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.
This paper focuses on the scrutiny of structural units of myth within mass cultural discourse. The author reviews studies of the mythologeme and my theme in semiotics and also relevant research in other fields concerning the announced research object. The main aim of the paper is to distinguish inner semiotic markers of myth and to examine their application to mass cultural narratives. Drawing on the analysis of previous theoretical research and case studies, the author compares the two structural units and makes an attempt to formulate specifications towards existing definitions. Particular examples of mythemes and mythologemes in mass culture discourse are regarded within this paper. The author points out the mytheme of Transformation, the mytheme of Backtracking, the mythologeme of Childhood (Golden Age), the mythologeme of Armageddon (Flood), and the mythologeme of World Tree.
Internet memes, which constitute a significant portion of social-media content and an important vector of users’ communicative exchange, have by now turned from mere entertainment to a news source. However, they are still approached rather uncritically by young audiences. A survey was conducted among Russian students (N = 138) at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, and it identified not only the “problem spots” of the Russian memosphere but also a number of skills in decoding information, which are necessary today as part of “Meme Literacy.” These skills range from an adequate assessment of the type of message and verification of the news topic to the fact-checking of the verbal and visual content the meme is based on.
In recent years scholars have called for more attention to local net histories, work that demonstrates how networked computing developed in specific geographical, material, and social contexts. Research carried out in this spirit stands in contrast to a canonical and popular history of the (singular) “Internet,” and thus sets up an opposition or dyad between “local” net histories and the “global” or mainstream history of ARPAnet, the Internet Protocol, and the World Wide Web. This article takes up the call for local net histories by focusing on Tonet, a local network that was developed in the Siberian city of Tomsk and which peaked in usage in the early 2000s. However, rather than assuming an opposition between local and global Internet history, this article interrogates how the local net and global Internet were articulated by Tonet’s computer scientists and regional journalists at the time. The article thus enquires into symbolic connections between a local net and the global Internet, unsettling this opposition while also drawing at
Issue 20 celebrates ten years of Digital Icons. As an integral part of this celebratory issue we want to paint a broad picture of the changes Runet underwent in the last decade. In order to achieve this goal, we asked leading scholars in the field—among them most of the authors of Digital Icons 1—for short statements: Did Runet change in the past ten years, and if so, how? Has this change affected the academic or professional field in which you work? Did the field itself change? Have your methods and theories of study evolved? Based on the answers we received from Olena Goroshko, Tatjana Hofmann, Ekaterina Lapina-Kratasyuk, Sudha Rajagopalan, Ellen Rutten, Robert A. Saunders, Henrike Schmidt, Elena Trubina and Vera Zvereva, we compiled a panorama of ten years of Studies in Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media.
It has been argued that by allowing users to unfriend, unfollow, and block political and cultural ‘others,’ Facebook facilitates the discouragement of dialog between those holding different views on political issues. Using a case study of a civil confrontation in Ukraine, the paper analyzes the reasons for unfriending political ‘others’ reported by 699 respondents of a qualitative survey. Its findings are in line with researchers who have also found that the likelihood of selective avoidance is higher among people who are more politically active, emotionally involved, and who have more online friends. The paper also discusses an interesting discovery that has not been previously considered. The respondents often shunned political ‘others’ out of suspicion that they were trolls. As this paper suggests, whether real or imagined, trolling has turned out to be a real force influencing people’s decisions to withdraw from communication on the most important issues of public life.
The article deals with the ways Russian authorities have constructed the social problem of HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immune deficiency syndrome) in Russia. The statistical construction of HIV/AIDS includes data indicating the significant rise of HIV prevalence in Russia since 2000. The study focuses on what and how Russian authorities speak about HIV/AIDS, while there are official data on the rapid spread of the virus in the country. The work is based on a discourse analysis of the authorities’ rhetoric about HIV/AIDS. During his first presidential terms, Vladimir Putin constructed HIV/AIDS not as an epidemic in the country, but as a “global problem,” representing Russia as a participant in international efforts to combat AIDS. The president problematized the HIV spread through the rhetoric of endangerment but without its crucial term “epidemic,” while at the same time de-problematized HIV in Russia by the strategy of naturalizing (“this is a problem that all countries face”). The Russian authorities appealed to traditional moral values and spoke about marginal or risk groups, rather than risk practices. After the deterioration of relations with Western countries since 2007, the Russian president excluded HIV/AIDS problem from his public agenda, despite the existence of the data on steep HIV growth in Russia. The Russian president’s traditionalism, de-problematization, and silence concerning HIV/AIDS lead to the absence of the HIV/AIDS issues in media agenda, the agenda of local authorities, and consequently the personal agendas of Russian citizens. The consequences are ignorance, fears, stigmatization of people living with HIV, semi-legal status of needle, and syringe exchange programs for intravenous drug users, low antiretroviral therapy coverage, and the continuing HIV epidemic.
The problems of media education and media literacy, which have been in the focus of attention of different sciences for a long time, are closely related to free media access possibilities and ability to produce own media texts, on the one hand, and the ability to critically interpret information, on the other hand, and, most importantly, they are related to the issues of trust in the media and in the content generated by it as a whole. At the same time, it should be noted that the trust phenomenon itself is one of the most complicated phenomena in public relations studies. Paradoxically, however, even though the level of trust in mass media as a social institution continues to remain an important indicator of societal well-being, the ability to take a critical view of any media message, characterize a certain maturity of the social environment, a certain level of media literacy and critical mindset of citizens. That is exactly why it deemed important for us to emphasize the issues of trust in information sources in the course of a survey of Russian students’ media literacy level which took a few years, the results of which are presented in this article.
The self-perceived communication competence (SPCC) measure has been used in over 50 published studies since 2000. McCroskey and McCroskey (1988. Self-report as an approach to measuring communication competence. Communication Research Reports, 5, 108–113. doi: 10.1080/08824098809359810) developed the measure to be used within the US college/university classroom. Despite its intended use, the measure is frequently used outside of the US and outside of the college/university setting without tests of measurement invariance. In fact, only four studies have performed tests of internal consistency on the measure since 2000, and each has found poor fit. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the utility of the measure outside of its intended population. The measure was utilized to survey respondents from 12 countries and failed to yield acceptable fit statistics in all samples, showing poor evidence of construct validity.
This study examines the extent to which the Organizational Dissent Scale (ODS) maintains validity and temporal stability over time in a French sample. A longitudinal panel study was conducted. The results do not support that the ODS maintains validity nor temporal stability over time. These results are not indicative of problems with the original measure; it could be that conceptually dissent is a different process with different understandings in French culture. Cultural differences may render measures unusable between cultural groups.
The study explores the relationships between employee burnout, work-family balance,and organizational dissent. These relationships were tested in an under-researched and culturaly unique context, Russia. Data collected from 232 full-time employees in the Prm region were analysed using multiple regression analysis. Analysis revealed that employee burnout is negatively related to articulated dissent and positively related to latent dissent.