To read this content please select one of the options below:

Habitual Risk Taking in Dzerzhinsk: Daily Life in the Capital of Soviet Chemistry

Cultures of Contamination

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1371-6, eISBN: 978-1-84950-460-7

Publication date: 16 May 2007


In both natural sciences and social sciences, there is relative agreement about the fact that the 20th century saw great diminishment of the earth's natural resources. In addition to dwindling materials and space for human activities, our industrial mode of natural resource consumption brought various ecological problems, including waste, and pollution of water, soil, and air.1 The specifics of any given social system influence an individual's perception of pollution of the surrounding environment and its consequences, and also influence the reaction of a society in general to ecological problems. In other words, different societies develop different collective and individual strategies for coping with problematic situations related to “technogenic” pollution of the environment. This article, based as it is on an in-depth case study, analyzes the peculiar relationship of people to ecological issues in Russian society. Research was carried out in the city Dzerzhinsk, which, throughout the Soviet period, was proudly called the “Capital of Soviet Chemistry.” This city is thus a demonstrable example of the Soviet period, and the history of the city will serve as a lens through which we will analyze contemporary ecological problems of the city and the relations of its citizens to these problems. Dzerzhinsk was selected for study after it was described in newspapers as “the dirtiest (i.e., most polluted) city in Russia.”


Bolotova, A. (2007), "Habitual Risk Taking in Dzerzhinsk: Daily Life in the Capital of Soviet Chemistry", Edelstein, M.R., Tysiachniouk, M. and Smirnova, L.V. (Ed.) Cultures of Contamination (Research in Social Problems and Public Policy, Vol. 14), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 223-252.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited