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.
The paper explores how traditional storytelling adapts to the digital environment andadopts/assimilates it. This study is based on a corpus of fourteen semi-structured in-depth interviews of researchers and performers with an expertise in seven differentstorytelling traditions. Therefore, we present a new typology of traditional storytellers and depict their Internet/New Media usage specifics.
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 article presents the results of the research of media image of Russia as a great power in the international political media discourse. The main method used was the content analysis of a corpus of American, British, German, French and Spanish printed media texts during the period from 2000 to the present time. Despite the fact that Russia appears today in a fundamentally new quality and the international political establishment still sees it as one of the leading world powers, its image in the foreign media is mostly negative and largely based on stereotypes of the last century. Special attention the media pays to Russian foreign policy, describing it as aggressive and based on «imperial ambitions». The consequence of all this is a rejection of Russia as an integral part of the «civilized world», as a state which is ready to share «universal values» as they are seen by the Western society.
The following article presents the results of an individual academic research, dedicated to the analysis of structure, functions and effects of political storytelling in terms of so-called “era of post-truth politics”. The author would like to introduce some concepts and approaches to storytelling from the points of view of Russian literary studies and comparative literary criticism, which includes ideas and insights of major literary historians of Russian Empire and Soviet Union. The author claims these ideas important, adaptable and relevant for the key ideas about storytelling that were drawn by Western social studies, as literature has a unique position and approach in Soviet Unioin, being regarded as “ideological add-on of society”. The following analysis leads to schemas of deconstruction of the acts of political communication worldwide through the lens of so called “shared narratives” (in Western tradition) and “wandering (migrating) plots” (in tradition of Russian Empire and Soviet Union literary studies` tradition). The last part of the article presents narrative analysis of three cases of modern political communication in Europe, Russia and U.S.A. The intention of the author was to show three of so called “wandering plots” elements in political communications of international leaders. Case of Europe covers political communication of Iens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of Norway, during the election rally in 2013. Case of Russia covers political communication of current president Vladimir Putin during the reconstruction of his biography in 2015. Case of U.S.A. covers political communication of Donald Trump, the elected president of U.S.A., during the election rally in 2016.
The article considers Weber’s theory of charismatic power as an interpretive model for the examination of religious beliefs. Traditionally, academic thought has interpreted the source of the power as either a leader’s personal characteristics or constructive actions performed by his / her group. Instead of searching for the causes of charismatic authority, I am interested in ways of performing charismatic authority and techniques for its realisation. My fieldwork was conducted in a remote Russian village with an Orthodox community, devoted to a spiritual elder (starets). Through careful ethnography, I will describe the post-Soviet conditions that have transformed a collective farm into a religious group, the group’s organisational characteristics, and the process by which the leader’s charisma is routinised. The main goal of the article is to analyse the communicative practices of the community. I suggest that many of the presuppositions on which our everyday face-to-face communication is based would not hold in a case in which an interlocutor, according to believers, had superhuman abilities (e.g., the ability to predict the future). Thus, the micro level of interactions can change the whole structure of a community. My primary perspective for the reconsideration of charismatic authority is a perspective drawn from linguistic anthropology.
This paper is devoted to the problem of the militarization of culture in modern Russia. The two key scientific fields are public history and the politics of memory. Firstly, based on the official documents and statements of authorities, the paper will characterize the relations between the state and Russian cinema as well as the role of history and historical films in the contemporary politics of memory. Secondly, after identifying the role of popular cinema in Russia, the paper will explore the characteristics of historical periods in popular films, based on the hypothesis that the Russian past is mostly represented around or inside war, while the criticism of war is becoming less and less important for popular cinema