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In Search of Merjamaa. Aapo Kihlanki
In Search of Merjamaa: Volunteering as a Means of Revitalizing the Meryan Heritage of Central Russia by Aapo Kihlanki.
University of Kent
Meryans` cultural heritage by practicing cultural philanthropy. Local studies, publishing, and art projects are the principal forms of neo-Meryan activity which reflects the ideals of the ethno-futurist cultural movement.
The neo-Meryan movement comprises a heterogeneous group of volunteers. Therefore, the study approaches neo-Meryan activity as a form of capital. Pierre Bourdieu`s theories on symbolic, cultural, and social capital provide the theoretical framework of the study. The study shows that these types of capital are closely intertwined in the activity of the movement.
Moreover, the study demonstrates that local studies as a type of grassroot organisational activity can effectively contribute to the post-Soviet Russian civil society. The interest in Central Russian inhabitants` Meryan habitus shows that the local can be a source of cultural capital. This habitus, manifested in local religious practices and beliefs, lays the moral foundation for civil society.
I would like to thank the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent for giving me an opportunity to learn about philanthropy and volunteering in an inspiring atmosphere. I am especially grateful to Eddy Hogg, the supervisor of my dissertation who showed remarkable patience when guiding me through the practices of modern social research. I am thankful to Meryan activists for their help. Their comments to my research questions helped me to find a meaningful approach to the Meryan theme, and their enthusiasm inspired me throughout the research process. Finally, I would like to thank my wife Sanna and my children Elsa and Jussipekka for their love and support.
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
3. DATA AND METHODS
4. MODERN MERYANNESS IN ART AND CULTURE
5. SHARING INFORMATION
5. 1 Publishing
6. 1 The Individual Nature of Local Studies Activity
Appendix1 The Number and share of texts published in the Merjamaa portal
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