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Mining provinces: memory discourse and local identity

S. A. Rassadina
  • Saint-Petersburg Mining University
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The phenomenon of industrial provinces is of particular interest for cultural analysis, since the realities of post-industrial society devalue the images of progress generated by the industrial era. The devaluation leads to a systemic crisis of cultural meanings that have shaped the region’s image and its inhabitants’ cultural self-identification. The study aims at discovering cultural representation features of mining regions’ historical heritage. The paper analyzes the role of industrial images in the modern culture, investigates how the industrial heritage is being exploited, examines how regional cultural identity has been built throughout the Russian industrial provinces’ development, and singles out some stereotyped images and discursive models. The research is based on local history literature, mass media publications, museum collections, and private interviews. A comprehensive cultural approach based on the methodological principles of the semiotics of culture and discursive analysis is used to interpret the collected materials.

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