Ideological and Cultural Practices in The Soviet Housing Space: The Case of Allocation and Obtaining of Apartments in Yerevan

Harutyun Vermishyan


The purpose of this paper is to reveal the ideological and cultural practices underpinning the formation of the housing space in Soviet Yerevan. While exploring the case of Yerevan, this paper provides insight on the processes of allocating and obtaining an apartment in the Soviet period and reveals contradictions of ideological and cultural practices in this context. Qualitative research has been conducted analysing the narratives of personal and group experiences. Through a narrative approach, this paper studies the relationship between the physical and social spaces. In particular, the method of narrative semiotics was implemented. This approach served the purpose of building a narrative model of the processes of allocating and obtaining in the Soviet housing space. In sum, 20 narrative interviews were conducted with Yerevan dwellers. This paper shows that in the context of the Soviet city of Yerevan, there was a distortion of macro-interventions and informal mechanisms for the formation of the Soviet space were institutionalised in the continuum of communism and capitalism. This led to the evolvement of inclusive ideologies on a cognitive level and to the circulation of positioning ideologies on a pragmatic level.


soviet housing; ideology; cultural practices; narrative semiotics; communism; capitalism

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