This article analyzes population mobility in the old Russian North in terms of existential sociology. It is based on a secondary analysis of historical literature and official statistics. The key research questions are: why did people live and continue to live in adverse climatic conditions, even if there are other options in Russia? Why do they leave these places, where their ancestors have lived for centuries? Migration is explained by specific historical factors that are beyond the control of individuals: natural conditions, the economic and geopolitical situation, state domestic policy, cultural systems, etc. However, individuals have a certain freedom in deciding on their life goals and the means of achieving them, even if their choice sets are bound by objective conditions. The integration of two types of mobility factors occurs through the individualization of circumstances. In the same conditions, different individuals choose different strategies of behavior, based on their individual capabilities and their personal aspirations, imbued with the spirit of the time. As a result, in each historical period, we observe a particular set of dominant or significant models of mobility characterized by a certain degree of individual freedom, and a set of motives for mobility. Today, mobility in the old Russian North is not only due to its socio-economic development, neoliberal reforms and the regional policies of the center, but also due to a dramatic shift in the system of dominant value orientations, in which the hedonistic values of the consumer society occupy an increasingly prominent place. The result is a trend towards the depopulation of the region and the social desertification of northern rural areas.
|Translated title of the contribution||PEOPLE IN THE OLD RUSSIAN NORTH: BETWEEN FREE WILL AND STRUCTURAL COERCION (A HISTORICAL ESSAY IN TERMS OF EXISTENTIAL SOCIOLOGY)|
|Journal||МИР РОССИИ: СОЦИОЛОГИЯ, ЭТНОЛОГИЯ|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2020|