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The Siberian Oil: From the Theory of Social Action to Local History of the Resource

Dates:
  • Fri 14 Feb 2020 16.00 - 18.00
  Add to Calendar 2020-02-14 16:00 2020-02-14 18:00 Europe/Paris The Siberian Oil: From the Theory of Social Action to Local History of the Resource

Though the local population of West Siberia had had no idea of oil before the extractive industry developed there, with the first production rigs it became a deity for the newly arrived engineers and a "dead" element for indigenous peoples. Death, danger, conspiracy, and profit have defined the black gold in the world of petroleum workers. Extraordinary myths of the extractive industry reproduce the fears of local peoples who claim that oil is a dead water that cannot co-exist with the living. Interestingly, these ideas are equally typical for Russian and American contexts - a comparative analysis of these cases shows a large number of similar elements. The opposite example is that of resource normalization. Due to repetitive actions, the new social order acquires normality that later becomes the basis for subsequent actions. This is a double bind in the classical sense of this concept. Understanding oil as a constant of everyday life, the mid-level executives of producing companies normalize their living environment in the new milieu of sparsely populated northern cities. Using two historical cases, I will show how everyday life finds stabilization through the relationship with the resource -- and how "nature", even in modern times, works as a counterweight that supports the social.

Emeroteca - Badia Fiesolana DD/MM/YYYY
  Emeroteca - Badia Fiesolana

Though the local population of West Siberia had had no idea of oil before the extractive industry developed there, with the first production rigs it became a deity for the newly arrived engineers and a "dead" element for indigenous peoples. Death, danger, conspiracy, and profit have defined the black gold in the world of petroleum workers. Extraordinary myths of the extractive industry reproduce the fears of local peoples who claim that oil is a dead water that cannot co-exist with the living. Interestingly, these ideas are equally typical for Russian and American contexts - a comparative analysis of these cases shows a large number of similar elements. The opposite example is that of resource normalization. Due to repetitive actions, the new social order acquires normality that later becomes the basis for subsequent actions. This is a double bind in the classical sense of this concept. Understanding oil as a constant of everyday life, the mid-level executives of producing companies normalize their living environment in the new milieu of sparsely populated northern cities. Using two historical cases, I will show how everyday life finds stabilization through the relationship with the resource -- and how "nature", even in modern times, works as a counterweight that supports the social.


Location:
Emeroteca - Badia Fiesolana

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Lecture

Contact:
Fabrizio Borchi (EUI - Department of History and Civilization) - Send a mail

Organiser:
Alexander Etkind (EUI - Department of History and Civilization)

Speaker:
Alexander Vileykis (University of Tyumen)

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