‘It is hard for me to live in the city’: local identities and place attachment among young rural Russians
Keywords:youth, young adults, rural, Russia, place attachment, local identity
The contemporary youth studies are mostly metrocentric. As a result, rural youth often find themselves outside the focus of researchers' attention being marginalized in comparison with urban youth whose experience and lifestyle are perceived as a normative model. In these conditions, rural space is labeled as illegitimate and structurally depriving for youth. This approach is criticized by researchers who work in the tradition of the cultural geographies of childhood and youth and take into account complex, often contradictory but still unique and autonomous experiences of today's young people living in rural areas. The article is based on 59 biographical interviews and describes how Russian rural youth comprehend belonging to places in three rural localities. The authors single out three types of prerequisites defining the place attachment and local identities among young people: rational choice, biographical rootedness, and community rootedness.
Acknowledgments. The study was implemented in the framework of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in 2015-2016.
We thank our colleagues from the Centre for Youth Studies at NRU HSE in St. Petersburg who participated in interviewing the respondents and whose excellent and professional work was indispensable for writing this article.