The Mental Image of the City in the Worldview of Activists of Dnipro’s Jewish Programs

Keywords: Dnipro, mental maps, image of the city, Jewish community, activists


The article analyzes the mental image of the city through the prism of a particular ethnic group’s attitude towards it, throwing light on the key features of the formation of urban public memory in general. The study is part of the research project “CityFace: Practices of the Self-Representation of Multinational Cities in the Industrial and Post-Industrial Era,” which covers five Ukrainian cities. Comparative and hermeneutic analysis, methods of cliometrics, social psychology, and pragmatic and cognitive sociology were employed. Furthermore, in order to create a holistic image of the city of Dnipro, the author drew on J. Vidal’s symbolic anthropology, K. Lynch’s concept of the mental image of the city, P. Nora’s idea of sites of memory, etc. The study centers on the contents of personal questionnaires and oral interviews. The interviews involved the methods of mental maps and social cartography, which made possible a clearer interpretation of the geocultural space of the city in the imagination of respondents through the use of drawings and the mapping of objects. This combination of methods allowed the author to build a hierarchy of the main features of the city as seen by respondents from each age microgroup. The study was carried out in several stages from June to August 2019. 32 respondents aged 20 to 60 participated in the questionnaire and interview phase of the study, performing various types of tasks. In the final phase, analysis of the results allowed the author to reconsider the prevalent idea of Dnipro in current literature, as well as to trace the shifting priorities in determining the most important loci of Dnipro across changing generations. Working with activists of Jewish programs, the author was able to construct a picture of the attitude towards of the city among the members of one of its communities and to pinpoint the group-specific and more general features of their perception of the city. Using Dnipro as a case study, the article observes certain tendencies towards a change in the perception of cities and urban space, as well as outlines some prospects of the further development of metropolitan areas in modern Ukraine.


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How to Cite
Bulanyi, M. Y. (2020). The Mental Image of the City in the Worldview of Activists of Dnipro’s Jewish Programs. The Journal of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. Series: History, (57), 120-134.