Perspectives of Social Stratification and Reproduction of Cultural Capital Forms: Problems of the past 20 years
Aghasi Z. Tadevosyan
The social structure of the population of Yerevan significantly changed in the years of independence. Owing to the reforms of the 1990’s main parts of the population of Yerevan unexpectedly fell in to poverty. Poverty influenced urban processes in a very negative way. The range and diversity of people’s speres of activity decreased critically. As a result, the main part of the population of the city was alienated from the Hansition processes. Poverty especially limited their opportunities of participation and investment in the exchange processes and the transformation of their capacities into various forms of financial, cultural and social capital. That influenced the reproduction of the cultural capital of vulnerable strata negatively, decreasing their chances to overcome poverty and threatening with the transformation of poverty into a self-reproductive phenomenon. The policy of social transfers is not sufficient for the prevention of such a perspective. First of all, investments are needed for cultural capital’s quality improvement and its dynamic reproduction.
Part 2: The Everyday Life and Cultural Transitions in the Post-Independence Period
Aghasi Z. Tadevosyan
In the Post-Soviet period everyday life in Yerevan changed entirely. The end of the total control of the people’s working and free time by the Soviet regime gave them a chance to manage their personal time. Emancipation of personal time provided people with an opportunity to create new forms and spheres of daily activity. Small business and trade – a largely novel form of communication for a post-soviet city – appeared, suggesting a rather new picture of the city. For some period petty dealers’ vision of a street – as a space for trade – became a principal characteristic feature of the city’s everyday life, influencing the processes of time and space organization. The traders’ voices became decisive. This stratum soon realized its vision and changed the cultural landscape of the city. The struggle for the right to the city was another process influencing the newly shaping development of everyday life of the city. The question: “Who does the right to realize his/her visions of the city belong to?” became crucial. In the clashes between interests of small traders, major business and crime, major business held the victory. These processes still continue. New social groups, which look at the city from ecological, aesthetical and other perspectives now struggle for their right to the city and to change the cultural forms of Yerevan according to their own vision.