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.
This article analyses the discourse about the opposition politician Alexei Navalny in Russian media. Navalny has been actively engaging with his audience through social media and online platforms; however, some media continue to ignore the politician, practically not covering his activities. The article analyses the intensity and sentiment of the media coverage of Navalny based on data from Medialogia. It is concluded that the media in general do cover the politician’s activities and attempts to deliberately ignore news about him are only made by TV stations. However, news about Navalny is often negative. While blogs offer a more positive outlook on the politician’s activities than do the other types of media that the article considers, the majority of the coverage of Navalny in Russian media is of a critical nature. In addition, an analysis of positive and negative news in various types of media suggests that the way the politician’s activities are covered primarily involves not information about what he did or did not do but rather the various media interpretations of these actions.
This paper is devoted to the issue of so–called ‘trophy films’ in the context of Soviet foreign policy. The aim of this research is to reveal how the cultural competition between the USSR and the USA during the early Cold War caused the emergence of the famous credit title «This film was captured as a trophy after the Soviet Army defeated Nazi troops near Berlin in 1945», and, as a consequence, resulted in the establishing of ‘Trophy Film’ concept in public discourse.
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.
In “Falter Not in Practicing Tenderheartedness,” Maria Maiofis argues that the political sphere does not lose autonomy in poetry by the “generation of the 1990s,” since different realities are acquiring primary significance. Contemporary poetry’s reaction to political events is an indispensable part of a wider lyrical reaction of the author/hero who seeks involvement and participation in global events. Maofis concludes by comparing this tendency to the writing of Aleksandr Radishchev.
People have been using images to express ideas, share stories, and communicate since early history. The advent of social media has made sharing images an important part of everyday life. Among other things, social networks can be used to express psychological distress; however, research on this topic is limited. The goal of this study was to explore representations of psychological distress in the Russian-speaking segment of Instagram. The study involved contrasting images labeled with hashtags in Russian with images marked by analogous Anglophone hashtags in a data set of 1,512 images. Quantitative content analysis revealed significant differences between images labeled with Russian and Anglophone hashtags. Images containing depictions of texts were significantly less frequent among images with Russian hashtags, while inanimate object depictions were more prevalent. Hashtags for fear in both languages were related not to psychological distress but to the “scary” in popular culture. Images of alcohol were associated with stress hashtags in both languages and with hashtag for depression in Russian only. Images of food were significantly more prevalent among images with Russian hashtag for stress. Current study highlights the need for culturally and linguistically appropriate online mental health interventions.
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.