Home    Number 6, 2017

Towards the Anthropology of the “Near” in the City: Places, Non-Places, Mobilities

[K antropologii “blizkogo” v gorode: mesta, ne-mesta, mobil’nosti]

Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 12.05.2017

Accepted: 24.08.2017

About author(s)

Andrei G. Kuznetsov | http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0249-5890 | kuznetsov_ag@volsu.ru | Volgograd State University (100 Universitetskii prospekt, Volgograd, 400062, Russia)


anthropology of contemporary societies, urban anthropology, mobilities, non-places, Marc Augé, supermodernity


This article is a theoretical introduction to the special section on the “Anthropology of Urban Spaces and Mobilities”. The contributors to the section share an interest in the anthropology of contemporary societies or anthropology of the “near” as contrasting with the anthropology of traditional societies or anthropology of the “far”. Marc Augé is one of the prominent proponents of the anthropology of the “near”, therefore his ideas are critically examined. First, his understanding of the differences between anthropologies of the “far” and the “near” are reviewed. Second, Augé’s central analytical distinction between anthropological place and non-place is analyzed in order to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of his approach. Inherent complexity and heuristic potential are indicated. However, fruitful theoretical implications of Augé’s approach seem to elude the attention not only of its critics in the field of mobilities, but also of its author as well. The article concludes with the hope that professional anthropologists in Russia will follow the lead of the contributors to this section and turn their research attention to the study of urban spaces and mobilities as phenomena of the “near”.


Kuznetsov, A.G. 2017. K antropologii “blizkogo” v gorode: mesta, ne-mesta, mobil’nosti [Towards the Anthropology of the “Near” in the City: Places, Non-Places, Mobilities]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 6: 5-13

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