Leaving or staying?: Youth agency and the liveability of industrial towns in the Russian Arctic

Alla Bolotova

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

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Many young people finishing schools in mining towns in the Russian Arctic express their desire to escape from their hometowns. I examine historical roots and current reasons for the “orientation toward leaving” which is common among the young generation. However, the focus of this chapter is on those young adults who have stayed in the North. I explore how they find their ways, experience control in their life and exercise personal agency in the particular structural conditions of northern single-industry towns. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in the Murmansk region, I analyse the migratory decisions, life choices and agency of stayers and returners. Staying also requires agency, though the perception of this situation can vary significantly depending on the degree of (in)voluntariness. This in-depth qualitative perspective on young people staying in northern industrial cities enriches the current research dominated by scholarship on outmigration from the North.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationYoung People, Wellbeing and Sustainable Arctic Communities
EditorsFlorian Stammler, Reetta Toivanen
Place of PublicationAbingdon, United Kingdom
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-11001-9
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-62629-7, 978-0-367-62630-3, 9781000464672
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2021
MoE publication typeA3 Book section, Chapters in research books


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