Renaming as a Conflict in Ways of Understanding the City: The Case of Zhdanov
Iuliia SorokaKarazin Kharkiv National University
December 14, 2012
Center for Urban History, Lviv
The name of any city is a multi-faceted symbol, which represents certain meanings and interests. Renaming denotes a time, when the balance of powers in society is changing, even calling for a revolution in the symbolic space. Examining these phenomena in the lens of social perception allows us to expand our understanding of the process of renaming, and the conflicts in values and concepts manifest in the process that determines the result.
In her presentation Dr. Soroka turned to the publications of the local press in the city of Zhdanov at the end of the 1990s in an attempt to trace: which meanings were significant in the social understanding of locals called to social agitation for the return of the city's historical name, Mariupol; which social groups of layers this movement attracted; which methods of social understanding formed an argumentation on various sides of the conflict.
The following questions were analyzed: the name of the city as a conglomerate of symbols, integrated into the social understanding of inhabitants; the specifics of the process of social understanding as a form of cultural "work"; the conflicting ways of social perception of the city on the example of the renaming of the city of Zhdanov in Donetsk oblast (based on local press materials).