FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTURE

ANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
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Antropologicheskij forum, 2017, no. 35

 

SPATIALITY AND DYSFUNCTIONALITY OF INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE CONTEXT OF MODERN RUSSIAN FUNERAL RITES

Sergei Mokhov
National Research University Higher School of Economics
3 Krivokolennyy Lane, Moscow, Russia
Journal “Archeology of Russian Death”
10–5–34 Zagorodnoe Road, Moscow, Russia
svmohov.hse()gmail.com

Abstract: This article explores the influence of funeral market infrastructure on rituals of the modern Russian funeral. The author argues that the spatiality of the infrastructure creates a special regimen for Russian funerals. This turns the funeral into a long-term movement from one infrastructure object to another, in the course of which local problems of the dysfunction of infrastructure are solved. The breakdown / repair of infrastructure is sacred and becomes an essential element of the funeral rite. I compare a constant solution to the dysfunctionality of the infrastructure with the litanies which were described by Nancy Rice. Some brief context of the question of the importance of infrastructure in social practices, and specifically in the funeral business, is presented in the beginning of the article. The second part of the text reveals the role of infrastructure in modern Russian funerals. The article is based on the materials of my own ethnographic research in the funeral home.

Keywords: death care industry, Russian funeral market, anthropology of infrastructure, cemeteries, funerals, repair and breakdown of infrastructure.

To cite: Mokhov S., ‘Prostranstvo i disfunktsionalnost infrastruktury v kontekste pokhoronnogo rituala’ [Spatiality and Dysfunctionality of Infrastructure in the Context of Modern Russian Funeral Rites], Antropologicheskij forum, 2017, no. 35, pp. 189–212.

URL: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/035/mokhov.pdf