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A Study of the Origin of Gopnik, a Stereotyped Subculture in Russia

The 90’s in Russia have been really challenging, both economically and socially. That period of time was difficult for the nation as USSR has just collapsed, uncertainty and lack of vision for the future in the society has coined a new term “Gopnik”.

In my investigation I am going to concentrate on etymology of the name of the gang, specific physical attributes, their distinct jargon as well analysis as their agenda and social perception of the gang. I am not going to be touching the data of the individuals affected by these gangs as there isn’t data on that as these kind of crimes have a tendency to be categorized as a street pickpocketing with no mention of the Gopniks involvement.

Gopniks are regarded to be the legacy of the 90’s, not formally affiliated with any individual but they share exact same attributes of clothing, behavioral patterns and preferences amongst each and every other. Gopniks are usually perceived and described as “Skin-Heads of Russia ( Gopniks do not have a particular set of agenda, and target whomever they choose to attack.( Nevertheless, peaceful civilians have a tendency to be the most vulnerable groups and they have equal likelihood of receiving attacked either day or night by the Gopniks in tracksuits(

It is a difficult to discover sufficient scientific information on Gopnik as they value their privacy and not so keen to communicate with the scholars. In my study I am going to focus on etymology of the name of the gang, specific physical attributes, their distinct jargon as effectively as their agenda and social perception of the gang. I am not going to be touching the data of the folks impacted by these gangs as there is not details on that as these kind of crimes have a tendency to be categorized as a street pickpocketing with no mention of the Gopniks involvement.

Social disorganization theory, strain theory and cultural deviance theory are the most relevant theories out there with regards to Gopniks(Hesse, M). These theories lead to an explanation of why men and women decide on to grow to be Gopniks. Situations of the social stability, economy and educational bringing as effectively as lack of social control, nonetheless, are the principal ones.

The evidence of Gopniks presence in the society are the men and women. Poorer neighborhoods where there is more crime tends to be the spot where Gopniks are located. It is frequently written in foreign internet sites that the vacationers need to keep away from Gopniks must they accidentally see them. They are portrayed close to neo-nazi’s and even the locals worry them. Police chooses not to engage with the Gopniks as they aren’t capable to adjust their behavior and deter from engaging in criminal acts. (RUSSIAN 101 – Talking TO GOPNIKS)

The word Gopnik has derived from the former Soviet republics, referring to a young males or lady frequently from the reduced-income gap with little or no educational background. The origins of the word derive from the acronym GOP, or Gorodskoe Obshestvo Prizreniye (Russian for: “City Public Charity”) organization. ( Back in the pre-revolutionary time of USSR these people had been in charge of public housing for the lowest earnings gap of the nation( This term was later reshaped and became affiliated with these that are living in assigned public housing , as they often have been quite below-maintained, poorly constructed and positioned in the bad regions with higher criminal prices. There is one more controversy in the linguists circles that the term “Gop” has originated and evolved from the Russian word “theft”( . Considering that most of the street-crimes of that time have been sudden attacks, it essential the thief to jump on the victim the least anticipated way.( (RUSSIAN 101 – Talking TO GOPNIKS). This sudden sort of attack was known to be named “Gop-Stop” ie: random attacks on by passers with the purpose to pickpocket. Shaved head, intent to do harm, asocial behavior, passion for criminal activities, racism, smoking and alcohol consumption are only some of the common attributes of these described as Gopniks. This term is equivalent to a “redneck” derogatory term utilised in America, but these who engage in standard-Gopnik behavior don’t thoughts using it themselves. (Yegorov, O). My reasoning why it was critical for folks to type such gangs in the previous is that this in a way was forming a net system for caring about one one more at the instances when the government was weak and the nation was fled with the troubles of various kinds.

Gopniks generally can be discovered in rural areas. In the modern instances the Gopniks are identified for their racist, practically nationalistic and harmful behavior towards the public. The classic appearance of a Gopnik will include Adidas truck suits (mainly counterfeit Chinese track suit), shaved head, beer/vodka bottle being chugged straight from the bottle, cigarette pack while sitting in a squatting position. (Gopniks favorite snack tend to be sunflower seeds which are chewed and spit anyplace they happen to be at ( The cause why particular brand as Adidas was selected to be the attire of entire nation of Gopniks was due to the truth that back in the days foreign brands have been not allowed to be imported to USSR therefore was illegally sneaked as a contraband if it was original. However, given that most of the Gopniks did not have access to such costly garment, they figured to take a shortcut by purchasing fake ones. ( Adidas seemed like a sign of luxury in a sport clothing planet and Gopniks chose to put on it ever considering that. Low cost stored are fled with counterfeit garment things, creating it effortless to discover one particular in every single city.

The squatting seating position might appear like a random move, but it has its distinct purpose. In fact, this particular posture is able to distinguish a actual Gopnik from fake one particular. It is crucial to hold the appropriate posture while undertaking the “Gopnik’s squat” which requires the genuine Gopnik to not hold their complete feet on the ground but rather remain on the suggestions of their feet. ( This position is the most comfortable way to get up like a spring and attack a bystander or run away from the coming Policiya (Police in Russia).

Gopniks are identified for their certain slang. Their particular posture of squatting is identified as “in court” (Russian: na kartah) or “doing the crab” (Russian: na krabe). Their most recognized phrases and possibly most feared ones are “got a cellular?” or “got alter?” These two phrases tend to be the only phrases Gopniks tell folks ahead of they rob them as a result producing Gopniks getting identified for these phrases.

He Gopniks are known for excessive usage of vulgar language, derogatory terms and sexist remarks towards both of the genders. Gopniks are very unfavorable towards minorities. In todays life, when Gopnik spot a person of LGBTQ neighborhood that particular person will get physically and verbally assaulted with a likelihood of 99.9%. There really is not much what someone can do to safeguard themselves from Gopniks, but rather keep away from walking alone at nights in rural regions, and by no implies engage in any verbal or nonverbal communication with Gopniks.

Following the rough 90’s and the breakdown of the USSR the perception of the Gopnik became significantly less influential. Although the youth had when been in are of the Gopniks, they no longer glorified their destructive ways, refusing to partake in it and nurture the Gopnik neighborhood These days it becomes harder and tougher to spot Gopniks in comparison to what it was 15 years ago. There has been a noticeable decline in Gopniks presence on the streets of whole post-USSR area. This hate gang without having an agenda is a negative image of the nation and distorted image of the previous. I think the reason why people wanted to become Gopniks since the post-USSR area was at peak of chaos and folks had been basically seeking out for every other in an informal way. It is critical that the Gopnik behavior is not supported by anyone and deterrence theory is applied to outweigh any thoughts of joining the Gopnik gang.. Most men and women choose to join gangs in the very first location because they want to feel like they belong someplace. Russia ought to focus on engaging youth to do much more sport and other activities, and perhaps that will contribute to Gopniks gang declining interest to join.
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