Unity Performances during Town’s Day Holiday

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Ekaterina Pavlenko

Keywords

Community, Solidarity, Authenticity, Social Performance, Collective Ritual, Collective Representations

Abstract

In this article the author examines the Town’s Day holiday as performance: the successful or unsuccessful performance of a particular message—that of the unity of urban community—for a particular audience (that same community). Using Jeffrey Alexander’s theory of cultural pragmatics the author concludes that in the case of Town’s Day held in Gorokhovets in 2011 the message performed during the official part of the celebration was not successful. Although the message (in the form of congratulatory speeches, nominations, awards, and musical numbers) was that of the declaration of the community’s unity, it was delivered to only a segment of the town’s community. But even that small segment of the community did not engage with the performance fully. In conclusion, the author suggests that Town’s Day cannot function as a ritual that brings together a segmented community, although it may function as a ritual that revives existing community solidarity. In Russian.
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