MEGAPOLIS

Russian culture of neighbor relations: metropolitan city as neighborness of
neighborhoods

This subproject aims to study the culture(s) of neighborness as it is practiced in a contemporary Russia’s metropolitan city, that is, St. Petersburg. The modern Russian society is intricately organized and included in the manifold processes of urban transformations and transnational — and internal — migrations. Along with other factors, increasing mobility and the proliferation of technologies influence general communication culture and impact the understanding, practices and culture of neighbor relationships.

In this subproject, we study the culture of neighborness and neighboring from various angles. We look at residential areas of different types, such as large new residential compounds or historic housing areas, trying to identify what is common and what is particular about practicing neighbor relationships in different parts of the city and different neighborhoods. We also pay attention to new technologies and their impact on the routines and content of interpersonal communication between neighbors and the culture of neighboring in general. We seek to reveal the ‘best practices’ of neighboring, reasons for, and examples of, neighbor conflicts, neighbor solidarities and civic activism on the neighborhood ground. We also look at the most mundane and routinized neighbor interactions and communications, such as small talks, greeting, neighbor assistance and exchanges, neighbor friendships and other types of bonding and whatever else pops up in the course of the study, with the goal to shed light on the meanings and functions of neighbor connections for the residents of contemporary Russia’s metropolis.

Working group: Elena Bogdanova, Olga Brednikova, Olga Tkach, Elena Nikiforova (all —CISR).