The article studies the most important paradigm of the existence of entrepreneurship in Russia – the idea of poverty on the basis of analysis of literary and historical sources that contains descriptions of the events of the merchant environment in the Russian North. It is illustrated by the historiographic overview of texts-sources of the XVIII century. In the analysis of the narrative intentions of the Northern Russian historiography we can clearly identify semantic strategy – existential model of life as a debt (responsibility, obligation), love (kindness, mercy, unity, catholicity), faith (trust in a higher principle, faith, hope), and sacrifice (dedication, donations, help, support). All these vital vectors intersect in the semantic space of historical essays and emanate from a single semantic paradigm of “poverty”. These principles have a great influence on the development of the business environment in Russia. From the standpoint of the theory of everyday life it is important to explore historical documents in the framework of the semiotic approach and reveal the specific social actions and communicative acts in them. The literary fact is fixed in culture, while continuing to live in the space of this culture in the form of characters, plots, motives. And this literary sign always points to another sign, leading in turn to a new, hidden sign of the culture. The research intention in this case is directed towards the interpretation of a text sign, opening the code and the comprehension of cultural meaning. In this context, the signs and meanings of historical documentary sources are not just verbal constructions, but the complex cultural forms which keep all strata and sections of past cultural epochs and fixed “nobiological collec- tive memory” (Lotman). In addition, studying historical texts it is necessary to consider the modern anthropological theory of culture, in which the latter is regarded as a value space (C. Geertz).
business environment, economic and political development of the settlement, the paradigm of poverty, economic history, literary field, habitus
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