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Consumption and urban space in post-Soviet Moscow.

Perrotta, Louise (1996) Consumption and urban space in post-Soviet Moscow. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis is based on field research conducted in Moscow in 1992-1993. It addresses a theoretical literature on urbanism, and examines the consumption and interpretation of space by urban social actors. The hypothesis is that a particular social context, in this case a post-Soviet city, can only be understood by examining the meanings of the city as these are constructed by its inhabitants. It is an analysis of the ways in which these meanings are constructed through practical experience as people consume things, spaces, and interactive moments as they move through the city in pursuit of individually intended, cooperatively negotiated and institutionally directed projects. It is suggested that the resultant meanings are the product of partial and contingent knowledge, of interpretations of the physical landscapes of the city, and of the socio-emotive face to face interactions that characterise distinctive places and spaces in the city. The thesis is also concerned with elucidating the nature of social change in the specific context of post-Soviet transition. The transition to the Market is examined through analysis of the ideas and practices of the city's inhabitants. The thesis concludes with an examination of the differences between Soviet urbanism and the urbanisms described by authors interested in cities of the capitalist world. These differences and their effects on urban culture, are imported to give a sense to the ways in which Muscovites consume and interpret the new socio-economic phenomena which attend the transition period. The thesis attempts to elucidate the links between abstract and changing social, political and economic forces and their operationalisation in everyday life. I argue that attention to the interactive moment illuminates the point of articulation between structural forces and embodied or internalised identity. These moments are cued by the specifics of different socio-spatial contexts, which in turn inform the ways in which social actors interact with and construct the meaning of post-Soviet urbanism.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Urban and Regional Planning
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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