In Russia, it appears that the media and the protesters represent the generalized view about the anti-Putin movement as a group resisting an oppressive regime. It’s difficult to say what came first—the ideological constriction of the official and liberal media opposing the provincial working class to a group of progressive and educated urban citizens or the post-Soviet (or post-shock) effects of depoliticization resulting in a mistrust of any form of class identification. From official representatives of the protest, we heard that the people demanded only a new election. However, would it be right to adapt all social and economic dissatisfaction to reformist slogans? This monolithic construct restricts the mass of people to the category of the privileged minority; this is not only a simplification but a conscious disregard of the multiplicity and differences of the social groups, which spontaneously joined the protest (including teachers, students, pensioners, office workers, and artists). This article first analyses the class composition of the mass mobilization in Russia and reflects on the monolithic oppositions of “anti-Putin”/“pro-Putin” and working class/creative class constructed through various political institutions. The article then examines the mechanisms of such reductions and discusses modes of subjectivations of the precarious urban classes in Russia.
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Maria Chehonadskih; The Class Composition of Russia’s Anti-Putin Movement. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 January 2014; 113 (1): 196–209. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-2390491
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