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Category: History

Informal youth of Ulan-Ude: yesterday and today

a. Yu. Buyanova


Work is presented by the center of Asian and Pacific researches of Institute of ethnology and anthropology of N.N. Miklouho-Maclay of RAS, Moscow.

The research supervisor - the doctor of historical sciences, professor N.L. Zhukovskaya

In article one of groups of youth of the city of Ulan-Ude - informal is considered. The short description of ideology, practice and social characteristic of informal community is given. The reasons of existence of nonconformists are considered today. Short digression to the history of emergence of a party is made.

A. Buyanova


One of the youth groups of Ulan-Ude city - the nonformal one - is discussed in the article. A short description of the ideology, practice and social characteristics of the nonformal community is given. The reasons for existence of nonformal youth today are discussed in the article. A short excursion into the history of the group&s origin is carried out.

The informal youth was bright attribute of rebellious 90th of the 20th century. The term "informal associations" arose as the answer to social realities of the period of reorganization when with improbable speed the organizations, "alternative" in relation to official structures, groups, associations began to appear. According to D.V. Olshansky, "nonconformists are those who are beaten out from the formalized structures of our life, is not entered in habitual rules of conduct, seeks to live according to own, but not with the strangers imposed from the outside (adults, society) interests and is ready to assert the right for it, uniting with similar for a joint pastime and realization of these interests" [3, page 4].

In post-Perestroika Russia freedom of speech is promoted, the pluralism is encouraged

opinions, nevertheless the informal youth continues to exist. To whom and what it resists today to? Penetration of "pop-music" for a framework of musical style becomes distinct characteristic of modern times. * however to the origin this concept is obliged to music world. "Pop music - nothing but mainstream, music "averages людей" the most mass, being in the greatest demand in this society and setting broad standard of musical preferences" [5, page 66]. Thus, modern nonconformists reject pop-music ideology: mass character, standardization, averaging.

As material for this article the young people localized in space of the city of Ulan-Ude ** served, economic, cultural and education center of the Republic of Buryatia, a chronological framework of a research covers the period since the beginning


the 1990th till today. Collecting empirical material was carried out by means of ethnographic methods: the deep interview included in observations during the field researches of the author (2004-2008).

In the center of our research there are cultural practicians of that group of youth which in various researches on tradition is called informal, subcultural, alternative, etc. Young people call the community a party. *** It is known that a party - a usual form of the youth cultural space, as a rule, which is located in the central places of big cities [4, page 89].

During the conducted research it became clear that the city informal party is conglomerate of youth communities and unites punks, metalworkers, rock musicians, rock fans. Communication practicians with a party support roleplayers, skinheads have some relation to it, there are separate predstaviteliras-tamanstvo, for example in the settlement East. Representatives of a party emphasize that besides "the real nonconformists" in community there are so-called mazhor or poseurs, for them it just unusual way of carrying out leisure. The difference of mazhor from poseurs is that the first pay bigger attention to the appearance, and the similarity is that it is the separate representatives of "ordinary" youth who came to a party in order that "to diversify gray everyday life". Important characteristic of community is the lack of strict division between styles, borders between them are transparent and permeable. So, the cultural identity chosen once is not set once and for all.

What is represented by a party? Origin of a party happened in the early nineties, at that time it were separate communities of rock fans. Before disintegration of the Soviet Union the youth of Ulan-Ude united by the principle of groups which history begins in the city since the end of the 60th of the 20th century. Groups of those years represented street "unions" of city youth and association

the recent rural children arriving in the capital of Buryatia for education after school. Due to the considerable remoteness of the city from the largest centers (Moscow and St. Petersburg) of combinations of scandalous orientation (hippie, punks) it was not observed, except insignificant style elements in clothes and appearance of school students of the middle of the 1980th [2, page 168].

The informal party of the city was issued in the second half of the 90th of the 20th century. Owing to the fact that Ulan-Ude rather the town, unlike megalopolises the nonconformists are anyway crossed in platitudes of meetings. Therefore one of the main differences of the Ulan-Ude nonconformists from nonconformists of megalopolises - the fact that all young people are familiar among themselves (or at least have heard a lot about each other) that, naturally, is not possible in Moscow or St. Petersburg. Today places of meetings of informal youth are dispersed on all city, but their most part is located in the center. "Very few people know about the hidden geography of the center of our city where places familiar to all citizens suddenly find the sense, and their slang names, unclear for many, are unusual for hearing of the inhabitant. These are points of gathering of informal youth of Ulan-Ude. Places where all who love certain styles of music who wants to communicate in a circle of the supporters are flown down or just to spend time" [1, page 5]. The informal youth can be met often in the downtown (area of Councils, Revolution Square, Lenin St. which pedestrian part received the unofficial name "Arbat", etc.).

Joint carrying out leisure - an important component at communication in a party. Besides communication it can be joint campaigns and trips to significant events - sessions (rock concerts); festivals. Within one concert, metalworkers, punks, etc. quite often act though they are led only "metal" or punk sessions. For a long time in the environment of alternative youth the idea of creation of city rock club which could serve as the place of meetings is born and

Informal youth of Ulan-Ude: yesterday and today

communication of fans of alternative culture, recently this idea is gradually realized.

We will allocate several especially important reasons which anyway bring people into a party and for which communication continues subsequently, the main of them - feeling of unity (the among the; relationship of souls), special outlook, community of interests, communication practicians, joint carrying out leisure and opposition to the cultural majority. In a party all young people have special nicknames (nicknames) by which all know each other, the communications with real names which do not have, as a rule. There are these names thus: the person or is "named" by people around, or he chooses to himself new "name".

1. Party ideology: representatives of informal youth of the city build the identity, opposing cultural claims of the community to preferences of "other" youth: rural, "usual" and criminal. Not the place of residence, level of material prosperity, education, etc. and a cultural factor acts as the main difference. All ordinary, material, consumer is rejected by a party, true values are proclaimed du -

hovnost, otherness, identity. The similar relation is expressed nonconformists to "adult" full society which "wallowed in consumer instincts". Thus, the dichotomy is built: cultural - consumer (narrow-minded).

2. Practice of a party: the special part is assigned by associates to music, literature, cinema (esthetic preferences), joint carrying out leisure, a trip to significant events (festivals, rock concerts) are important. Communication is based on feeling of unity, special outlook, community of interests, opposition to "the cultural majority".
3. Social portrait of informal youth. Age characteristic of members of a party: 14-35 years (people of the advanced and younger age meet). Middle age - 21 years. Young people come from different social groups, both safe, and unsuccessful, are generally rather provided. Society is not typically men's, girls make from a half to 2/3, the exception is made by skinheads where the majority - men. Total number is very conditional, from 200 to 1000 people. Most of participants of community - Russians.

* A pop-music - the simple music with simple texts designed to entertain first of all.

** Ulan-Ude is the capital of the Republic of Buryatia with the population 377 thousand people (2006): 66% are made by Russians; 29.9% - Buryats; 4% are other people: Azerbaijanians, Tatars, Ukrainians, Jews, etc.

*** The main community type in the considered environment can be determined by the slang, strongly taken roots in the press and become common word a party as which understand: a) group, company, i.e. circle of contacts (my party); b) the place of communication, meetings (met on a party); c) a meeting of people (I will go to a party in the evening); d) the style of communication defining specifics of youth communities: free, avoiding a regulation and accurate structures (it is not party, but some party) [6, page 43].


1. M. Antonov. Spire, Santa Barbara and Coffins//Central newspaper. 2008. April 2.
2. A. Badmayev. Informal youth associations in Ulan-Ude//the Bulletin of Eurasia. 2002. No. 1. Page 89103.
3. D.V. Olshansky. Nonconformists: A group portrait in an interior. M.: Pedagogics, 1990. 192 pages
4. E.L. Omelchenko. Youth cultures and subcultures. M.: Ying t of sociology of RAS, 2000. 264 pages
5. D.P. Frolov. "Pop-music": simplification of an institution of art//Economic sociology. 2007. T. 8. No. 4. Page 60-72.
6. T.B. Shchepanskaya. System: texts and traditions of subculture. M.: OGI, 2004. 286 pages
Joel Roy Russell
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