Polical and cultural significance of conflicts over the orthodox symbolization of public urban space in the context of depoliticization

Abstract

This article presents the results of a study of two of the most striking conflicts: the transfer of St. Isaac’s Cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church and the construction of the Church of St. Catherine in Yekaterinburg. In these clashes over attempts to change or redefine the public urban space, a hybrid of “the religious” and “the political” is quite new for a Russian researcher. So, despite the presence of Orthodox public actions, these conflicts cannot be fully called religious, while the peripheral nature of the domestic political agenda makes it difficult to call them political. In this regard, the study of these conflicts requires a special methodological setting (orientation). Thanks to the theory of social performance by J. Alexander, it becomes obvious that the conflict of meanings within these confrontations gives access to the study of display of modern political culture. Guided by his methodology and using the approach to the analysis of the discourse of D. Snow and his colleagues, in the present research, carried out by the author, there have been analyzed the discourses of the two sides of the confrontation in online media publications concerning two indicated conflicts.

About the authors

Andrei Yu. Shvaya

Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Branch of the Federal Research Sociological Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
Email: andrewshvaya@gmail.com
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0948-4246

Junior research associate of the authorities’ sociology and the civil society sector,

Russian Federation, 57/43, Sredniy Prospekt of Vasilyevsky Island, Saint Petersburg, 199178, Russian Federation

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