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Youth and violence in the (big) City.

Centre for Youth Studies has opened a new season of "Scientific Environment" at the St. Petersburg State University Department of Sociology with “hammer” reports provided by Jana Krupets and Nadya Nartova: "Age in work": Constructing of age by girls and young women in contemporary Russia", and Elvira Arif’s - " Girls security in the city: an analysis of the self-defense normalization in girls fights". The room was packed for the presentation of our colleagues.

Youth and violence in the (big) City.

Yana Krupets and Nadya Nartova report was based on the research data of age and bodyness, that was implemented by CYS last year in Saint-Petersburg and Ulyanovsk. Jana and Nadya talked about what kind of body age is constructed by girls’ and young women’s chronological youth in modern Russia, what measures they use to legitimize their age in the context of the dominant images of youth bodyness representation and biopolitical discourses considering young body as reproductive and labor source.

 

Elvira Arif’s report was about how girls normalize own experience in women's fights and how this experience changes their perception of their own body. Elvira has focused her attention on the situation when one is forced to defend herself from physical attack. The need to normalize such behavior linked with the fact that from the point of view of the dominant gender attitudes in society, girls participation in a fight is seen as the worst possible act, as violation of symbolic gender boundaries. However, according to the research, this experience do not confront the perception of the girls own femininity. In-depth interviews formed the basis of empirical data-base of the research. Interviews were conducted with young people (girls and boys), taken in Ulyanovsk within the project "Girls fights: objectives and strategies of women's practices labeling", supported by the Heinrich Boell Foundation.