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Gopnik (Russian: Го́пник) (plural gopniki, gopota, gopary) is a sub-culture native to Russia and post-Soviet countries (and in rather limited numbers, in Israel), characterized by aggressive behavior, specifically towards the weak, a predilection to the Blat criminal subculture, and abuse of alcohol (specifically beer, vodka and "Jaguar" cocktail). Fashion preferences include Adidas tracksuits and dress shoes. In the winter, a leather jacket and tuque hat (known as "pidorka") are added to a typical Gopnik's attire. Gopniks have been compared to the Chavs, Spides and Neds of the United Kingdom.
The term "gopnik" was probably derived from slang term gop-stop, meaning street mugging. Another theory is that "gopnik" derived from the acronym GOP, probably a reference to Gorodskoye Obshchestvo Prizreniya (the municipal agency for care of destitutes), the numerous almshouses organized by the government after the October Revolution. Another version translates the acronym as Gorodskoye Obshchezhitiye Proletariata (The Municipal Dormitory of the Proletariat), putatively organized in the 1920s in Leningrad in the hotel Oktyabrskaya, which quickly became known for the criminal activities of its inhabitants. The major argument against the second theory is that there are no surviving records proving the existence of such an institution in Leningrad.
It appears that gopniks form a large percentage of the current youth population of Russia. The head of the Moscow Branch of the LDPR has stated that gopniks form a percentage of his party's electoral base and, in fact, that he considers them to be the most powerful political force in Russia at present.
One of the distinctive characteristics of the gopniks is that they will often be seen squatting (sitting on haunches), a habit that originates from prison life.
- Фима Жиганец. Жемчужины босяцкой речи. Ростов-на-Дону, "Феникс", 1999. ISBN 5-222-00958-0
- Потапов С.М. Словарь жаргона преступников. Блатная музыка. Народный комиссариат внутренних дел, 1990.
- Владимир Козлов. Гопники. Ад Маргинем, 2003. ISBN 5-93321-041-2
- Современная молодёжь (недоступная ссылка с 26-05-2013 (34 дня) — история, копия) // Говорит Москва, 16 октября 2009 года. "The Youth of Today", The Voice of Moscow, 16 October 2009
- Ханипов Р. «Гопники» — значение понятия, и элементы репрезентации субкультуры «гопников» в России // «Social Identities in Transforming Societies»
- Meet The Gopniks: An Exile Safari
- The Gopniki Subculture (Russian)
- "Gopnik" on russian lurkmore (Russian)
- Russian site about gopniks (Russian)
- About Gopnik as branch of subculture (Russian)
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