American Ethnologist

The materiality of the corporation: Oil, gas, and corporate social technologies in the remaking of a Russian region

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ABSTRACT

In the Perm Region of Russia, recent social and cultural projects sponsored by energy companies prominently reference certain material qualities of oil and gas. The depth associated with the region's oil deposits is evoked in cultural heritage celebrations funded by Lukoil-Perm, and the connectivity associated with natural gas pipelines figures in PermRegionGaz's efforts to foster new patterns of sociability. Attending to the larger material and semiotic shifts in which these projects are embedded points to a significant dimension of contemporary hydrocarbon politics and to specific ways in which corporations attempt to transform critiques of their operations. [oil, natural gas, corporations, materiality, infrastructure, corporate social responsibility, postsocialisms]

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