FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTUREANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
RUS | ENG
Antropologicheskij forum, 2017, no. 32
Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Abstract: The murder of an opposition politician Boris E. Nemtsov on the Bolshoy Moskvoretskiy bridge (28 February 2015) stimulated a symbolic interaction. A place of murder and spontaneous memorial arising here became a spatial interaction centre. Interaction takes place between activists preserving the memory of Nemtsov, and actors representing the “power” (as a result of their official duties or ideological positions). The participants of interaction perceive the murder of Nemtsov in the context of the current political agenda. The aim of this article is to consider ways of forming symbolic statements in the course of interaction. Research methods include participant observation, interviews, quantitative and qualitative content analysis. The methodology is a dramaturgical model of sociology, using discourse analysis. Symbolic statements are being made such as a design for a memorial, posters mourning processions, mass media messages, etc. Symbolic statements include various social activities primarily aimed at maintaining or destroying the memorial. Interaction takes place in the framework of three discourses: political (1), thanatological (2) and legal (3).
1. Actions of activists are in fact a continuation of Nemtsov’s political activity: they symbolically represent the issues he paid attention to (criticism of the authorities, individual civic engagement, relations with Ukraine, and others). Actions of ideological opponents of the memorial are responding to political phobias existing in society.
2. So to say, death realigns actions of the participants of interaction (both activists and representatives of the “authorities”). The commemorative quality of practices makes it possible not to define what is happening as a political street action (installation).
3. Legal discourse determines the interpretation of various actions in terms of the law. In the situation of uncertainty which has arisen around the memorial, this discourse is the easiest and most convenient way to interact.
Keywords: symbolic interactionism, street action, spontaneous memorials, commemorative practice, dramaturgical model of sociology, discourse analysis, death.
To cite: Gromov D., 'Nemtsov most kak mesto simvolicheskoy interaktsii' [Nemtsov Bridge as a Place of Symbolic Interaction], Antropologicheskij forum, 2017, no. 32, pp. 171–200.
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