This page contains the names, abstracts and panel information for 19th annual Aleksanteri Conference participants with surnames beginning with letters A to D. Please see speakers E — H, I — K, L — N, O — R, S and T — Ö on respective pages. Note also, that panels and roundtables covered by a single abstract are listed separately.
Speakers A — D
Public Readings with Magic Lantern in Late Imperial Russia
The talk aims to discuss what role such precinematic technology as magic lantern projector played in the formation of a common reader construction in the late imperial Russia. After the Great Reforms of Alexander II a new, numerous and poorly educated reader came to the public scene. It was a challenging mission for educators to bring up the new reader by delivering him the ‘right’ book and developing his interest in reading. The new reader became an object of a struggle among different publishers.
I am going to focus on the non-commercial educational project of Russian officials, who designed not only special books for common people, but also the whole practice of public reading with magic lantern slides (special images projected on a screen accompanying a reading). Since the Standing Commission of Public Readings was established in 1872, the non-school educational practice of publicly reading books became an official instrument by which to influence the common reader and establish a specific common reader image. Thus, one of the central questions of my talk is how did the magic lantern slides contributed in the official image of the common reader.
I will discuss three types of sources that bring forward the official discourse about magic lantern slides in the period of rapid development of public readings. First, I will consider the representation of readings with slides in the conservative press, and then I will discuss the readings with slides in the context of censorship with reference to archival materials. Finally, I will use the available slide collections to talk about visual strategies of illustrating literature for common people. The analysis shows that magic lantern slides were used very cautiously by the officials, who tried to build an image of a loyal imperial subject under the name of the common reader.
Presents in panel 6D
Russia as a Rising Power in Multilateral Institutions
This paper presents a part of my PhD dissertation and refers to its hypotheses, the selected method approach and the first results of my analysis. The aim is to examine the attitude of the Russian state towards multilateral institutions. In my work, I refer to Russia as a rising power that has sufficient material and non-material resources to challenge the status quo (defined based on the works of Stephen, 2014; Biersteker & Moret, 2015; Hurrell, 2006; Mazarr, 2017).
With regard to multilateral institutions, these states can generally pursue one of three strategies: active membership, neutrality or spoiler ratio (revisionism) (Kahler, 2013, Stephen, 2012, Culp, 2016, Mazarr, 2017). In my work, I make two additions to the existing literature. First, I add data from so-called "soft-issue areas" since previous research is mainly based on data from the economic sphere. Secondly, I add a fourth pattern of behavior - "not interested". Here, this behavior measures a memberships in an institution that has been run without active interest (for example, based only on official speeches or interviews).
Generally, I ask the following research questions:
- What is Russia's attitude towards multilateral institutions?
- Which factors can explain the observed attitude?
On the basis of the existing literature, I have hypothesized that the Russian behavior in an institution depends on institutional factors (so-called "issue area", liability of the decisions) as well as the position of Russia in this institution (strong or weak).
I test this hypothesis with text data extracted from the online archives of the Russian Foreign Ministry. The data consists of official speeches, statements, interviews to the Russian and foreign press, press releases, contracts and other official documents, which I call "entries".
In my analysis, I focus on the deviation from neutral entries, since neutrality is a norm for diplomatic language. A larger number of entries in combination with positive ones signal satisfaction. Negative utterances and a generally low number of entries signify dissatisfaction.
I developed a software specifically for quantitative content analysis. It examines each downloaded document and calculates the number of used positive, negative or neutral words and phrases (the assessment is based on a prepared list based on the coding of three native Russian speakers). Since the language being analyzed is Russian, linguistic peculiarities have also been included, such as personal endings.
The main results include deviation across time in some of multilateral institutions (e.g. the Shanghai Cooperation Organization), expected prevalence of neutral entries, and difference in attitude depending on the issue-area of an institution.
Presents in panel 6C
Digital Spaces as a Locus of Contemporary Russian Feminist Activism: Opportunities and Constraints
The proposed paper focuses on the role of digital media technologies in the Russian feminist movement and aims to investigate the interplay of online spaces and offline localities in the digital activism of Russian feminists.
In contemporary Russia, the increasing infringement of the rights of both heterosexual and LBT women, as well as the recent legislation restricting the work of NGOs and digital media, have created a complex and difficult environment for feminist activists to operate in. The Russian feminist movement has responded to the ongoing political challenges and societal backlashes with the emergence of a new feminist generation and with the strengthening of the grassroots groups working both offline and online.
The 2012 Pussy Riot ‘Punk Prayer’ in Moscow and the first women-only coffee shop ‘Simona’ opened this year in Saint Petersburg by the radical feminist group Eve’s Ribs (Riobra Ievy) are only two of the numerous examples of how feminist activists have been transgressing and appropriating public spaces as a locus of the fight for gender equality and women’s rights. Throughout the 2010s, a similar battle has been taking place in Russian digital spaces, in particular – on social media platforms. For example, the 2016 campaign #IamNotafraidToTell (IaNeboiusSkazat’), a local equivalent of the global #MeToo movement, prompted wide discussions on sexual abuse and domestic violence, whereas the 2019 ‘Lushgate’ campaign in support of prominent Russian feminist Bella Rapoport introduced into public discourses a debate on cyberbullying and misogyny on the Internet.
In the proposed paper, I will investigate the opportunities and constraints entailed in feminist digital activism on three social media platforms – Instagram, Facebook, and Russian social networking site VKontakte. Through the comparative content analysis of blogs, virtual communities and personal accounts of Russian female feminist activists living in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and in major provincial cities, I will define whether there are differences in the agenda and strategies applied by feminist activists in digital spaces depending on their physical locality. I will establish to what extent Russian feminist digital activism is area-specific, and I will also assess and evaluate its inclusion in the global feminist online activism.
Presents in panel 5D
Emotional Labor, Precarity and Privacy: A study of Online Sex Work in Russia
The paper is aimed at viewing sex work as a type on an unreported employment. More specifically, this paper is focusing on webcam modeling - erotic online communication in video chat. The main question, that lies on the core of the work, is how the labor is defined in terms of this type of occupation. Particularly, how the boundaries of privacy are defined in the mode of «alienated body», which is blurred in the under high emotional engagement in the work and in precarious working conditions. During the research process, I have conducted and analyzed 12 in depth interviews with young women engaging in sex work from various Russian cities. The interviews demonstrate that despite of the seeming protection, resulting from virtualization and alienation from the main source of danger - the client. Webcam modeling, as a type of sex work, refers not exactly to commercialization of the body, but to commercialization of virtual image of the body, its appearance. The factors also let us view this type of sex work as an example of an unreported employment, which is especially relevant in terms of liberal market economy, where the demand for unqualified labor is unswervingly increasing. Though, as the object of study is sex work, where the actor, who provide services, is in frail position, it lets us see the considered research as a litmus test in the solution of liberal economy and contemporary means of communication and the ways that they affect the private space of an individual. The labor conditions of the respondents are viewed through the A. Hochschild’s concept of emotional labor and G. Standing’s precariousness.
The finding of the conducted field research demonstrate that webcam models is a very stigmatized group. Despite all of the prejudices and stigma around sex work, they are also under the potential threat of the actions of the hate groups, whose activity is aimed at de-anonymization of sex workers.
Despite all of these factors, all of my respondents, though because of the various reasons, spoke against the governmental regulation of their work. I believe that this can be explained through the lens of legislative practice considering sex work in Russia. Prohibitionist approach pushes out sex work into grey area, where sex work gains new names (like webcam modeling or escort), but it does not change its substance, leaving those, who engage in sex work in vulnerable, insecure and precarious position.
Presents in panel 5D
Spinning Gender: Gendered Performances in Presidential Campaign, Russia 2018
This paper analyzes YouTube videos produced during 2018 Russian presidential campaign, specifically the video announcing the presidential run of female candidate, Kseniia Sobchak, as well as the promotional state-sponsored videos that were designed to increase election turnout. They will be analyzed in terms of their overt and less obvious messages. Additionally I will analyze comments that were posted on these videos’ YouTube channels. This analysis will help to understand gender norms promoted in Russian political discourse, as well as audience’s reception of ambiguous political material on the internet.
In early spring of 2018, several viral videos appeared on YouTube. These videos shared some common features: They had murky origins, with funding or even producers hidden from public view; they were somewhat ironic in the way they promoted their message; they were designed to attract attention to the ongoing presidential campaign and raise election turnout, especially among younger viewers; finally, they were unified by the theme of gender that played an important, and even central, role in their messaging. Earlier in the fall of 2017, Kseniia Sobchak initiated her presidential campaign with a short video that emphasized her gender and youth. According to Valerie Sperling, Putin’s Russia is especially conducive to using gender as a political tool. In addition to the ongoing Putin’s investment in a hyper-masculine image, gender acquired a new significance since 2014, the year that marked Russia’s anti-Western and conservative turn. Today, traditional gender norms are represented as the distinguishing feature of “Russian civilization” that is contrasted to the “decadent” West; yet, the messages surrounding gender remain ambiguous, defying traditional conservative norms.
The paper analyzes visual and digital texts with the aim of cultural and discourse analysis.
These promotional videos and accompanying comments illustrate that gender remains an important tool employed by Russian political establishment. In spite of a clear conservative turn in Russian politics and culture, gender messaging remain contradictory: on one hand it contains references to conservative values, such as gender traditionalism and pronatalism, and, on the other, it depicts the commodification of women and sexualization of politics.
The videos illustrate ambiguity in contemporary Russian cultural and political discourses that can be attributed to “state postmodernism” (Pomerantsev) or “blurry conservatism” (Laruelle). This ambiguity results in tensions between commodified sexuality and conservative gender norms. Similarly blurry are these videos’ financial and production origins: it is hard to assess the extent of the state’s participation in shaping their content. Similarly uncertain are audiences’ reactions, the comments are often ironic, exaggerated praise can be a sign of irony or (steb). Even after 2018 elections, the videos continue to provoke comments, becoming platforms for public debate. In general, these videos and their reception reflect the increasingly opaque and ambiguous nature of cultural and political discourses in contemporary Russia.
Presents in panel 5D
An Ethnolinguistic Conflict on the Compulsory Learning of the State Languages in the Republics of Russia: Public Policies, Public and Social Media Discourses
In this paper, we will study official and public discourses together, combining the “top-down” and “bottom-up” perspectives, in order to explore both the language policy and language ideologies, and, thus, to provide a multifaceted picture of the conflict around compulsory learning of non-Russian languages in Russia. Until recently, not only titular students learned their native language but also ethnic Russians and other nationalities in some ethnic republics of Russia had to learn titular state languages of those republics. The political campaign in Russia against the compulsory teaching of state languages of republics started two years ago and culminated in the adoption of the amendment to the Russian education law on 3 August 2018. The law enacted some additional mechanisms to ensure the voluntary study of non-Russian languages. The problem is that the official discourses typically overshadow the discourses of individuals and non-governmental organizations who have their own language attitudes and agendas and use new information technologies to organize themselves, which distorts the official depiction of the conflict. To study the “top-down” and “bottom-up” perspectives, we use policy analysis and discourse analysis to study official documents, surveys, mass media and social media discussions. The law seemingly advances the free choice of individuals, but there are too many instances of how the society forces individuals to prefer the dominant language. 'Common people' of different ethnicities who reside in the republics do not have a genuinely free choice - they are dependent on the circumstances. According to the legislation, the teaching of non-Russian languages is to be provided “within the range of possibilities provided by the education system”. This provision works as the major constraint for the choice. Therefore, as it was a policy-based approach, it remains a policy-based approach despite the rights rhetoric. What the law changed was that the rights of some people were restored and the rights others infringed, but it does not make it a rights-based approach. The law adoption signified the escalation of the conflict around linguistic rights and the compulsory study of state language.
This paper is co-authored with Konstantin Zamyatin
Presents in Panel 1E
Music Rights Enforcement and Emerging Technology in Caucasus Region
We expect new approaches presented in the paper to invoke deeper discussion on how current global technological development in Copyright Law affects on regional market and society and in which ways the Caucasus Region could play an important role in international music industry. Innovative technologies have greatly changed our world, hence, Law and enforcement practice need to keep along. Unsatisfactory Copyright enforcement and, as a result, loss of incentives for creative activity could be prevented by developing law and enforcement practices by implementing advanced technology that would contribute to balance of interests of right holders and a wider society.
It has never been so easy to produce and disseminate any copy of copyrighted work, especially musical and audiovisual works. Digitization has seemingly increased the number of copyright violations and made IP rights enforcement more complex. Technology that has been effectuated so far is criticized for its ineffectiveness. Despite this, neither academic society, nor practitioners of the region have elaborated on it comprehensively.
In the descriptive part of the paper, we introduce most recent perspectives, collected by surveying the world’s leading professionals working in the music industry, on utilizing technologies in Copyright law enforcement in Caucasus Region. On the basis of case study and comparative research, we describe and correlate emerging technologies of monitoring usage of music and audiovisual work in the region, analyze essential interactions between local and international music industry, suggest several means of enacting technologies in Intellectual Property Law and its advantageous possible social, cultural and economical impact on the market and the society.
The paper seeks to answer the major questions: how do music companies in Caucasus Region keep up with drastically changed digital environment to monitor music usage with the technology that has been implemented so far? How did inefficiency of technology become a tool for manipulation on the local market and the society in Georgia? The challenge is that the innovative technology has to enable Collective Management Organizations, Music Publishers and Record Labels to satisfy cultural needs by fair distribution of income to content creators and increasing efficiency of their operations by adapting to global digital market. The paper reveals inevitability of implementing new technology in order for music companies to work more efficiently. Efficient work itself is a key factor for getting the regional market available enough to become a significant actor of the global music industry.
It is hoped this research will be helpful for practitioners working in the music industry, businesses searching for investing opportunities and for any person interested in music rights enforcement in Caucasus Region to get exposed to its current context and technological challenges.
This paper is co-authored with Sopiko Khvedelidze
Presents in panel 3C
Literary Journalism in Russia and Japan: Methodology of Historical Comparative Analysis
Recently, the mutual interest between Russia and Japan has increased. The media systems in Russia and Japan from the institutional and functional point of view represent different models. Meanwhile, a cultural studies approach to the media could demonstrate they have the essential similarity. Their bright distinctive feature is associated with the literature centrism. The methodology of this kind of historical-comparative research should obviously be based on the syncretic nature of the analyzed object, combining both features of literature and journalism. Accordingly, universal functions of literature and, more broadly, culture as well as journalism are taken as the basis. The huge body of materials lends itself in this sense to a certain formalization. It is believed that Russia has in common with the East in significant traditionalism. Indeed, in the field of literary creativity, this property is manifested in the development of a collective beginning, which serves as the hallmark of folklore (in Japan, traditionally, literature was generally considered a shop, family business). The value of the subcultural environment is stimulated by the fact that the author’s text begins to make sense in the context of a collective miscellany, or a magazine. Various types of literary publications (including convergent ones) continue to manifest the literary process. However, the nature of this manifestation represents the key difference about literature functioning in society. The classic Russian “fat” magazine, the main content of which is determined by the literature (literary works, criticism, and journalism), was the most important tool for shaping public opinion on the current socio-political agenda. Classical Japanese literary magazines were, above all, an instrument of the internal literary struggle. Their dominant impact on society is due to the aesthetic effect. In this way, the distinction between the two selected national systems correlates with the dichotomy: the socialization of the aesthetic in the Russian tradition, the formative role of literary criticism vs. extra-historical aesthetics in the Japanese tradition, reliance on canonical genres originated in folk culture. From the historical and typological positions, the set of types of publications that make up the system of Japanese literary journalism is most closely related to the type of publication that is widespread both in the West and in Russia, as almanacs. The motivation for the comparison is the enormous role of calendar-seasonal factors, transitivity, orientation to applied use (as a seasonal book for reading a portable format). The basic typological property of almanacs lies in the fact that they unite a certain socio-cultural environment not according to ideological, but mainly - aesthetic, realizing the ritual and vital needs of readers. That is why Japanese literary journalism is so actively and successfully technologized in the field of popular culture in the form of manga.
Presents in panel 5G
Newsgames as a Strategy of Problematization in Modern Russia
Problematization as the process of interpreting and promotion some condition as a social problem is the part of modern public policy. But now the importance of a social problem is defined not so much by the scale of its negative consequences or broad coverage as by the level, strength and duration of public attention to it. "Who owns information, owns the world" was a popular quotation in the mid-twentieth century, which at the beginning of the XXI century turned into a more relevant: "Who owns attention, owns the world". Social problems should attract the attention of the public, professional communities and public authorities, must look attractive and "successful" on the public agenda in order for action to be initiated and resources mobilized. The concept of public attention has acquired special significance and has become applicable not only to advertising and politics, but to the social sphere and, specifically, to social problems.
Functionaries of social problems, among which the state, political movements, civil activists and social media occupy an important place, are in search of new ways and methods of attracting and retaining public attention to social problems, as well as ensuring political and social participation. In recent years, in Russia among such methods and techniques is the technology of gamification which implies the transfer of game elements and mechanics in the non-game context using digital technologies. One of the variants of the spreading gamification is newsgames, i.e. journalistic game projects in the form of quizzes, puzzles, simulations, the content of which includes facts and problems of urgent socio-political reality. The game form of information creates an experiencing of the situation in the audience. Naturally, such experience can be very superficial, but the immersive potential of newsgames is estimated by researchers and practitioners of modern media as more significant compared to traditional media reports.
We discuss the development of newsgames, based on S. Zizek’s ideas about interpassivity. Interpassivity means that through computer games the human user is immersed in the problem, but not directly, but using a variety of on-screen game mechanics. We put questions about interpassive citizen and interpassive public policy.
In the report we present a study of how the articulation of socio-political problems in newsgames is made by Russian journalists of Lentach and Meduza. The focus of our attention is on the positive and negative effects of penetration of gamification in the field of public policy, as well as the emergence of direct and reverse links between messages in the virtual space and statements and actions in the social space. The description and systematization of new gamified practices of identification and promotion of social problems in the public discourse of modern Russia, as well as their participative resources are of particular interest.
This paper is co-authored with Stefaniia Shmalko-Zatinatskaia
Presents in Panel 2D
“Don’t Say You Have Nothing to Hide”: How Ngos, Trainers and Activists Co-Produce Views on Digital Security and Privacy Protection in the Post-Soviet Space
In the post-Snowden era, digital security issues become a matter of public concern worldwide. What is sometimes called the “cryptographic turn” (Gürses, Kundnani and Van Hoboken, 2016; Musiani and Ermoshina, 2017) leads to the emergence of actors and agencies which specialize in public education in digital security and in elaborating security protocols for organizations in both the public and private sectors.
The need for digital security is viewed as particularly sharp in authoritarian countries where State secret services and police institutions use new technologies for citizens’ surveillance and persecution as well as for taking digital communications under a closer control.
Our paper will focus on these ongoing processes in two post-soviet countries: Belarus and Russia.
In Belarus, since 2010’s mass public protests against electoral frauds, Lukashenko’s dictatorial regime develops restrictive laws and advanced tools of surveillance (facial recognition, total state control over telecommunications and Internet providers). In Russia, in a similar context of post-electoral protests in 2011-2012, the government introduced and implemented a series of laws restricting freedom of speech, public meetings, NGO’s activities, and any kind of political discontent. State control measures over the Internet are being constantly reinforced (Oates, 2014 ; Soldatov and Borogan, 2015). Aside from the obvious similarities between authoritarian regimes, the choice of these two countries as fieldworks is justified by empirical evidences showing how practices of state legislation and repression, on the hand, and of activists’ containment and resistance, on the other hand, are circulating between the two countries and influencing each others.
Drawing upon ideas stemming from science and technology studies (STS), which scrutinize the making of systems of classification and categorization of security risks and issues, conceived of as a result of interaction and negotiation between different sets of actors concerned (Bowker and Star, 1999, Musiani, Ermoshina, 2017), the paper will try to address the following questions: how different actors (civil and political activists, journalists, local and international NGOs, digital rights trainers) as well as various events (seminars, workshops, conferences) contribute to produce and reshape views on digital security and threats, defence against surveillance and privacy protection ? What are their definitions of particular risks caused by authoritarian states’ practices of surveillance? How circulation, and even community, of practices between Belarus and Russia emerges as part of this shared work ?
The paper is based on participant observation of digital security events (Privacy Day in Moscow, roundtable on personal data in Minsk) and the analysis of in-depth interviews conducted in Minsk (April 2019), St. Petersburg and Moscow (July-August 2018, other interviews are planned next summer) with two groups of actors:
1) Russian and Belarusian trainers funded by international NGOs (e.g. Civil Rights Defenders) and members of various human rights organizations, as well as independent journalists having a strong human rights agenda (e.g.., Viasna, Human Constanta, Belarusian Association of Journalists in Belarus, Roskomsvoboda, Team 29, OVD.info, Mediazona in Russia).
2) Russian/Belarusian trainers with a background in political activism (e.g, anarchists groups), and political activists themselves.
Each group has its own trainers (political activists prefer intra-group trainers). In both cases, the actors insist on the crucial importance of adopting ‘complex approach’ of security (not only informational but also physical and psychological), but they understand differently what the ‘bad’ practices are.
This study is part of the project RESISTIC (Resistance on the Internet. Criticism and circumvention of digital borders in Russia), which aims at analyzing how Russian web operators resist and adapt to the new national regulations that have been imposed in the 2010s.
This paper is co-authored with Anna Zaytseva
Presents in panel 7F
When Impartiality Gives Way to Consistency and Conviction: Using Digital Humanities Methods to Examine Crisis Reporting in Syria by International Newswire Agencies
This paper presents a method developed for a SSHRC funded project (2017-19) to reconstruct timelines of crisis events in the Syrian War through multilingual comparison of global newswire databases. Newswires are the journalists for journalists, with close ties to respective national public service media, providing a foundation for understanding patterns of unreported and differential reporting across linguistic regional blocks of the global news ecosystem. Yet Anglo-American, French and Russian reporters enjoy different degrees of access to war zones, given practice of military embedding polarized by an Anglo-American and Russian divide, as well community relationships across Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq developed from contemporary militaristic alliances and colonial histories. Domestic national audiences across this East-West divide, therefore, often receive contradictory news, based on a bifurcation of global information resources. This is exacerbated by the differential approach to influencing journalism by the American, UK and then Russian administrations. Anglo-American initiatives have begun to assume a ‘spill over’ and ‘feedback’ effect of foreign media manipulation to domestic audiences and thereby strive for degrees of ‘consistency’ in crafted narratives (Briant 2015). The Russian media landscape, however, is focused upon an exclusive focus on ethnonational ethics of conviction and interpretation – speaking to passport holders and national publics within their sphere of influence and the linguistic reach of their national media (Browne 2019). This multi-pronged and multi-centered undermining of fact-based reporting practices feeds into polarizing populist discourses, narratives of a global ‘information war’, and pervasive accusations of ‘fake news’, priming national publics globally for malevolent non-state and state-sponsored political narratives.
The development of additional meta-data drawn from newswire content creates event timelines defined by the spatial and temporal unfolding of crisis reporting. The location of reporting, witnesses, story subjects and political commentators highlight a critical spatial threshold when strategic governmental engagement with newsmakers – dislocated from the event itself – begins to crowd out reporting ‘on-the-ground’ (Burchell forthcoming). By comparing metadata and content of iterative same-day updates to a single story (word count, source numbers, cross-agency citing), the temporal pace of reporting on-the-ground is made visible within the database, highlighting again a critical threshold where news agencies ‘pile on’ to a single story without additional reporting. This unique operationalization of media theory as a digital humanities method adapts 1) practice-theory approaches (Schatzki 2001, Couldry 2004, Postill 2010) focused on the embodied and situated nature of reporting within wider arrays institutionalized news-making at a distance and 2) the 'global media event' framework (Dayan & Katz 1992; Hepp & Couldry 2010; Burchell 2017) recasts the theatre of war as event-contingent sites of possible mediated witnessing and strategic governmental narratives 3) to highlight the conditions for the formation of ‘strategic narratives’(O’Loughlin et al 2015) as a form of international diplomacy but also ‘militarized media strategies’ (Burchell 2015) that plausibly interfere with responsible reporting of humanitarian crises, thereby obstructing processes of bearing witness to wider global publics (Peters 2009; Chouliaraki 2013).
Presents in panel 6C
The Significance and Ambivalent Influence of Computer Games on Russian Adolescents
The presented pilot research aimed at highlighting the core problems of the Russian society concerning its gamification as an integral part of the developing consumer society and identifying the key impact of computer games on Russian adolescents, which nowadays constitute an important part of the Russian youth culture. The research questions intended to clear up the nature of the game influence (purely negative as most Russian educators think or positive also) and pinpoint possible interconnections (if any) with the nature of computer games, the depth of involvement and adolescents’ traits of character vitally important for their further socialization.
The scope of research methods included a profound literature review directly and indirectly related to the thematic field, work with a focus group aimed at identifying key issues and formulating proper survey questions, a pilot survey based on a comprehensive questionnaire including elements of quality research based on the Likert estimation scale and a content analysis of the participants’ responses based on a systemic approach.
The sample consisted of 54 voluntary participants-students aged from 10 to 25 of three Moscow schools and three Russian universities (2 in Moscow and 1 Lipetsk).
The findings include the identified dual character of the impact of computer games on the young gamers, which should be used as a basis for alternation of educators’ and parents’ attitudes to gamification, also, the research has pinpointed a strong connection between the depth of involvement in computer games and the process of character formation (and that of the overall personality) of adolescents
The proposed recommendations are targeted at three groups of stakeholders – teenage gamers, their parents and educators (school teachers and university academics). The recommendations elaborated for educators can be used at the core of further development of the schools’ and universities’ policies, and the author aspires to change the attitude of both parents and educators to adolescents’ plunging in computer games and improve their understanding of possible situations and their consequences and adults’ reactions that should be based on a collaborative approach.
The Impact of Digitalization on University Organizational Communication Development
The presented research aims at identifying the essence and specificity of the internal digital communication processes, as well as analyzing the impact of digitalization on the employees in the chosen Finnish and Russian universities as both partners and competitors in the global digital education environment.
The research was based upon a pilot survey conducted by means of an online questionnaire consisting of 25 general and specific questions with multiple-choice close and open questions. Besides, Likert assessment scale was integrated into the question in order to reveal the respondents’ perceptions and attitudes. Over 30 (33-34) participants voluntarily took part in the survey representing each of the two universities chosen for the pilot survey. Also, case analysis and cross-case analysis were used to research the observed situations on comparative basis.
The findings included varying impact of digitalization of the universities' internal environment in the interim stage on the internal organizational communication and employees' different attitudes as part of its impact. The revealed attitudes of the Finnish and Russian participants to digitalization partly reflected the differences in the digitalization policies developed at particular Finnish and Russian universities – the University of Vaasa and Lipetsk State Pedagogical University, comparable in their size, structure, number of academics and students. Some of the findings proved to be unexpected both for the researcher and the respondents, as well as for their colleagues in charge of certain digitalization processes or strategy components.
Basing on the received results, the author has elaborated recommendations for university policy-makers intended to analyze and improve the current processes and increase the overall effectiveness of digitalization. Also, recommendations for university employees – academics, researchers and managers have been formulated intended to facilitate their perception of the ongoing processes and improve their attitudes to their employers’ strategic goals. The pilot research is planned to be used as a basis for further studies in the thematic field involving more universities and respondents.
Adult Lifelong Learning in Knowledge-Intensive Enterprises
Considered exploring current practices of the interaction between continuing education institutes (including supplementary education) and science intensive enterprises or companies, on the one hand. The specific character of this problem also lies in the fact, that modern science intensive technologies (they must be closely connected with progressive developing of Russian economics and society) fundamentally differ from traditional industrial technologies. First of all, it refers to the interaction sphere of education, science and enterprises of a real sphere of economy. This connection with the sphere of high technologies is a poorly investigated problem.
Interest of article consists in the fact, that different types of interaction between business organizations of the real economy, high-tech enterprises, continuing education and science institutes was explored by methods of the applied sociology and the interdisciplinary analysis in the process of working out and application of modern innovative science intensive technologies. During analyzing Russian innovations we will focus on the sphere of high technologies, since the application of these converging technologies is becoming a main element of the innovation cluster cooperation of high-tech enterprises. At the same time the continuing education as the concept and the element of a corporate as well as a state policy, is regarded as one of the most important element of the cluster interaction between innovation's actors for the first time.
There are 100 expert semi-structured interviews were conducted in 2015-2018 in different regions of Russia in this study. The design of the sample included heads of knowledge-intensive enterprises, heads of educational institutions, members of innovation clusters, government employees and venture investors.
The role of lifelong learning in the development of innovation processes becomes major because there appears a need for regular training of staff and improvement of their skills, based on the needs of industries. The system of higher professional education doesn’t feet the requirements of the modern market. Lifelong learning is realized in the form of additional professional education as corporate education and training of personnel “on the side” (for example, trainings).
The role of corporate universities that is realized with the participation of companies is becoming more noticeable and operate as one of the divisions of a company.
This paper is co-authored with Grigorii Kliucharev
Presents in Panel 1E
The Space Voyage in Soviet and Modern Bulgarian Children’s Literature: Neznaika and Yan Bibiyan Fly to the Moon
Space travel and walking on the Moon are among the favourite topics of Bulgarian and Soviet children writers from the early 1930s throughout the 60s and 70s. The paper investigates the ways in which the narratives of technical progress and scientific discoveries aim to change children’s perception of the natural world and society. In his “Dunno in the Sun City” (1958) and “Dunno on the Moon” (1965), Nikolai Nosov follows the adventures of Dunno (Neznaika) who first discovers the highly technologically and socially advanced Sun City and consequently, during another adventure, flies to the Moon. The changes in Dunno’s ethical awareness, overall knowledge and perception of himself set an example of how Soviet children should develop their world picture.
In his books about the adventures of Yan Bibiyan and Imp Fyut, the Bulgarian writer Elin Pelin intertwines very similar ideas about the role of scientific and critical thinking in the child development. Pelin’s “Yan Bibiyan on the Moon” (1934) tells the story of the much cognitively and ethically grown Yan Bibiyan, who has abandoned his bad childishly whimsical behavior and now passionately follows his scientific curiosity.
Both authors, N. Nosov and E. Pelin, the paper argues, mix adventure and technical information in order to create an entertaining story lines that will lead the young reader down the path of the modern belief that science has the power to enlighten and to heal the fear triggered by the encounter with the unknown and threatening natural and social forces. Magic, mystery and the supernatural participate in the adventures of the two main characters in order to make the victory of science only more convincing and impressive. Finally, while Elin Pelin’s narrative complies with the ideas of modernity, Nosov’s plots introduce the Soviet faith in the power of the scientifically founded building of the socialist utopian future. The question is, did Soviet perspective made the Moon travel less mystifying and why?
The paper will consider the works on the connection between science and ethics of authors like A. McIntyre and R. Dawkins.
Presents in panel 4E
Police and Protest in the Digital Age – Moldova and Armenia in a Regional Perspective
This contribution focuses on how technological change among others has brought a new dimension to police reform and the interaction between civic protest and public order policing in the digital age. Social media has had a revolutionary impact on protests, mobilising citizens to resist state corruption and eventually regime change in Armenia and Moldova during the last decade. While the role of social media for civic activities and for mobilisation during protests have been extensively studied in the relevant literature, the reform and learning process within public order and riot police due to new capabilities and efforts to keep pace with digitalisation has often been overlooked. The underlying question is hence how the “digital turn” has not only modified protest activities in the streets but also the diametrically opposed culture and techniques of public order policing. Moreover, there is an interest to find out to what extent it had an impact on the interaction and the relationship of trust between citizenry and police. Two protest moments (“Electric Yerevan” 2015 in Armenia and the “Banking Scandal” 2014-2016 in Moldova) have been chosen as cases to illustrate how the reliance on digital resources among others have shaped policing practices, and secondly, how these dynamics can be seen to be emblematic for evolving state-society relations in the region. The paper relies on document analysis and data from problem-centred interviews with various actor groups on the ground in the respective countries between 2017 and 2019.