Head of the Organising Committee
Sanna Turoma
sanna.turoma [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Coordinator
Kaarina Aitamurto
kaarina.aitamurto [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Intern
Miikka Piiroinen
miikka.piiroinen [at] helsinki.fi

Conference e-mail:
fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)50-3565 802

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi


Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Alexandra Astapenko (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia)

"Creative Class" as "Floating Signifier" in Russian Mass Media Discourses in 2004-2015

The aim of the research is an analysis of the floating signifier "creative class" meaning in the Russian media between the years 2004 and 2015. In order to reach the goal of this research – in accordance with the content-analysis a method of the floating signifier meaning fixating has been used. We have analysed 1245 articles articulated "creative class" from 30 national media (newspapers, magazines, websites) basing on the E. Laclau and Ch. Mouff Discorse Theory. The term "creative class" appeared in Russian media discources in 2004 (even before R. Florida's The Rise of the Creative Class: And How it's transforming work, leisure, community and everyday life was translated in Russian). After a while the "creative class" was included in the modernisation discourse which was widely spread during the Dmitry Medvedev's presidency. So, the "creative class" was denoted the most advanced and educated social class, a basis of future development of Russia. This term was used even in government resolutions and documents, for example in Strategy-2020 (the concept of long-term socio-economic development of Russian Federation). However, after the beginning of the Russian Protest in 2011-2012 different discourses started to "struggle" for the term. In this period "creative class" signified "political opposition", "fifth column", "Internet or Facebook users-carpers, fault-finders", "art industries' workers" and others. By the end of 2013 "political opposition" became a dominant signifier. In our opinion, it connects closely with the fact that the Russian Protest had lost the support of wide sections of the society. But during 2014 the meaning "political opposition" was struggling with a rising meaning of "fifth column". As a result of the research, it was discovered that currently there is an active transformation of the floating signifier "creative class" meaning with a tendency of the reversal of the initial signified.