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Category: History

Social space of the city: reflection in names of streets



In article the main stages of formation of social and symbolical space of the cities of Russia are analyzed. The main attention is paid to the impact of socio-political transformations in society on city toponyms. The main basic layers (levels) which created their modern system are defined.

The author analyzes the main stages of formation of social and symbolic space of the Russian cities. Special attention is paid to the effect of social and political transformations on city toponyms. The key strata (levels) which formed the modern system of city toponyms are identified.

city, toponyms, social space, symbolization, resimvopization; city, toponyms (place names), social space, symbolization, re-symbolization.



Aleksandrovna —

to. sots. N, associate professor;

associate professor






the ainamika of transformations of public life forces the person to adapt to changes, to react and reflex, define and reinterpret the place in I am eaten the world. These processes often are followed by loss of its identity as citizen of a certain state. Within the 20th century, without change of the residence, Russians till 1917 were citizens of the Russian Empire, after 1917 — citizens of the country of Councils, Poland, etc. and after the collapse of the USSR in 1991 obtained citizenship of the independent states: Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, etc.

Disintegration and formation of the new states was followed by transformation of the sociocultural space created in the territory of the former Russian Empire. In the course of transformations the originality and logic of creation of unique social space was broken. Radical changes of structure and ideology of the power, its symbols are followed by loss of orientation of individuals in social and symbolical space.

The social and symbolical space represents the peculiar "local map" having the heights, lowlands, the plateau, etc. presented as material carriers (awards, architecture, a sculpture and so forth), and non-material (anthems, toponyms and so forth). Symbols tops which the new power begins to use pereshifrovyvy this reality, often nonplus the individual since there is a remarking of earlier known sizes allowing the person with little effort "to be guided by areas". Thus, orientation happens as in direct, and figurative meanings.

In all these cases both material, and non-material symbols are used, and emergence or destruction of any symbol will automatically transform already created social space habitual for the individual. In this case either appear, or the markers allowing the person to define "the direction of the movement" in social reality disappear. At the same time the significant role is played by the words used for designation of "lighthouses" in concrete social space.

The new country leaders at "receiving inheritance" should form quickly ideologically convenient for it (managements) social space. And there is it anyway, the ruling elite realizes this requirement or not. The social space has to correspond social

to political and economic realities of modern times without what deduction of positions is impossible. The old symbols ideologically not corresponding to new public aspirations conflict to them.

For this reason the ruling elite should not pay attention to so "insignificant" element of stability in society as a symbol. The symbol performs special function of social impact on individuals since, influencing public consciousness and "surrounding" reality, forming certain social installations, it is important means of legitimation of the power.

Through the system of politically significant markers — names of the cities and their "arteries" (streets, lanes, squares and so forth), architecture, a city sculpture and so forth — there is a planting of political ideals every era. By marking the formation of the social and symbolical space convenient for the power is carried out. At preservation of geographical and physical spaces, the social space of the same territory radically changes. Earlier significant "lighthouses", even often politically neutral in relation to the new power disappear. So, for example, streets of Tsaritsyno which names corresponded to geographical points, the territories, etc. presented by such hydronima as Ladoga, Pechersky and so forth were renamed. And, undoubtedly, politically alien names and material symbols were exposed to radical changes. All politically significant markers of the previous eras were erased from the social and symbolical card of new state education as politically harmful to ideology of the new power.

For the leaders of any country active work on formation of "the" social space is significant that assumes work with the remains of the space which was earlier existing. This process is characteristic of various states. For example, after declaration of Greece as the republic to Thessaloniki there were streets of National defense, National resistance, etc. which replaced not corresponding to new political realities of Queen Sofia St. and so forth. Most yar-

to this process it is presented in Russia 20th century — the social space did not correspond to requirements of the new power, at least, three times: in February and October, 1917 and in December, 1991

Fight for own social and symbolical space defined interconditionality of processes of symbolization and a resimvolization. Resimvolizatsii-symbolization process first of all characterizes revolutionary changes since it is caused by requirements of the new power to legalize the presence in a certain territory by remarking of social space according to own aspirations. For this reason a number of the cities in the 20th of the 20th century loses the historical names, receiving new — revolutionary (Petrograd — Leningrad, 1924); Tsaritsyn — Stalingrad, 1925); Yekaterinburg — Sverdlovsk, 1924; etc.). Old, from the point of view of the new power, counterrevolutionary names (Ekaterinodar, Yekaterinburg, Tsaritsyn and so forth) cease to correspond to new social space. With the stroke of the pen the habitual social and symbolical map of the country changes — there are cities, and their real geographical location remains invariable.

The following step in the course of formation of legitimate social space is renaming of streets, squares, lanes and so forth. At the very beginning of consolidation of the power there is a need for own marking of more "private" social space — space of settlements, first of all the large and average cities.

In Russia in the course of marking by political elite of social space of the historic town it is possible to allocate 3 main stages conditionally: royal, Soviet and Post-Soviet. In this case it is necessary to speak about historic towns since in the cities which arose in Soviet period the first stage (royal) is absent and consequently, and process of active and comprehensive renaming of "city arteries" of newly created settlements did not happen.

At the first stage the formation of social space of the city happens naturally in development of the concrete settlement. The area

and the population of the cities grew in steps, depending on a political and economic situation of the settlement. Names of streets, squares, lanes, deadlocks and avenues arose: from names of gate and bastions and also churches or the directions of paths (Brandenburg, Spassky, Fridlandsky and so forth); on "professional" accessory of "the end of the city" or the people occupying it (Georgian, Arbat, Potter's and so forth); taking into account physiographic features of the area (Sivtsev Vrazhek, Soil, Mountain, Moss and so forth); from oh-konimov (names of settlements — Baku, Dubovsky and so forth); antroponim, i.e. from names, surnames, middle names (Aleksandrovsky, Petrovsky and so forth); hydronim (Nevsky, Dwin and so forth).

The indicative moment of this stage of formation of social space of the city is that such names as Elizabethan, Ekaterina's, Petrovsky and so forth were given not in honor of political figures (tsars, voivodes and so forth), and received symbolical protection of Saints and great martyrs.

Flat refusal of counterrevolutionary names was characteristic of the second (Soviet) stage of formation of social space of the city, when maintaining traditions (Spassky, Elizabethan, Royal and so forth). During this period the ideological orientation of antroponim changes. Streets receive the names marking events and realities of new life (Metrostroyevtsev St., etc.) immortalizing figures and heroes of people's liberation movements, revolts and revolutions (Uritsky St., Rosa Luxemburg, Stepan Razin, Marat and so forth). In "an obligatory set" of the toponymic system of the cities of the Soviet Union have to be V.I. Lenin Street, Soviet, Communistic, etc. In social space of the city the block of the "city arteries" which received the names in honor of figures of domestic science and art, "not soiled themselves the transaction" with the tsarist government is formed (Pushkin St., the academician I. Pavlov and so forth)

In 1923 the special commission on the celebration of the 6th anniversary of the October revolution in Tsaritsyno made the decision on need of renaming "some city streets carrying names

occurring from various Saints, etc." 1. From now on rather active process of a resimvolization of social space of the country town begins. Streets of Tsaritsyno received the names corresponding to a spirit of the age: some got a prefix "is red" (Krasnovolzhskaya; Krasnoznamensk and so forth), others immortalized names of eminent political figures of Marxism, Bolshevik party, participants of Civil war and fighters against a tsarism and an imperialism (of. Volodarsk, Budenovskaya and so forth) also used ideologically significant vocabulary of that era (Soviet, Komsomol and so forth).

Also the fact that in connection with conducting combat operations on the European part of the Soviet Union the settlements underwent considerable destructions is characteristic of this stage. For this reason modern streets of historic towns are not equivalent to streets of the same cities prior to the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. So, for example, in August, 1942 after thousands of sorties of the German bombers and semi-annual opposition of the howling parties Stalingrad was wiped almost completely out, and in August, 1944 the raids of the English aircraft destroyed three medieval cities posads which are in the territory of Konigsberg. In this regard many streets were destroyed completely, and in the course of restoration of the cities from ruins they were straightened, connected and reconstructed. There was not only a change of motivation that was characteristic of all Soviet era in general, and the form, formats, proportions between them changed.

The third (Post-Soviet) stage makes use of experience of the previous stages when forming social space of the city. The address "to historical roots" when to streets, lanes, squares, etc. their primordial names were returned is characteristic of this period (2nd Meshchanskaya St., Vozdvizhenka and so forth).

However at recovery of primordial names in some cases there are complications. So, Dzerzhinsky Square has no such negative connotation as its primordial name — Lubyanka. Surprising fact, but primordial nazva-

1 State Archive of the Volgograd Region (SAVR), t. 37, op. 1, 237, l. 207.

ny in spite of the fact that it was "officially forgotten", continued to exist in the toponymic system of Moscow, influencing formation of social space of the capital of the Soviet state. And process of a resimvolization in this case caused ambiguous estimates of Russians.

Thus, in the history of the Russian city there is various number of levels of formation of social space — or two that is characteristic of the new cities which arose in Soviet period, or three that is peculiar to historic towns.

It should be noted that the principle of the name remains, without looking on any socio-political collisions and economic reforms. Names of streets are formed from antroponim, hydronim, oykonim, physiographic features of the area, "professions", "nationalities", etc. When forming social space of the city, antroponima and oykonima are actively used (for example, in Volgograd about 30% of all names of streets are the share of them approximately).

One more regularity is that processes both symbolizations, and resimvolization are characteristic of all stages. Process of a resimvolization, the truth in less destructive forms, proceeds constantly, reflecting nuances of public life.

The research of E.M. Pospelov who analyzed place names of four cities of the Soviet Union — Moscow, Minsk, Donetsk and Gorky, showed that the social space of these cities contains 33% of identical names, and "the total number of repetitions of names of the Minsk streets at least in one of the specified cities is 70% of volume of the list" 1. It allows to say about the certain "unification" of social space caused by ideological orientation of the Soviet era when any city had V.I. Lenin Street, Karl Marx, etc.

At the same time, despite existence of the similar elements used when forming social space there is also a number of the differences characteristic

1 Pospelov E.M. Turistu about place names. — M.: Profizdat, 1988, page 110.

for the different historical periods of the city and country. The total refusal of the historical past according to a slogan is characteristic of the second (Soviet) stage: "To destroy the old world to the basis". Desire to build the (new) world, having rejected all old, also forced reformers to intensify process of a resimvolization. In spite of the fact that at the third (Post-Soviet) stage the resimvolization for formation of other, not Soviet social space both the country in general, and each certain city in particular is also actively used, this process proceeded differently.

Thus, process of symbolization-resimvolizatsii bears considerable sociocultural and ideological loading and influences formation of the world, defining a value and symbolical system for generations which socialization took place without knowledge of the previous worlds and systems. The social space of the cities of Russia is formed by three levels 20th century — royal, Soviet and Post-Soviet. Each of these historical pieces had and has significant effect on process of formation of social space of the country in general up to that moment, as well as its separate parts. And these periods, despite all external discrepancy, are on closer examination close in essence. It is necessary to consider that the face of the city is formed not only material symbols (architectural and sculptural constructions), but also non-material — a toponymic system.

Mistakes, inaccuracies in a toponymic system mean lack of the address without which modern society cannot exist. Any misses conduct not only to hitches in delivery of post messages (if in the city there are doublet names in various districts of the city), but also can cause an infinite controversy on ideological validity of any given name (for example, Vorovskogo St., etc.).

In general the toponymic system is reflection of history, becomes a peculiar memorial of various socio-political events in society. Toponyms — one of components of social space of the city.

Leslie Emma
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