Close Relatives and Outsiders: Village People in the City of Yakutsk, Siberia

Tatiana Argounova-Low


The paper presents a snapshot of the city-village connections in the city of Yakutsk and an anthropological account of the dynamics of the relationship between the city and villages around it. Demographic changes that started in the 1980s, prompted by a decline in agriculture, initiated an exodus of the rural population from the countryside into the city of Yakutsk. This paper explores the migration dynamics of the rural population to the city. Two conflicting aspects of the relationship between the city and village are the focus of this paper: treating village people as close kin and as outsiders. I examine the image of ulusnik [a villager] and consider rationales behind the stigma attached to it and a social role of the Other which is imposed on the people from the countryside.

  • Tatiana Argounova-Low, Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen Dunbar Street, Aberdeen, AB24 3QY, Great Britain