Place-(re)naming practices as an object of sociological study: an analytical overview

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The article presents an analytical overview of the theoretical and empirical studies devoted to the interpretation of place names and place-(re)naming practices in social sciences. The author suggests a classification based on the distinction of two key approaches to the place-(re)naming practices - cultural and critical. The article focuses on the critical approach formed under the influence of such trends in the contemporary sociology as: 1) the surge of interest to the collective memory and practices of commemoration; 2) the expansion of sociological theory into geographical disciplines and the emergence of ‘social production of space’ theories; 3) the domination of critical research orientation. Finally, the author discusses some limitations of the critical approach and the ways to overcome them with the help of theoretical and methodological resources of neopragmatic sociology.

About the authors

E A Terentyev

National Research University - Higher School of Economics

Department of Sociology


Copyright (c) 2016 Sociology

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