Other social sciences
A collection of essays written in 2012-2019 on the evolution of Putin's regime in Russia in the perspective of Russian history, society and political culture.
This book presents the main findings of a study on school learning environments and student outcomes, which the World Bank conducted in 2019 in three regions of the Russian Federation. Using data collected through the OECD School User Survey and the pilot “Trends in Mathematics and Science Study” (TIMSS), the book analyzes how a school’s infrastructure and learning environment may affect the progress and success of students in math and science. It also delves into teaching practices, analyzing their impact on learning and highlighting the important nexus between learning environments and teaching methods. The book concludes by recommending areas in which focused attention by educational authorities could improve educational policy and help maintain high-quality learning environments. The book will be useful for educators, school principals, architects, and policy makers who are involved in school infrastructure projects and are interested in increasing their knowledge of school design planning.
Our culture represents the whole of the integrity of the 40-thousands-years-old human semiosis. Generally speaking, the human world is meaningful by definition. Mass culture is a form of cultural development appearing together especially with industrial society. Despite it having appeared more than a century ago, it maintains its relevance nowadays and becomes a basis for new dimensions of culture (digital, transmedial, consumer culture). Within the framework of general emancipatory philosophical-anthropological perspective, mass culture appears as a semiotic space and meaningful environment. It is constituted by diversity of commodities, services and facilities of their production, as well as daily and regular social practices, which become possible in relation to them, and consequently create a certain way of life of a modern human being. The heuristic idea of J.Lotman to consider culture as a semiosphere provides an important perspective to understand mass culture as a subsystem of the entire semiosphere. From this perspective, mass culture may be seen as a semiosphere with a peculiar inner organization.
The present dissertation provides an account to consider mass culture mythology as an inner secondary-modelling system, a mechanism of organization of mass culture texts into a consistent system. Due to the mythological mechanism, the mosaic discrete environment becomes a meaningful continual world similar to ancient mythological system full of existential values, which are comprehensible to everyone.
The Firs Chapter dwells upon the ontology of mass culture mythology in detail. Myth is regarded as universal of culture preserving own nature along the whole history of mankind. Myth universally reflects ways of experiencing world and individual’s presence. Universal of myth is a result of mythological mind which is a peculiar human cognitive aptitude situated on a verge between intuition and rational awareness of the world and leading to continual type of reality perception. It helps human being to overcome existential discrepancies of the opposition individual vs. nature and facilitates choices in overwhelming environment of competing meanings where discrete/discontinuous perception is impeded. The main function of myth is to decrease entropy by reconciling individual with reality and to preserve a comprehensible model of universe for human being. As a cultural form, myth is represented by mythological texts such as narratives, images, and symbols. Mass cultural mythology is a specific research object in marketing semiotics industry. Thus, the ontology of mass culture mythology, deriving from treatment of myth as cultural universal, can be deduced as a principle of organization and structuring of mass culture in integral semiosphere. Those principles reveal themselves in the four main ontological aspects of mass culture mythology: peculiar reason-consequential linkage, anthropocentricity, specific mythological chronotope and “naming” as habitualization).
The Second Chapter is dedicated to epistemology of mass culture mythology. It is discussed that myth can be grasped through consistent mechanism of structural units which are mythemes and mythologemes. Those smallest units of myth derived from ancient texts and acquire certain contemporary forms within mass culture narrative preserving their consistency. I proceed from the findings of Levi-Strauss, Jung and Kerenyi, concerning the smallest structural units of myth, which are mythemes and mythologemes, to trace their manifestations within linguistics, ethnography, literature, political and culture studies, and develop their application to mass culture narratives expressing mythological mind. All mythologemes and mythemes cannot be entirely grasped as discrete elements. Rather, they are quasi-discrete units revealing themselves from syntagmatic relations, whereas they depend on context and their discreteness is occuring at the paradigmatic level of texts. Mythologeme and mytheme appear as emic and hybrid structural units respectively, though, mytheme can also be regarded as an invariant structure. To consider mythemes as invariants I used a complementary method of Weltanschauung Categories of Ultimate Bases.
I define mythologemes as universal invariants-kernels of mythological narrative expressing the universal ideas of a human being presence in the world, which help people to fill the gap between empirical reality and inexplicable phenomena. They can appear as actants within narrative. Mythemes, in my point of view, are invariant structural units deployed in mythological narrative resembling recurring motifemes that articulate their own entity in dynamics and development. In other words, mythologemes are paradigmatic invariants and mythemes are syntagmatic invariants. In ancient times their function was organizing beliefs about environment, their preservation and transmition in integral comprehensible form. Unlike ancient times when smallest units of myth were gathered within strong mythological systems of different local cultures, now they are splitted across different genres of global cultural texts and different fields: popular science, arts, advertising etc. To all appearances, in acquiring peculiar modes, mythologemes and mythemes preserve sustainability within mass culture discourse, they refer to universal human senses, and could be seen as semiotic markers of myth in daily narratives.
The presence of smallest mythological units in culture enables mechanism of translation of cultural texts synchronically and diachronically. As cultural universals, mythological elements “gravitate” towards the centre (bottom) of entire semiosphere, where they are concentrated in the most ancient, the most famous texts throughout entire history. At the same time, due to their simple form, they permeate all culture and help to contemporary texts of culture to acquire similarity to the most famous and commonly known and thus to move from the periphery to the center of semiosphere. In this way smallest mythological units trace the dialectics of semiosis in culture as permanent rotation of cultural forms. From another side, mythologemes and mythemes can be used in purpose in mass culture texts as they easily trigger mythological mind of the audience. They might become usually anchors of existential-mythological valorization during the process of choice between competing narratives. This reveals in marketing perspective during the process of decommoditization, which is a symbolic aspect of appropriation process of mass cultural goods.
Mythologemes and mythemes are dissipated and noticed by consumers during the process of decommoditization, which is a symbolic aspect of appropriation process of mass cultural goods. The decommoditization phenomenon means that goods and events transform their familiar meaning and utilitarian value to a unique subjective meaning and existential value for every single consumer depending on his or her anticipation. From a philosophical-anthropological point of view, this shift often means activation of the mythological mind of the consumers; in this case, structural units of mass culture mythology attract attention of consumers to those narratives. Very often it is the most significant possibility to become meaningful in diverse environment of different cultural texts due to existential-mythological valorization. I follow Lotman’s insight that myth becomes actual as autocommunication, so it says about listeners and organizes their world. It reveals as an aspiration of valorization that is possible to describe by Greimasian actantial model. The latter becomes a heuristic algorithm of mythologemes determination within mass culture narrative. Additionally I apply the Weltanschauung Categories of Ultimate Bases for structural analysis of mytheme.
In research I discussed upon several instances of the structural units of myth which are commonly present in mass cultural texts. I regarded mythologemes of Fate, Course, Universe, Catastrophe, Golden Age, and Mother Nature. Also I considered two universal ontological mythemes of Transformation and Backtracking.
I ascertained that mythologemes can either play a specific actantial role within a narrative (the Fate, the Course, and the Mother Nature) or describe mythological chronotope (the Universe, the Catastrophe, and the Golden Age). In their turn, mythemes reveal an inner strategy of unrolling mythological narrative frontwards or backwards. Deriving from texts of culture mythologemes and mythemes become a bridge between empirical reality and coherent world picture. They help to decrease existential anxiety of human being on the world finding tangible form to explain fear, justice/injustice, birth and death, time, transformation etc.
The mythologemes of Fate and Course fully reflect upon one of the main functions of myth, which is to grasp life as an integral whole. They emerge from the justice/injustice opposition, which is one of the most important semes penetrating mass culture discourse and one that hides behind the existential valorization and hence its mythological aspect. Justice or injustice often acquire a strong meaning of an independent, integral actant, which is capable of influencing the Subject within a narrative and, what is even more, to exist beyond the artistic text in real life, which is a strong marker of mythological mind. Those two mythologemes can be associated with an anthropogonic genre of myth so far as they explain personal life within autocommunication process. Mythologeme of Fate can be and Adjutant or Adversary within mythological narrative, mythologeme of Course appears as an Adjutant or an Object. They always relate to the search of Subject for a purpose of life and own existential way.
The mythologemes of Universe, Catastrophe and Golden Age express an archaic desire to grasp the world in its complexity and to find out its origin in categories of mythological mind. They represent the time-space of mass culture mythological narrative. Thus, the mythologeme of Universe has an existential meaning of integration of mass culture heterotopic picture of the world in present implying intercommunication with past and future and appears as an Object within narrative. Similarly to the archaic world picture in which the Universe loci used to intercommunicate via World Tree, the uniting mythological principal in the contemporary mass culture is a symbol of a window connecting, time and spaces, cultures, extraterrestrial worlds, and different types of everyday reality, i.e. physical and cyber reality, empirical and spiritual reality.
The mythologeme of Catastrophe unlike its archaic counterpart - the mythologeme of Flood - relates to future and does not describe past events. It works as a transformation point from existential fear of unpredictable future into calm and reassurance. It relates to the cosmogonic topic as well as it plays for preservation of the universe model embodied in the image of community (whole of the mankind). It plays role of an Adversary within narrative. It is also tightly intertwined with Christian discourse and more precise with eschatological ontology. In mass culture the role of an Antichrist (as an evident marker of the End of the World narrative) is ascribed to leaders of society or to societies themselves, which are the most odious.
The mythologeme of Golden Age alludes to the universal idea of Eutopia (Dreamland) situated in a forever bygone era (always in the past) that in mass culture is associated with the subject of childhood. It can appear as an Object or an Adversary within narrative. Thus, three of those mythologemes constitute an integral triad of time and space of the world (past-present-future) and reflect upon human existential quest for integral explanation of the world, nostalgy for the past and fears towards the future.
The mythologeme of Mother Nature relates to the existential search for inner authenticity and identity. Despite the feminist turn in contemporary mass culture discourse, this mythologeme unveils itself through the key opposition between culture (technology)/nature. It can take a form of an implicit idea represented by local traditional symbols, images, characters within general mass culture discourse, or this mythologeme can also take shape of an actant (Adjutant or Adversary) within narrative.
Meanwhile Greimasian actantial model shows relations between actants within either fictional/reflected narrative or factual reality, it is remarkable that mythological mind makes those realities to merge. In some cases (when Subject is a real person) it might appear that a real person acts together (being helped or opposed) with mythologeme as an Adjutant (Fate or Mother Nature mythologeme, for example).
The mytheme of Transformation, or Miracle, and the mytheme of Backtracking, are universal ontological mythemes exhibiting ideas about natural phenomena in culture and revealing them in mass culture texts. It is possible to examine them via the Weltanschauung Categories of Ultimate Bases, which demonstrates an inner process of negotiation and overcoming of life-death existential bases as discrete constituents of the mythemes. The mytheme of Transformation lays itself bare as an inner schema of mythological narrative about miracle, the mytheme of Backtracking reveals itself as a schema of “unwrapping the bygone past” and returning to mastered time and space and thereby constituting the center of semiosphere for a subject.
The smallest units of myth can be classified by different criteria. I classified them by their structural principle: the emic units (mythologemes) and the ones possessing hybrid structure (mythemes). It is also possible to classify the emic units by their subjects by way of analogy with ancient myths: cosmogonic, anthropogonic, and structuring social semiosphere. Cosmogonic mythologemes appear in the narratives about Universe and models of time and space and their origin. Those are the mythologeme of Universe, the mythologeme of Catastrophe and the mythologeme of Golden Age. Anthropogonic mythologemes are related to individuals’ life and its structure: the mythologeme of Fate and the mythologeme of Course. The mythologemes structuring social semiosphere through the quest of identity appear within mass culture narratives about collective memory (the Mother Nature mythologeme).
The Third Chapter exemplifies the process of finding more minimal units of myth in cultural texts of different genres. The first case was dedicated to close analysis of the television communication of the Ukrainian politician Darth Vader. I analyzed how communication of the politician involved important transmitters of mythological images for Ukrainian culture. I found out that his narrative was full of combinations of polar meanings discovering mythological dimension of the message. Two main protagonists of the communication were agents of two separate mythological generations: archaic mythology (Mother Nature) and contemporary mass culture mythology (Darth Vader). Among other structural units there were the Eutopia/Garden, the Trickster, and the Death. What is more some of those archaic mythologemes acquired new form within the text, in this way trickster appeared in image of Darth Vader and Eutopia in an image of the Internet Party. By combination of archaic meanings and contemporary forms the narrative became semiotically saturated and producing new powerful connotations. This case showed how a significant trickster’s image of mass culture became a bridge between mythological mind, mass culture, and political discourse.
As well, I demonstrated an applied case from my practice where I used the Mother Nature mythologeme as a branding tool. Semiotic analysis helped me to trace a problem of an artistic image disintegration and to find out a gap between forms of expression and values of the artist’s brand. Mapping the territories of the singer images, I discovered that her personal values and her authentic vocal persona clearly tend to the female image represented in culture by Mother Nature mythologeme most clearly. Demonstration of different cultural forms of the mythologeme helped to start building a coherent narrative around an artist’s brand and to select precise image corresponding to her inner identity (tone of voice of the brands, costumes and visual media representations etc.). In this case the mythologeme helped to articulate inner brand identity with appropriate forms of expression relevant to wide mass culture context and, thus, comprehensible to mass audience.
The Conclusions Section points out a potential of the further exploration of the mythologemes and mythemes in mass cultural texts for understanding human mind and culture better and for applied marketing purposes. The extension of the structural units of myth collection can provide with increase of tools for building coherent marketing messages.
This book gathers the outcomes of several scientific events that were organized and conducted by the Institute of Scientific Communications (Volgograd, Russia) and the leading universities of the Volgograd region. The contributing authors include more than 700 scholars from various cities and regions of Russia. 124 works were selected out of 3,000 papers on the preconditions of formation, transformation, and legal provision of social institutes, topics that are in high demand in connection with a core aspect of digital modernization – the Internet of Things. The book is intended for a broad target audience, including scholars of various generations and various disciplines. These include young researchers (undergraduates and postgraduates) and recognized scholars (professors and lecturers) who study the socioeconomic and legal consequences of the emergence and dissemination of digital technologies, including the Internet of Things. In addition, the book will benefit all those who are interested in the development of the information society, information and telecommunication, and digital technologies. The content is divided into three logical parts, the first of which is devoted to the essence of the process of institutionalization and legal regulation of the information society.
This report summarizes the results of a German-Russian dialogue project, which was implemented and designed by inmedio peace consult gGmbh (Berlin) and the Institute for Law and Public Policy, ILPP (Moscow) and funded by the German Federal Foreign Office under the ‘Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia’ Programme. Using a mediative dialogue approach, 20 experts from academia, thinks tanks and NGOs as well as journalists and cultural exchange/dialogue practitioners met near Moscow in September 2018 and in Berlin in November to analyse and reflect on the Russian and Western narratives on what went wrong since the end of the Cold War regarding the deterioration of Russian-Western relations.
quarter of a century has passed since the Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted in 1993, yet the issue of the results and the prospects for constitutional transformation has not disappeared from the political agenda. For some, the Constitution signifies an ultimate break up with the communist past and a legal foundation for the advancement of the Russian society toward democracy and the rule of law; for the others, it is exactly the Constitution that is the culprit for the authoritarian trend that has prevailed, and for the sustained stagnation in Russia’s economic, social and political development. The author of this chapter is in the middle of these extreme viewpoints. He believes that the Constitution has truly played a pivotal role in Russia’s move toward democracy by establishing the basic principles of civil society and the rule of law, and in this respect, it remains of everlasting and paramount importance. Nevertheless, that does not mean that it should be utterly inaccessible for changes, especially given the elapsed time and the negative experience of the authoritarian transformation of the political regime, the amendments that were introduced between2008 and 2014, and the current objectives of the democratic movement. The rationale for changes is to return to the constitutional principles, reaffirm their initial democratic meaning by rejecting the excessive concentration of the Presidential power, the results of counter-reforms and the adulteration through legislative and regulatory compliance practices. Some of the proposed remedies aim to establish a new form of government (Presidential - Parliamentary), which would necessitate Constitutional amendments — adjustments that would regulate the separation of powers and redistribution of authority. Others seek to transform the system without changing the text of the Constitution through legislative reforms, judicial interpretation and the policy of law. Yet, the third approach prioritizes institutional reforms. Not everything in social development depends on the provisions of the law, political improvisation and practice can prove just as critical. In their cumulative entirety such initiatives can help avoid the two extremes: that of constitutional stagnation gravitating toward the bureaucratic asphyxiation, and that of constitutional populism which has a tendency to destabilize the political system. In its practical activities to transform the political regime, the opposition ought to remember the maximum repeatedly confirmed by experience, — the further a party is from power, the more radical tend to be its constitutional proposals. Conversely, empowered groups tend to be more moderate in their initiatives.
While workers movements have been largely phased out and considered out-dated in most parts of the world during the 1990s, the 21st century has seen a surge in new and unprecedented forms of strikes and workers organisations. The collection of essays in this book, spanning countries across global South and North, provides an account of strikes and working class resistance in the 21st century. Through original case studies, the book looks at the various shades of workers’ movements, analysing different forms of popular organisation as responses to new social and economic conditions, such as restructuring of work and new areas of investment.
This book offers a comparative analysis of value and identity changes in several post-Communist countries. In light of the tremendous economic, social and political changes in former communist states, the authors compare the values, attitudes and identities of different generations and cultural groups. Based on extensive empirical data, using quantitative and qualitative methods to study complex social identities, this book examines how intergenerational value and identity changes are linked to socio-economic and political development. Topics include the rise of nationalist sentiments, identity formation of ethnic and religious groups and minorities, youth identity formation and intergenerational value conflicts
This report presents the results of an ESRC-funded research project that examined the behavioural and attitudinal impacts of the English plastic bag charge that was introduced in October 2015. The project used a mixed-methods longitudinal approach, and included a national survey, a diary-interview study, and supermarket observation study. Overall, the research has shown that the English plastic bag charge has made a strong and positive impact on people’s behaviours and attitudes. The research found that the charge was eff ective at breaking old habits, and that it became more popular as people adapted to the policy. Evidence was also found that the charge increased environmental awareness and the acceptability of other environmental policies. The success of the plastic bag charge in eff ectively changing plastic bag use and increasing support for other charges to reduce waste suggests that similar policies could also be successfully implemented, such as a deposit return scheme on plastic bottles or a charge on disposable coff ee cups.
Background and aims. This research reported here presents findings from an evaluation of the development and implementation of the Healthy Community Challenge Fund (otherwise known as the ‘Healthy Towns’ programme). A key aim of the research has been to inform the development of future environmental and systems‐based ‘whole town’ approaches to obesity prevention. The overall aim of the Healthy Towns programme was to pilot and stimulate novel ‘whole town’ approaches that tackle the ‘obesogenic’ environment in order to reduce obesity, with a particular focus on improving diet and increasing physical activity. Through a competitive tender process, nine towns were selected that represented urban areas across England ranging from small market towns to areas of large cities. The fund provided £30 million over the period 2008‐2011, divided amongst the nine towns. The amounts awarded ranged from £900,000 to £4.85 million. Towns were instructed to be innovative and were given freedom to develop a locally‐specific programme of interventions. This report supplements local process and impact evaluations undertaken by each town (not reported here) by taking an overall view of the programme’s development and implementation. Our evaluation therefore addressed the following research questions: 1. What kinds of interventions were delivered across the Healthy Towns programme? 2. Were environmental and infrastructural interventions equitably delivered? 3. How was the Healthy Towns programme theorised and translated into practice? 4. How was evidence used in the selection and design of interventions? 5. What are the barriers and facilitators to the implementation of a systems approach to obesity prevention?
Generally, there is a common sense to consider knowledge sharing and creation as two separate processes but a new matter emerges when those processes are intertwining. In this vein, this research aims to discuss on the lens of the open innovation (OI) model how such intertwining generates digital platform-based ecosystem.
We discuss an international conference, \Computer simulations in Physics and beyond" organized in October 2020 during a pandemic. We pay a particular account for the advantages and disadvantages of holding an international conference online.
Tajikistan is one of the main migrant origin countries in the post-Soviet space, with about one million labour migrants living and working in Russia. The country also represents one of the most remittance-dependent economies in the world. By exploring how and why the Tajik government has been seeing and engaging with labour migrants since 1991, this article analyses the development of emigration policy in this country. In doing so, the article proposes to de-reify the state and account for complex policy processes, with many actors directly and indirectly involved in both policy-making and implementation. Four aspects are analysed: shifts occurring in emigration policy-making over time and under the influence of different domestic actors; the actual assistance offered to labour migrants; the impact of Russia as the main host country; and the influence of international organisations in the context of the nascent global migration governance. This complex environment explains why over time Tajikistan’s emigration policy moved from a laissez-faire phase, through a proactive, then a “messy”, to a reactive one; why the Tajik authorities have followed often contradictory pathways of (non)involvement with labour migrants; and why there is a distinction between declared policies and informal practices performed by the state.
We consider a spatially distributed evolutionary game based on the Prisoner’s Dilemma with agents arranged on a three-dimensional simple cubic lattice. Comparing to two- dimensional arrangements, we find that the larger number of neighbors favors the formation of spatial chaos: the steady state of the game is chaotic unless the payoff parameter is small.
Different parental strategies in education are bound to produce various effects: not all of these strategies are equally productive in their application. At the same time, the impact of parental involvement in general education on their children's extracurricular activities has not been thoroughly studied. This article attempts to fill this gap by analyzing the relationship between strategies of parental involvement in education and adolescents' participation in extracurricular activities. The data source for this study were parents whose children attend general education institutions (N = 3,887; Mage of children = 12.4, SD = 3.1; 55.6% female). A latent class analysis identified three categories of parental participation in education: “Intrusive”, “Supervisory”, and “Detached”. Each category showed different patterns of involvement from primary to high school, distinguished by the type of extracurricular participation encouraged by parents. In primary school, children of “Intrusive” parents attended the highest number of extracurricular activities. In secondary school, they attended fewer activities compared to the children of “Supervisory” parents. Children of “Supervisory” parents often chose to participate in activities on their own, and continued to attend the selected activity, or change activity on their own initiative. The children of “Detached” parents were less involved in extracurricular activities in primary school. In some cases, they chose their own extracurricular activities as they grew older. The study demonstrates that parental involvement is related to adolescents’ participation in extracurricular activities. Parents’ strategies should be considered instrumental as they produce a variety of different outcomes, depending upon the adolescents’ age and type of activities. The identified strategies may serve as a basis for recommendations for development of parental competencies, consultations, and family education.
Brazil's Movimento de Trabalhadores Sem Teto (MTST, Homeless Workers' Movement) has grown dramatically in recent years. This growth was partly provided for by the use of a large government housing programme, Minha Casa Minha Vida (MCMV, My House My Life), which allowed the MTST to construct housing for its members and swell its ranks with thousands of new members. Yet some have argued that the MCMV programme used by the MTST may compromise the autonomy of civil society organisations. This article, by contrast, argues that while the MCMV programme encouraged bureaucratic practices, it also helped to promote the cultural politics of the MTST.
Building on previous work on securitisation of HIV/AIDS and the studies of framings and the Copenhagen and Paris Schools of security studies, this article explores how policy framings of HIV/AIDS have shifted from the late Soviet period through to present-day Tajikistan. Pointing to both continuity and change, it shows how, under the influence of international actors and in accordance with nation-building priorities, the Soviet-era medical and societal security framings gradually transformed into state security, demography and family-oriented framings. It also examines resulting policy responses and practices, which influence the everyday life of social groups that find themselves on the radar.
Today art museum is facing the challenge of adapting it’s mechanisms of keeping and presenting the works of art to spectators belonging to the communication society. Therefore, a museum gets more and more engaged in the process of digitalization using such newer technologies as internet of things, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, bid data design etc. The aims of a museum are currently shifting from traditional keeping the art pieces and studying them to—developing a scientific networks, announcing the highlights in social media and creating platforms which present digitalized pieces online allowing a viewer to collect the information through the web, moreover, an offline visit could be guided by a specified application customized to fit the necessitates of each user. An art institution today is supposed to be flexible and democratic enough to create an engaging, immersive area for a visitor to interact with, in other words, we argue that a museum armed with newer technologies is supposed not only a to secure and present the works of art but also to incorporate these pieces into the bigger flux of information, make them visible and important to viewers, to create the conditions for a lasting dialogue. We argue that this process involves not only the technical development of a museum, but also a new approach no narration of art history.
Review: Alfred Smudits (ed.), Roads to Music Sociology (Wiesbaden: Springer, 2019).