House-in-the-Village for Escape and Survival: Utopia of Rural Autonomy in the Popular Futurology of Disasters
[Domik-v-Derevne dl’a begstva i vyzhivaniia: utopiia sel’skoi avtonomii v popul’arnoi futurologii katastrof]
Type of publication: Research Article
rurality, village, survival, disaster, utopia, futurology, salvation, subculture, preppers, survivalists, netnography
This article is drawn on a netnographic study of the discussion of the village as a means of survival in the case of disaster. The focus is on the sociocultural milieu (survivalists and preppers), for which the theme of survival has become the basis for the formation of a collective identity. I investigate the concept of “House-in-the Village” as a means of salvation, popular among the preppers. On their Internet sites and forums, the concept of village-as-salvation is discussed as a variant of the ideological justification of the desurbanization movement. Being grounded in the idea of the initial “abandonment” of the village and the vacuum of power, the survivalists/preppers generate structures for the crisis sociality of a catastrophic future. The specificity of the subcultural ideology of survival in the country is the orientation toward creation of an autonomous social world that turns into a utopia when trying to implement it in the present. In the second part of the article, I analyze the experience of people both from the studied milieu and from its outside, who perceived the 2020 pandemic as a crisis and responded by moving to the countryside. Both groups note the activation of control institutions as a result of their transition to crisis functioning, which is interpreted in the discourse of survivalists as the destruction of their rural autonomy project, which is increasingly criticized now as utopia.
Funding InformationThis research was supported by the following institutions and grants: Russian Foundation for Basic Research, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100002261 [19-09-00381]
Shchepanskaia, Т.B. 2020. House-in-the-Village for Escape and Survival: Utopia of Rural Autonomy in the Popular Futurology of Disasters [Domik-v-Derevne dl’a begstva i vyzhivaniia: utopiia sel’skoi avtonomii v popul’arnoi futurologii katastrof]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 6: 70–87. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150013122-4
Full text is distributed by eLIBRARY.ru