Russian youth culture has been a subject of great interest to researchers since 1991, but most studies to date have failed to consider the global context. Looking West? engages theories of cultural globalization to chart how post-Soviet Russia's opening up to the West has been reflected in the cultural practices of its young people.
Visitors to Russia's cities often interpret the presence of designer clothes shops, Internet cafes, and a vibrant club scene as evidence of the "Westernization" of Russian youth. As Looking West? shows, however, the younger generation has adopted a "pick and mix" strategy with regard to Western cultural commodities that reflects a receptiveness to the global alongside a precious guarding of the local. The authors show us how young people perceive Russia to be positioned in current global flows of cultural exchange, what their sense of Russia's place in the new global order is, and how they manage to "live with the West" on a daily basis.
Looking West? represents an important landmark in Russian-Western collaborative research. Hilary Pilkington and Elena Omel'chenko have been at the heart of an eight-year collaboration between the University of Birmingham (U.K.) and Ul'ianovsk State University (Russia). This book was written by Pilkington and Omel'chenko with the team of researchers on the project-Moya Flynn, Ul'iana Bliudina, and Elena Starkova.
Hilary Pilkington is Deputy Director of the Centre for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Birmingham. Elena Omel'chenko is Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre "Region" at Ul'ianovsk State University. Moya Flynn is ESRC postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Birmingham. Ul'iana Bliudina is research associate of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre "Region" and a doctoral student at the Centre for Social Studies, Central European University, Warsaw. Elena Starkova is head of the Sociological Laboratory, Ul'ianovsk State University.
Contents List of Illustrations and Tables Acknowledgments Introduction Hilary Pilkington 1. Cultural Globalization: A Peripheral Perspective Hilary Pilkington and Uliana Bliudina 2. On the Outside Looking In? The Place of Youth in Russia's New Media and Information Space Elena Omel'chenko and Ul'iana Bliudina 3. Talking Global? Images of the West in the Youth Media Moya Flynn and Elena Starkova 4. Through Their Own Eyes: Young People's Images of "the West" Elena Omel'chenko and Moya Flynn 5. "Progressives" and "Normals": Strategies for Glocal Living Hilary Pilkington (with Elena Starkova) 6. The Dark Side of the Moon? Global and Local Horizons Hilary Pilkington 7. Reconfiguring "the West": Style and Music in Russian Youth Cultural Practice Hilary Pilkington 8. Living with the West Hilary Pilkington and Elena Omel'chenko Conclusion Hilary Pilkington Appendix References Index