Amid the Changing Landscape of City, Class and Imperial Russian Policy: The Habitus of the Kaunas Urban Elite and Their Symbolic Representation in the Early 19th Century

In: Lithuanian Historical Studies
Remigijus Civinskas Vytautas Magnus University

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Changing 19th-century socio-economic identities have been a major topic of debate among European historians. Obviously, there are disagreements over the scientific analysis and objectivity of identities research in Lithuanian and Western historical narratives. This is especially relevant when discussing the specific characteristics of urban society. In this article, the author analyses the social identities of the Kaunas burgher elite, and the factors which affected the group in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The theoretical approach of the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu is used to describe the phenomenon. The habitus concept is used to analyse the facts, as it helps to reveal representations of the identification of elites with the city and estate structures (the early Kaunas urban tradition and the new Imperial Russian classes).

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