What's after the city? Perspectives on the rural-urban path of life

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Prof., Chair of General Sociology; Chief Researcher
National Research University “Higher School of Economics”
Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS
Address: 11 Pokrovsky Blvrd., Moscow 109028, Russian Federation; 24/35/5 Krzhizhanovsky Str., 117218 Moscow, Russian Federation
Occupation: Ph.D. stud. of Doctoral School of Sociology
Affiliation: National Research University Higher School of Economics
Address: 11 Pokrovsky Blvrd., Moscow 109028, Russian Federation
Affiliation: National Research University Higher School of Economics
Address: 11 Pokrovsky Blvrd., Moscow 109028, Russian Federation
Journal nameChelovek
EditionVolume 33 Issue 5

The article considers a wide range of general, theoretical, and practical issues related to the process of the centrifugal migration from the big cities to the so-called “small territories” (small towns and rural settlements). Is the urban form of settlement structure (especially megapolises) a timeless and entirely positive and non-alternative civilizational construction, stretching into an infinite perspective of the distant future, or does the modern city, filled with internal and external contradictions, constantly generates its antithesis in the form of reverse migration and the desire to live and work outside the urban environment? The cult of cities and urbanization, gradually formed in the early Modern History, has gradually generated and is currently generating a deep criticism of the phenomenon of urban life and, as a consequence, the process of de-urbanization. The article examines modern theories of de-urbanization (counterurbanization) and, on the basis of in-depth interviews, reconstructs various versions of the centrifugal motivations of “fugitives” migrants from the metropolis. These themes have become particularly important in recent years, marked by the total pandemic of COVID-19, which forced urbanitess to leave the cities in large numbers and settle in out-of-town space. The theme continues to resonate today, as the threat of an all-out military conflict, in the context of which the city becomes a particularly vulnerable target, has become evident.

Keywordsdisurbanization, counterurbanization, mobility, centrifugal migration, pandemic, Coronavirus infection, non-urban space, adaptation strategies of urbanites, the role of “small” non-urban territories
Publication date09.11.2022
Number of characters32638
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