A gopnik (Russian: гопник, romanized: gopnik, pronounced [ˈɡopnʲɪk]; Ukrainian: гопник, romanized: hopnyk; Belarusian: гопнік, romanized: hopnik) is a member of a delinquent subculture in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and in other former Soviet republics – a young man (or a woman, a gopnitsa) of working-class background who usually lives in Russian suburban areas and comes from a family of poor education and income. The collective noun is gopota (Russian: гопота). The subculture of gopota has its roots in the late Russian Empire and evolved during the 20th century in many cities in the Soviet Union. As of the late 2010s, the subculture has faded for the most part, although youth gangs (such as the A.U.E.) that resemble gopota still exist in Russia and in other Slavic and Baltic countries.
However, it could also be related to GOP, the acronym for the Gorodskoye Obshezhitie Proletariata. These were almshouses for the destitute created by the Bolshevik government after the October Revolution in 1917. According to Dahl's Explanatory Dictionary, a Russian explanatory dictionary (first published in the 19th century), an old slang word for "sleeping on street" was "гопать" (gopat', literally "to gop") something that was related to the "mazuricks" or the criminals of Saint Petersburg.
Stereotypical appearance and behaviour
Gopniks are often seen wearing Adidas or Puma tracksuits (mostly Adidas), which were popularized by the 1980 Moscow Olympics Soviet team. Sunflower seeds (colloquially semki (семки) or semechki (семечки)) are habitually eaten by gopniks, especially in Ukraine and Russia.
The subculture is stereotypically associated with Russian chanson music, specifically the blatnaya pesnya subgenre (prisoner's songs, lyrics etc...); also, since the mid-2010s, in internet memes and viral videos, with hardbass and Russian rock.
Some gopniks have Russian nationalism or Pan-Slavism as their primary political views, though there are also leftist or even far-right gopnik communities. Some gopniks hold strong anti-Western views.
Gopota are often seen squatting in groups "in court" (на кортах, na kortakh) or "doing the crab" (на крабе, na krabe) outside blocks of flats or schools with their heels on the ground. It is described as a learned behavior attributed to Russian and Soviet prison culture to avoid sitting on the cold ground. Gopota are stereotyped as being prone to substance and alcohol abuse, crime and hooliganism.
- Ethnic stereotype
- Chav (United Kingdom)
- Redneck and white trash (United States)
- Bogan and eshay (Australia/New Zealand)
- Preman (Indonesia)
- Raskol (Papua New Guinea)
- Ugly American (pejorative)
- Dresiarz (Poland)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gopnik.|
- Russian plural гопники (gopniki), also гопота (gopota), and гопари (gopari). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y90yaLFoYoA Archived 2020-03-27 at the Wayback Machine
- Beiträge der Europäischen Slavistischen Linguistik (POLYSLAV)., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y90yaLFoYoA Archived 2020-03-27 at the Wayback Machine Volume 8, 2005, ISBN 3-87690-924-4, p. 237 Archived 2016-05-08 at the Wayback Machine
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- Yegorov, Oleg (2017-12-22). "Russian hard bass: How a musical monstrosity went viral". www.rbth.com. Retrieved 2020-10-22.
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- Flynn, Moya; Kay, Rebecca; Oldfield, Jonathan D. (1 June 2008). Trans-national issues, local concerns and meanings of post-socialism: insights from Russia, Central Eastern Europe, and beyond. University Press of America. ISBN 978-0761840558. Archived from the original on 12 December 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2017 – via Google Books.
- Ханипов Р. «Гопники» – значение понятия, и элементы репрезентации субкультуры «гопников» в России // "Social Identities in Transforming Societies"