Media and Communications
Transmediation—the telling of a single story across multiple media—is a relatively new phenomenon. While there have been adaptations (books to films, for example) for more than a century, modern technology and media consumption have expanded the scope of trans-mediating practices. Nowhere are these more evident than within the Harry Potter universe, where a coherent world and narrative are iterated across books, films, video games, fan fiction, art, music and more. Curated by a leading Harry Potter scholar, this collection of new essays explores the range of Potter texts across a variety of media.
Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy traces the transformation of museums from publicly or privately funded heritage institutions into active players in the economic sector of culture. Exploring how this transformation reconfigured cultural diplomacy, the book argues that museums have become autonomous diplomatic players on the world stage. The book offers a comparative analysis across a range of case studies in order to demonstrate that museums have gone global in the era of neoliberal globalisation. Grincheva focuses first on the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which is well known for its bold revolutionising strategies of global expansion: museum franchising and global corporatisation. The book then goes on to explore how these strategies were adopted across museums around the world and analyses two cases of post-Guggenheim developments in China and Russia: the K11 Art Mall in Hong Kong and the International Network of Foundations of the State Hermitage Museum in Russia. These cases from more authoritarian political regimes evidence the emergence of alternative avenues of museum diplomacy that no longer depend on government commissions to serve immediate geo-political interests. Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy will be a valuable resource for students, scholars and practitioners of contemporary museology and cultural diplomacy. Documenting new developments in museum diplomacy, the book will be particularly interesting to museum and heritage practitioners and policymakers involved in international exchanges or official programs of cultural diplomacy.
Miscommunicating Social Change analyzes the discourses of three social movements and the alternative media associated with them, revealing that the Enlightenment narrative, though widely critiqued in academia, remains the dominant way of conceptualizing social change in the name of democratization in the post-Soviet terrain. The main argument of this book is that the “progressive” imaginary, which envisages progress in the unidirectional terms of catching up with the “more advanced” Western condition, is inherently anti-democratic and deeply antagonistic. Instead of fostering an inclusive democratic process in which all strata of populations holding different views are involved, it draws solid dividing frontiers between “progressive” and “retrograde” forces, deepening existing antagonisms and provoking new ones; it also naturalizes the hierarchies of the global neocolonial/neoliberal power of the West. Using case studies of the “White Ribbons” social movement for fair elections in Russia (2012), the Ukrainian Euromaidan (2013–2014), and anti-corruption protests in Russia organized by Alexei Navalny (2017) and drawing on the theories of Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, and Nico Carpetntier, this book shows how “progressive” articulations by the social movements under consideration ended up undermining the basis of the democratic public sphere through the closure of democratic space.
The article addresses the understudied phenomenon of digital quantification of the body and everyday life, which has arisen due to the proliferation of wearable and mobile fitness technologies. The author reviews a number of recent studies which have contributed significantly to the conceptualisation of digital self-tracking. Examining various approaches and directions in the study of self-tracking, the author focuses on three aspects: a) on the manifestations and discourses of self-tracking; b) on its styles and practices; and c) on its social contexts and effects. The works under review show how trackers of physical and social activities can transform people’s everyday practices, and how users interact with fitness technologies, interpret quantified data and construct their own embodied identity. Importantly, the efficiency of self-tracking tools is associated with their ‘sociability’ and ‘intelligence’ — qualities achieved through the anthropomorphising of digital devices and the creation of a culture of sharing. The analysis also emphasises that the practice of self-tracking goes beyond individual experience, actively invading other social worlds, and may eventually become an inherent feature of a ‘sensor society’. Summarising the outcomes of current research, the author comes to the conclusion that further conceptualisation of digital self-tracking must take into account its complex and multi-vectored nature. On the one hand, self-tracking is productive, as it contributes to the broadening of possibilities for self-knowledge and self-management, but on the other hand, it can have disciplinary, discriminatory, coercive, and alienating effects.
The study compares the networked issue agendas of Vladimir Putin and Alexey Navalny in Russian mainstream media and on the Internet utilizing the theoretical framework of issue ownership theory. We analyze the period from December 12, 2016 to December 12, 2017. The analysis shows that the issue agendas of Putin and Navalny are similar in the mainstream media and on the Internet. In both media types, Putin is often mentioned in connection with economic issues and international relations, which attract the attention of the population and are perceived as important. Navalny is associated with the issues of civic activism, NGOs and anti-corruption.
The authors seek to contribute to the existing discussion of the communicative function of political memes by bringing into discussion political memes used by opposition leaders in the 2018 Russian presidential election campaigns as examples of memes being purposefully deployed in targeted political communications. Specifically, they focus on Navalny’s use of the ‘yellow duck’ meme. Drawing on the existing research of memes’ mythological properties, the authors claim that the combination of dialogue and conflict as two main functions entailed in the political meme is a likely key element that increases the popularity of a meme and makes it viral. The discussion of concrete examples is preceded by a discussion that contextualizes the study of a political meme within the field of communication studies as a device that offers clarity in the chaotic flow of information, is constructed by both addresser and the addressee and serves as an effective tool for promoting ideologies.
Russian elections have been severely compromised by allegations of fraud, which makes public opinion polls an important source of information about popular support for Vladimir Putin and his policies. Putin's high ratings as well as the wide use of polls by his administration suggest that his rule is essentially democratic. This paper challenges this view by discussing the specific conception of democratic representation behind polling practices. Far from being a perfect mode of representation, opinion polls are capable of manufacturing the political reality they represent. The paper demonstrates how Russian authorities use polls to replace referenda and to legitimize the results of elections and thereby exposes the representational machine that turns polls into an efficient tool for governance, maintaining the hegemony and promoting de-politicisation. The distinction between partial and total representation, drawn from Ernesto Laclau's work, serves to illuminate the cases when polls and official election returns actually diverge and shows how the legitimacy of a regime is secured by the politics of representation that leaves a significant part of the Russian population unrepresented.
This paper focuses on the differences and similarities of relationship status lexical realization in two social networks Facebook (Fb, American) and Vkontakte (Vk, Russian). This cross-cultural work reveals the variety of lexical forms available to tag a relationship status in four languages (American English, German, French, and Russian) conditioned by cultural and social oriented values. It also discusses translation problems and mistakes caused by different cultural realities. The analyzed translation cases are divided into literal translation, borrowing, transposition, modulation, and adaptation. The authors compare the translations in the two social networks and suggest more adequate and culturally adapted options. In general, there is prevalence of literal translation (58 % on Fb; 54% on Vk) over other techniques (42% on Fb; 46% on Vk). The results of the analysis show that Fb translations are better and culturally adapted (with only one inaccuracy) than Vk translations (with seven inaccuracies). The findings can be used as recommendations for the social network translators and further linguistic research in cross-cultural issues involving language, culture and society.
The article explores a series of blockbuster exhibitions of DreamWorks Animation developed by the Australian Centre of the Moving Image (ACMI) in collaboration with one of the largest Hollywood producers. Curated by ACMI, this blockbuster exhibition was designed to provide a behind-the-scenes look into collaborative processes involved in DreamWorks animations. This exhibition travelled across the Asia-Pacific in 2015-2017 and was hosted by a number of museums, such as the ArtScience Museum in Singapore, the Te Papa Museum in New Zealand, the Seoul Museum of Art in South Korea, and the National Taiwan Science and Education Centre in Taiwan. It displayed over 400 unique objects from the studio’s archive ‘of rare and never before displayed material’, such as drawings, models, maps, photographs, posters, and other artworks. The article explores the highly favourable reception to the DreamWorks Animation blockbuster in different cities in Asia. It employs a geo-visualization of Asian engagement with the blockbuster exhibit to reveal and explain local and global mechanisms of ‘attraction’ power, generated by DreamWorks in different Asian countries. Contributing to the special issue, this article engages with two aspects of it: the form, cultural digital mapping; and the content, the nature of media pop culture exemplified through the traveling blockbuster.
The primary ambition of this special issue of The Hague Journal of Diplomacy1 is to approach a certain segment of the diplomatic universe that has been heretofore overlooked, and yet one could argue it is also more than ever pertinent to the effort to understand geopolitical and cultural impacts on governance in contemporary diplomacy.2 The articles that form ‘Non-State Diplomacy from Non-Western Perspectives’ are foremost joined by their challenge to two prevailing tendencies in diplomatic studies scholarship: first, the interpretation of non-Western practices through a predominantly Western lens; and, following from this, that diplomatic action in these contexts is largely confined to state institutions. Each of the articles in this special issue applies exploratory lenses of ‘contextual discovery’ to recalibrate foundational developments in the current diplomacy scholarship through an empirical research conducted in non-Western countries.3 Each article offers fresh findings from non-Western contexts to enrich a growing body of literature that takes a ‘post-globalist’ approach to the study of diplomacy.4 In doing so, the scholarship embraces complexities of challenging co-existence among state and non-state actors in the field of international relations. Two years in the making, this special issue expresses our hope that — by drawing these perspectives into the light — we will be in a much better position to meet this non-state/non-Western phenomenon with a fuller appreciation of its manifestations.
This study proposes the interventionist and the detached orientations to watchdog journalism through the conceptual lens of journalistic role performance. Based on a content analysis of 33,640 news stories from sixty-four media outlets in eighteen countries, we measure and compare both orientations across different countries using three performative aspects of monitoring: intensity of scrutiny, voice of the scrutiny, and source of the event. Our findings show that the interventionist approach of watchdog journalism is more likely to be found in democracies with traditionally partisan and opinion-oriented journalistic cultures or experiencing sociopolitical crises. In turn, the detached orientation predominates in democracies with journalistic traditions associated to objectivity. Although both orientations have a lower presence in transitional democracies, the detached watchdog prevails, while in non-democratic countries the watchdog role is almost absent. Our results also reveal that structural contexts of undemocratic political regimes and restricted press freedom are key definers of watchdog role performance overall. However, the type of political regime is actually more important—and in fact the most important predictor—for detached than for interventionist reporting.
This article analyses media representations of LGBT social movements, taking the case of Saint Petersburg LGBT pride parades. The analysis is developed through the use of framing theory, which views the media as an arena where interest groups promote their own interpretations of particular issues. Frames juxtapose elements of the text in such a way as to provide the audience with a scheme within which to perceive the message. Social movements are viewed as interest groups that introduce new frames in public debate. Two types of frames can be distinguished: collective action frames and status quo frames. In this study, the usage of two collective action frames (equality frame and victim frame), and two status quo frames (morality frame and propaganda promoting homosexuality frame) were examined. Additionally, the sources of quotes used in news stories were analyzed. The study focuses on articles dedicated to Saint Petersburg LGBT pride marches in the years 2010–2017 in the most popular local Internet websites. The analysis shows that the coverage of LGBT pride marches can be divided into two distinct periods: 2010–2013 and 2014–2017. In the first period, LGBT activists dominated the coverage, quoted about twice as much as government officials. Equality and victim frames were prevalent. In the second period, activists were cited significantly less often, with the propaganda promoting homosexuality frame dominating the discourse. However, contrary to findings of previous studies on social movement representation, across the whole period under consideration, LGBT activists were quoted more often than government representatives. This finding calls for a further exploration of the conditions which allowed for such coverage in the context of political heterosexism and homophobia.