T. M. Dadaeva, T. A. Kuznetsova. The Phenomenon of Anti-Café or New Places for Leisure Time Activities of Young People in the Context of Virtualization of the Urban Space (The Case Study of Rubikovʼs Cube Smart Place in the City of Saransk)

UDK 379.8-053.81

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15507/2413-1407.116.029.202103.709-729

Introduction. New places for leisure time activities in the format of anti-café, created by initiative townsmen, have been gaining popularity in the urban space over the past ten years, which has made the study of this topic relevant. The article studies the leisure time activities of young people, identifies the features of the structure, content, and functions in the conditions of an anti-café, and conceptualizes the causes and potential of the phenomenon of anti-café in the urban space.

Materials and Methods. Data from unstructured interviews with visitors and the management, as well as participant observation of Rubikov’s Cube Smart Place in the city of Saransk were used as the empirical basis for this study. Using analytical methods and research techniques (analysis, generalization, induction, deduction, as well as the systemic approach) made it possible to substantiate the authors’ point of view on the causes, functions and potential of new places for leisure time activities of young people in the urban space.

Results. The authors have raised the theoretical problem of the emergence of new places for leisure time activities of young people in the context of hypermodernity and the development of media technologies in urban spaces. Based on the data from a case-study of the anti-café, popular leisure time activities have been identified, as well as structure, content, and functions of the anti-café, and motivations for visiting such places and socio-demographic characteristics of the main anti-café customers. The authors have also identified the contradictions in the reasons for the popularity of anti-cafés in the context of hypermodernity, emphasizing that anti-cafés create new forms of loneliness and the need for the “third place”, multi-layered, hybrid spaces (where public turns into private, private into public, and online and offline communications intersect) in collective practices, which the city satisfies.

Discussion and Conclusion. Based on the conducted research, the authors have drawn a conclusion about the role of anti-cafés (time clubs, coworking spaces) in the formation of the future creative class, without which an effective economy is impossible. The difficulties in studying this topic were due to the lack of statistical data on the problem. The materials of this article will be useful for public authorities, entrepreneurs, specialists engaged in creating places for leisure time activities in the urban space, as well as when elaborating such training courses as “Sociology of the City” and “Sociology of Culture”.

Keywords: anti-cafe, time club, ‘third place’, ‘non-place’, leisure time activities, urban space, youth, virtualization, unstructured interview

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

For citation: Dadaeva T.M., Kuznetsova T.A. The Phenomenon of Anti-Café or New Places for Leisure Time Activities of Young People in the Context of Virtualization of the Urban Space (The Case Study of Rubikovʼs Cube Smart Place in the City of Saransk). Regionology = Russian Journal of Regional Studies. 2021; 29(3):709-729. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15507/2413-1407.116.029.202103.709-729


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Submitted 22.03.2021; approved after reviewing 26.04.2021; accepted for publication 10.05.2021.

About the authors:

Tatiana M. Dadaeva, Professor, Department of Sociology and Social Work, National Research Mordovia State University (68/1 Bolshevistskaya St., Saransk 430005, Russian Federation), Dr. Sci. (Sociology), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9749-9244, dadaeva13@mail.ru

Tatiana A. Kuznetsova, Master’s Degree Student (Sociology), National Research Mordovia State University (68/1 Bolshevistskaya St., Saransk 430005, Russian Federation), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0602-2281, tatyana.kuzneczova.1998@mail.ru

Contribution of the authors:

T. M. Dadaeva – academic supervision; statement of the research problem; choice of the concept and methodology of the research; interpretation and analysis of the materials; revision of the text of the article.

T. A. Kuznetsova – conducting the study and initial processing of the results; interpretation and analysis of the materials; preparation of the initial version of the text.

The authors have read and approved the final version of the manuscript.
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