Media and Communications
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.
In this paper, we propose an alternative approach to analysing the current duality of the Russian media system, which for a long time was regarded as transitional. We propose to interpret the current Russian media system in terms of institutional conflict between norms, which were artificially implemented and the grounded informal rules embodied in everyday practices both from market agents and audiences. Mainly implemented after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the norms were based on a neo-liberal representation of the media system, involving financial independence of the media from the state, a ‘news culture’ instead of a ‘propaganda culture’ and so on. At the same time, the informal rules were based on the paternalistic role of the state, the accessibility tradition and the fragmentation of the public sphere. The interaction of such elements forms the dualist or ‘uncertain’ character of the media system.
In his recent book The Discursive-Material Knot, [Carpentier, N. (2017). The discursive-material Knot: Cyprus in conflict and community media participation. New York: Peter Lang]. Nico Carpentier identifies three nodal points of antagonistic discourse: the need for destruction of the enemy, homogenization of the self as opposed to the enemy, and the radical difference of the enemy. The latter appears when the self and the other are thought to be irreconcilably at odds, and the enemy is presented as inferior. In the more extreme cases, this radical othering leads to a dehumanization and demonization of the other, which makes the destruction of the enemy easier. Using post-Maidan social confrontation within Ukraine and its Facebook discussions as a case study, this paper analyzes how exactly the radical othering and subsequent dehumanization of the enemy is discursively structured, and describe the conditions under which such extreme manifestations of conflict could be eliminated with the ultimate goal of transforming antagonistic into agonistic discourse.
This paper explores, mainly from a legal perspective, the extent to which the Russian regulations of traditional TV and online audiovisual media policies have been consistent with the Council of Europe (hereinafter CoE) standards. The study compares between the CoE and Russian approaches to specific aspects of audiovisual regulation including licensing, media ownership, public service media, digitalization, and national production. The paper first studies the CoE perspective through examining its conventional provisions related to audiovisual media, the case law of the European Court of Human Rights as well as the CoE non-binding documents. The paper then considers Russian national legislation governing audiovisual media and the Russian general jurisdiction courts’ practice on broadcast licensing. The paper suggests that the Russian audiovisual regulations are insufficiently compatible with the CoE standards and more in line with the Soviet regulatory traditions.
The paper is focused on the history and modern practices of creating and applying interactive exploratory objects and worlds that provoke curiosity in the individual and require exploration and experimentation to learn them and to achieve practical goals. The development, use and demonstration of a wide range of exploratory objects (play, educational, psycho-diagnostic, etc.) in various fields reflects an increasingly wide spread belief: one of the basic human abilities that is needed now and will be in demand in the future is the ability to cope with novelty, including through active exploration and experimentation. Five interrelated directions for the development and popularization of exploratory objects are identified: science; educational practice; assessment; game practices; and literature, art, official and unofficial journalism. Parameters of specially developed interactive exploratory objects and worlds in the context of preparing for encounters with novelty and complexity are discussed. The triangle of tests of intelligence, creativity and exploratory behavior in the space of regulation – freedom is presented. Two types of motivational challenges when exploring new objects are described: exploration for the sake of the very process of cognition and exploration for the sake of desired practical effects. The issue of features of exploratory objects that stimulate posing and solving epistemic problems rather than pragmatic problems, and vice versa, is raised. In conclusion, possible reasons for the mass development and supply of exploratory objects and worlds are formulated.
This article discusses the representation of the era of the October Revolution and the Civil War in contemporary Russian popular cinema. It describes the modern tools used by the state to create new images of the past and to reconstruct history in Russian popular culture. It also considers how Russian society has reacted to this official discourse.
To understand decision making processes in the field of public ethics, legal policy and e-government regulation it is important to understand the factors that promote, restrict, and distort the processes. This in turn requires an analysis of the failure to establish in the behaviour of institutions and individuals such values as ethics in the public IT-policy as factors for sociocultural changes, the respect for e-government legal regulation and procedures standards, and an acknowledgement of the decisions of courts as dispute resolution mechanisms. This strategy presumably provides the possibility to offer a prognostic approach, involving an analysis of the correlation between the beliefs, norms and reality, and based on previous experience of e-government regulation in national and comparative perspective.
People socialized in different cultures differ in their thinking styles. Eastern-culture people view objects more holistically by taking context into account, whereas Western-culture people view objects more analytically by focusing on them at the expense of context. Here we studied whether participants, who have different thinking styles but live within the same culture, exhibit differential brain activity when viewing a drama movie. A total of 26 Finnish participants, who were divided into holistic and analytical thinkers based on self-report questionnaire scores, watched a shortened drama movie during functional magnetic resonance imaging. We compared intersubject correlation (ISC) of brain hemodynamic activity of holistic vs analytical participants across the movie viewings. Holistic thinkers showed significant ISC in more extensive cortical areas than analytical thinkers, suggesting that they perceived the movie in a more similar fashion. Significantly higher ISC was observed in holistic thinkers in occipital, prefrontal and temporal cortices. In analytical thinkers, significant ISC was observed in right-hemisphere fusiform gyrus, temporoparietal junction and frontal cortex. Since these results were obtained in participants with similar cultural background, they are less prone to confounds by other possible cultural differences. Overall, our results show how brain activity in holistic vs analytical participants differs when viewing the same drama movie.
The present paper is dedicated to the phenomenon of public sphere which is currently undergoing significant transformations under the influence of the Internet and social media. The main goal of the article is to find a new approach to the modern development of public sphere, rethinking it from an Arendtian perspective. The first part examines the main actual changes taking place in public sphere under the influence of social media and concludes that the classical concept of public sphere, dating back to its early notion of Jürgen Habermas, needs to be rethought, and requires a new approach which would take into account actual changes and new circumstances in the development of public sphere. As one of the sources of this new approach, it is proposed to use Arendt‘s understanding of public sphere which in many ways remains relevant even today. The second part examines the Arendt’s notion of public sphere, compared with the concept of public sphere of the early Habermasian writing. As a result of this consideration, it is concluded that, in a number of points, Arendt’s notion of public sphere is better suited to an understanding of the modern public sphere than the classical Habermasian concept. In the third part, I rethink the existing trends in the development of the digital public sphere from Arendt’s standpoint.The present paper is dedicated to the phenomenon of public sphere which is currently undergoing significant transformations under the influence of the Internet and social media. The main goal of the article is to find a new approach to the modern development of public sphere, rethinking it from an Arendtian perspective. The first part examines the main actual changes taking place in public sphere under the influence of social media and concludes that the classical concept of public sphere, dating back to its early notion of Jürgen Habermas, needs to be rethought, and requires a new approach which would take into account actual changes and new circumstances in the development of public sphere. As one of the sources of this new approach, it is proposed to use Arendt‘s understanding of public sphere which in many ways remains relevant even today. The second part examines the Arendt’s notion of public sphere, compared with the concept of public sphere of the early Habermasian writing. As a result of this consideration, it is concluded that, in a number of points, Arendt’s notion of public sphere is better suited to an understanding of the modern public sphere than the classical Habermasian concept. In the third part, I rethink the existing trends in the development of the digital public sphere from Arendt’s standpoint.
Internet censorship remains one of the most common methods of state control over the media. Reasons for filtering cyberspace include ensuring the security of the current regime, attempts to limit all kinds of opposition movements, and the protection of the religious and moral norms of society. In Arab countries, where religion plays a major role in the sociopolitical sphere, the latter is particularly important. Since, in Islamic law, there is no direct reference to censorship in practice, governments cause many resources to be filtered under various pretexts. At the same time, as the example of Egypt during the Arab spring shows, moral and religious reasons for filtering the Internet have more grounds than, say, the persecution of opposition leaders.