The Old and the New: Myth as Reality in Contemporary Russian Mass Celebration

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Title: The Old and the New: Myth as Reality in Contemporary Russian Mass Celebration
Author: Vishnjakova, Olga
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology
Helsingin yliopisto, Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Sosiologian laitos
Helsingfors universitet, Statsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Sociologiska institutionen
Date: 2004-05-03
Language: en
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Social and Cultural Anthropology
Sosiaali- ja kulttuuriantropologia
Social- och kulturantropologi
Abstract: This is a study of contemporary Russian urban celebration. Specifically, a highly popular celebration of a City Day – an event commemorating the birthday of a town or a city is analyzed. The general issues of celebration are examined through a prism of a local event, the 850th jubilee of a small mid-Russian town of Kasimov. Contemporary celebration is contextualised by looking at the historical development of mass urban festivity in Russia. This study is an attempt to reach an understandingof the character of collective Russian celebrations, the role they play in shaping of social relationships and reflecting the attitudes and values of society. The symbolic dimension of City Days is analysed to provide insights into a broader cultural framework. The study examines the different dimensions and genres of a spectacular celebrations, as well as the profound effects of the festivities both on the people and the town itself. Methodologically the study relies on participant observation and anthropological fieldwork that I have conducted in the town of Kasimov and utilises qualitative research methods. Main sources are unstructured interviews, local and regional press clippings, photographs, as well as video footage and local television programmes. Theoretically the study relies on anthropological discussion of collective representations, rituals, festivals, myths and symbols. Mass celebrations stress and define contemporary Russian values and embody the myths structuring the reality of the society. Contemporary celebrations are a syncretistic mixture of traditional, modern, pre-revolutionary and Soviet elements. Myths often present the actual in terms of the ideal, thus celebrations are mythologised and idealised collective representations portraying the local people as they themselves want to be seen.
Description: Endast sammandrag. Inbundna avhandlingar kan sökas i Helka-databasen ( Elektroniska kopior av avhandlingar finns antingen öppet på nätet eller endast tillgängliga i bibliotekets avhandlingsterminaler.Only abstract. Paper copies of master’s theses are listed in the Helka database ( Electronic copies of master’s theses are either available as open access or only on thesis terminals in the Helsinki University Library.Vain tiivistelmä. Sidottujen gradujen saatavuuden voit tarkistaa Helka-tietokannasta ( Digitaaliset gradut voivat olla luettavissa avoimesti verkossa tai rajoitetusti kirjaston opinnäytekioskeilla.
Subject: celebration
cultural performance
collective memory

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