active in their everyday life, realizing their everyday citizenship: through work, leisure and consumption, participation in cultures and subcultures, sport, and other. Their activity in public space can be seen authorities as the problem, at the same time it can become the source for new development.
The studies of Russian youth cultural and public practices also demonstrate the importance of understanding the complexities of the intersections of global and local trends which determine the configuration of the youth scene, changing and sometimes breaking cultural boundaries and distorting the authentic meanings. The combination of global and local identities, experience of different spatial and social mobilities became common for contemporary youth. In this context it is important to discuss Russian youth not as isolated case but in comparison, and in connections with European youth.
In this panel we want to focus on different aspects of youth everyday civic participation, solidarization and mobilization in different contexts: global and local, urban and rural, Russian and European. It will include papers that discuss the specificity of mundane experience of young people that are engage in the life of their society and try to make their life better.
The panel is organized and coordinated by the research project Digital Youth in the Media City that focuses on young people’s mediated and urban mobility and local belonging in St. Petersburg and Helsinki. The project is funded by the Kone Foundation.