Роль цифровых технологий в коммуникации сельских жителей России с роднёй на расстоянии: проблемное поле
The article presumes an attempt to delineate the problematic field of research on the role of digital technology in the communication of people in rural Russia with relatives and friends at a distance. The theoretical optics are the approaches of media ecology and polymedia theory, as well as the theory of long-distance relationship.
The empirical material for the article was the in-depth interviews collected in 5 expeditions to the countryside of Russia in 2012–2018: the rural settlement of Manturovo, Kostroma Region 2012, the village of Koksovyy, Rostov Region 2013, the Village Danaurovka of the Republic of Tatarstan 2014, the village Seredkino of the Irkutsk Region 2014, the village Glazok of Tambov areas 2018. The interviews dealt with how the villagers use the media (including digital) technologies available to them and how they relate to them, their capabilities and limitations. Some interview questions related to how these technologies are used to communicate with other family members, relatives living in other villages and cities.
As the data show, digital technologies are actively used by rural settlers for communication with relatives in other cities and regions and over time this trend is becoming more widespread. The article discusses the main types of technologies used, the specifics of the use of these technologies and how technologists participate in the construction of kinship relations at a distance.
The article hypothesizes that digital technologies do not just participate in mediation of kinship relations, that is, they do not add anything to kinship relations, but also mediatizate the institution of kinship: this is how special family rituals arise in the use of digital technologies when communicating with relatives. In addition, the authors discuss how the understanding of the scale of the family is expanding through communication on the Internet between distant relatives.