Sociology of “wasted” places

Most abandoned buildings, plants and areas appeared in the Soviet Russia (’70-’80) because they belonged to the “state” (meaning nobody) and afterwards (’90) as a result of the economic crisis. But each place has its own story (in which I, to be honest, do not have much interest).

I think we are all not indifferent to abandoned things. The Abandoned have some sort of a strong and complicated connection with our souls; some people get scared and try to escape their impressions, some fight with them and try to destroy or rebuild or just leave their own footprint on the abandoned site to prove that they’re stronger than this world. And some do not try to do anything – they just look and listen to the Abandoned, enjoying those impressions, feeling the real meaning of time. I am one of them.

http://www.abandoned.ru/about.php

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Book: “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis”

From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.

But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

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Visual Dialogues in Postindustrial Societies: Transforming the Gaze

 

 

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Who could attend this conferences! I find it very interesting for several reasons. First of all, because of my growing interest on social photography and visual sociology. Secondly, due to the theme of the conference, i.e. post-industrial societies, since it is connected with my dissertation on a post mining region. Bellow you can see a short description of the event and a preliminary program:

The International Visual Sociology Association 2014 Annual Conferencewill take place June 26-28, 2014 at Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania US).


Theme:

Post-industrial societies require new forms of visual imagination and research. In this context visual researchers create new ways of capturing and interpreting our constantly transforming social life, and construct alternative epistemologies that dialogue with increasingly broader audiences and disciplines.

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Further details here