Presents in panel 1A and 2G

Does Internet Promote Gender Equality: Look at the Post-Communist World

New technologies open more opportunities for women and minorities in communication and promoting their agenda. In most developed liberal democracies and rapidly developing countries, the spread of the Internet plays a huge moderative role in the emancipative processes. However, its role in Eastern Europe and post-Soviet polities remains unclear.

Using a quantitative approach, this paper attempts to find the relationship between Internet access and restrictions and gender inequality focusing on the sample of post-communist countries. It is revealed that despite the authoritarian context and attempts for dirigist regulations, the Internet remains a sustainable channel that promotes gender equality.

Presents in poster session

Presents in panel 6B

Digital Inequality in the Russian Provincial Region

The paper presents the results of annual monitoring research conducted since 2014 in a Russian provincial region, and shows the issue of digital inequality, which comes along with inequality in getting knowledge and skills in different social groups (Ragnedda, 2017). New information technologies become one of the most important factors in territories’ development. Areas with poor infrastructure not only drop out of the development process. Quality of life of its population rapidly decrease; people who have higher knowledge and skills capital and who are the richest part of consumers would leave the territory. Digital inequality geographical specificity is analyzed in the case of online and offline shopping predomination in a region. There are all three types of digital inequality in the same areas: inequality in technological access, in knowledge and skills, and in the desire to use them to benefit from online trade. Districts where online trade development compensates for poor development of competition in a real trade, are more developed in terms of technical infrastructure. However, there is tension between social groups who can and want to use online shopping, and who do not want to use it, but cannot rely on real trade, which decreases because of demand reduction. In the areas, the consumer behaviour of one group narrows the choice of others in the real trade. Coexistence of several forms of both online and offline-trade consumer behaviour poses complex tasks of competition development regulation to improve the community’s quality of life. Attitude towards digital inequality as the only technical problem can exacerbate inequality and increase pressure on the real trade markets, especially for vulnerable groups.

This paper is co-authored with Nina Ivashinenko and Alla Varyzgina 

Presents in panel 6E

Presents in panel 1C

Watching Game of Thrones in Yekaterinburg: International Streaming in the Russian Media Environment

As the international reach of streaming platforms has expanded since 2015, so too has the pool of television content shared in common by viewers worldwide (Brennan). In Russia, where the most well-known streaming services are Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO daughter company Amediateka, and the regional media companies ivi.ru, Megogo, and Tvigle (Prorokov). However, this recent technological incursion into Russian entertainment viewing habits is mediated not only by uneven internet penetration, but also by established genre and production expectations and even by geopolitics.

This paper examines this context through a focus on recent access to and reception of the final season of Game of Thrones, as described in reviews on Livejournal and other social media platforms. Examined contexts include other popular television dramas in Russia, including the third season of Channel One-produced and Netflix-carried Mazhor (“Temy”), and suggestive guidance from arts and entertainment news coverage about the appropriate consumption of “commercial Hollywood cinema,” as when, for example, RIA Novosti chose to highlight that a VTsIOM poll shows over 70% of Russian citizens have no interest in seeing the final season of Game of Thrones, indicating nearly 30% do (“Bolee 70%”). In so doing, this paper will provide insight into how the disruption of streaming and its mixing of domestic and global content is handled within Russian cultural production.

Presents in panel 5C
 

Presents in panel 5B

Music Shaping: Corporeality Capitalization in Digital Era

Although aesthetic might be considered as one of the basis of music itself, different music pieces and even music genres reflect both individual (artistic) and social understanding of various phenomenon, such as social and common life experience (e.g.romantic relationships, war, immigration), as well as issues of social stratification and group diversity. Nowadays the process of music consumption is deeply included into everyday practices, and therefore digitised forms of music perception, such as online streaming, music videos watching are linked to the all levels of social behaviour: the average listener and music lover might spend the whole day with a selection of music tracks and videos, which provide the background for his or her routine. One of the key indicators of various representative patterns are body types that are articulated in them, which might be understood as indicator of accumulation of various types of capital, including social, physical and erotic. The main aim of the current study is to observe the processes of various body types transmission made through digital forms of Russian popular music, such as youtube music videos and describe the patterns of capitalization of corporeality. One considers new conditions of digitally industrialised music production, transmission and perception might influence on ways of legitimation of social hierarchy. One of the key features of physical capital is the inability of its direct inheritance. However, its role in the articulation of social hegemony of certain groups cannot be overestimated. Media and art, in particular, music videos, are in this case a tool to legitimize ideas about certain embodied patterns of success or belonging to a particular group. To create the model of corporeality capitalization, we mainly focused on 20 music videos and made a qualitative analysis of their content. We identify three main patterns of capitalization of corporeality: regulation of symbolic values of bodies via images, body transformation that marks one’s position in the social hierarchy and legitimization of gender strategies used for erotic capital accumulation and conversion.

This paper is co-authoered with Alexander Pivovarov

Presents in panel 3C

This paper is co-authored with Stephen Hutchings and Precious Chatterje-Doody

Presents in panel 4A

Media Technologies and Voting in Modern Russia: Evidence from the Russian Election Studies (RES)

Aim
Study of the specifics of the information impact on Russian voters based on the Russian Election Studies (RES) data for 2004-2012.

Background
Nikita Tregubov works at the South Ural State University (Chelyabinsk). He has been studying electoral behavior in modern Russia for the past few years. During this time, N. Tregubov published several papers on the effectiveness of political communication in Russian municipal elections [Tregubov 2014a], structural characteristics and voting motivation of Russian students [Tregubov, Poselyayusheva 2014, Tregubov 2014b], the dependence of the motivation of Russian voters on the electoral competition level [Tregubov 2016]. The author also analyzed the scientific literature on the problem of electoral choice, systematized the key factors of voting and formulated an exemplary program of promising empirical research on this topic [Tregubov 2017]. Currently, N. Tregubov is interested in the informational influence on Russian voters, as well as in-depth analysis of Russian Election Studies Dataverse (https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataverse/tcoltonrussia).

Methods
The theoretical basis of the report is a set of voting theories related to the study of campaign effects [Miller, Wattenberg and Malanchuk 1986; Iyengar and Kinder 1987; Zaller 1992; Popkin 1994; Pushkareva 2003; Hilligus 2010; Jacobson 2015]. The author will proceed from the idea about the fundamental heterogeneity of the voting process [Bartle 2005; Blumenstiel, Plischke 2015] and from the hypothesis that as a result of media influence almost any aspect of electoral choice motivation can be activated [Hilligus 2010]. The empirical base of the project will be the primary data of sociological surveys conducted in the Russian Electoral Studies (RES) project [Colton 2000; Colton, McFaul 2003; Hale, Colton 2017] from 2004 to 2012. Cluster, factor and logistic regression analysis methods will be the main tools for compiling and testing comprehensive explanatory models.

Findings and conclusion
The report will consider the possibilities of obtaining new significant information on the impact of media on electoral behavior in Russia on the basis of the Russian Election Studies (RES) data. The RES questionnaire makes it possible to identify the main patterns of media usage by Russian voters, to correlate these patterns with the basic characteristics of electoral behavior (voter turnout, voting, and electoral decision time). In addition, using the RES data, one can evaluate the effectiveness of media impact on various categories of Russian voters, taking into account several additional factors:
• level of political activity;
• general ideological characteristics (and, above all, the level of support for democratic principles and practices);
• perceived level of political competition (the menu of options);
• socio-demographic characteristics and level of group identification;
• level of party support;
• evaluation of the effectiveness of the government;
• attitudes towards the personal qualities of federal politicians.

The presence in the RES database of poll results relating to the federal election campaigns of 2003–2004, 2007–2008, and 2011–2012 makes it possible to trace the dynamics of media impact on voters in modern Russia.

The report will also present the specific results of a study of the impact of new media technologies on electoral behavior in modern Russia. In particular, the role of the Internet and new media in the transformation of electoral preferences of Russian voters will be analyzed.

Presents in panel 7D

Human Resources and Education in Digital B2B: New Russian Challenges

The purpose of this study is to analyse the evolution of online methods of education and digitalization of corporate educational programs, as well as identify the impact of recent changes on quality and speed of employees’ formation.

Background. The work is dedicated to analyzing new strategies and technologies of digital education in the so-called B2B segment. It is concerned with innovative educational methods, as well as with new management technologies of raising efficiency of corporate education. The phase of rapid, poorly-controlled growth in the sphere of Russian business education is now over. The new phase of systematization requires international expertise in order to develop recommendations for the domestic market.

Methods The author uses sources that reveal the main trends in corporate education along with conducting comparative analysis of open sources (international scientific views in regard to online and blended education; practical examples of programs). The integral analysis of theory and practice allows to generate new understanding of benefits and limitations of such education.

Findings. The author has thoroughly explored the situation in companies where the management approves of on-the-job training and financially supports it. This parameter is a key characteristic of modern education, when the educational function of an employee is no longer an additional one, but is completely integrated into the working process with a corresponding system of evaluation and reward by the management;
New strategy of corporate education management is the transition from the habitual focus on managing the educational process to managing the educational experience of the target audience. Consuming of content today acquires educational character and control-functions-furnished intellectual centers of managing content systems allow to transfer to a new level of assimilating information in the B2B segment.

In the article were identified such global trends in approach to online education as on-the-job trainings, corporate storytelling, Micro- and Macro-education, interval and hybridity as characteristics of modern digital learning, personalization and customization of corporate education, combination of familiar tools of offline teaching with digital training.

The authors have analyzed the evolution of online methods of education and of digital learning as the most recent trend in online education and its applicability to the corporate world. The article deeply analyzes the practice as applied in Russia.

Conclusions/recommendations. The strategic line of B2B companies should not be “pure” digitalization, but aim at increasing educational potential of information technology and the loyalty of the companies’ employees.

The conducted analysis has allowed to identify the major trends in approach to online education and applicability of these trends to the corporate education, including the emerging trend of digital education, that has already been taken on board by a number of international corporations.Digital learning provides companies with a plenty of benefits while also raising a few issues that should be considered by the companies’ management in planning of employees’ education by using personalized approach.

Presents in Panel 1E

Presents in panel 4C

Trolls, Bots and Everyone Else: Online Disinformation Campaigns and 2019 Presidential Elections in Ukraine

Today, online disinformation campaigns are increasingly employed to manipulate and alter public opinion in the context of elections. The use of coordinated disinformation efforts was traced in the recent elections in the US (Faris et al. 2017), France (Ferrara 2017) and Italy (Cresci et al. 2017). The purposes of these efforts varied from attacking specific candidates (Ferrara 2017) to forming negative attitudes towards certain social groups (Bennett & Livingston 2018). By doing so, disinformation campaigns corrode the foundations of democratic systems and increase societal polarization by dividing citizens along partisan lines (Tucker 2018).

The research on online disinformation during elections is focused on two categories of agents: automated ones and human ones. The former are automated social media accounts (sock puppets) used to generate large volumes of content to support/attack candidates (Bessi & Ferrara 2016). The latter are human actors disseminating false information to condemn (i.e. “troll”) or praise (i.e. “elf”) candidates and their supporters (Bradshaw & Howard 2017). Until now, however, these two categories of agents are usually discussed separately, whereas in practice organized disinformation campaigns often involve both of them

In our paper, we analyze the involvement of both automated and human agents in the online disinformation efforts during 2019 presidential elections in Ukraine. Two reasons motivate our choice of case study: firstly, as part of the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Ukraine is frequently targeted by online disinformation campaigns sponsored by Russia (Mejias & Vokuev 2017). Considering the importance of presidential elections in Ukraine for the further course of the conflict it is highly probable that such campaigns would occur. Secondly, under the conditions of the ongoing information warfare, domestic Ukrainian actors increasingly adopt disinformation techniques to target their political opponents (Zhdanova & Orlova 2017) that further increases polarization in the Ukrainian society.

To examine the interactions between human- and bot-produced disinformation and polarization in Ukraine, we are going to address the following research questions: How much online content was produced by bots and trolls compared with ordinary users in the case of specific candidates? How messages produced by bots and trolls differed in terms of the format and the purpose? And what was the impact of disinformation campaigns and if trolls or bots were more effective?

To implement our research, we used Twitter REST API and captured tweets including the last names of the candidates with the highest electoral ratings in Cyrillic and Latin scripts between February 9 and April 30 2019. As an initial step for identifying disinformation agents, we used the anomalous frequency of posting and distinct positive/negative sentiment of content produced (Borra et al. 2017). We then differentiated between trolls and bots using logistic regression techniques based on user metadata and activity features (Ferrara 2017; Im et al. 2019). For comparing the content of messages produced by trolls and bots we used Latent Dirichlet Allocation model to identify the most common themes. Finally, for evaluating the impact of disinformation we employed Hawkes processes to assess the diffusion of manipulative content (Zannettou et al. 2018).

This paper is co-authored with Mykola Makhortykh

Presents in panel 7D

The Future of Female Bureaucrats in the Era of E-Democracy

At present, according to official statistics, the number of officials in Russia is 1.2 million, and according to independent experts about 6 million, which is a historical maximum. However, against the background of growing automation of production, introduction of IT into management, it becomes clear that in the near future, people will begin to cut people along the lines of large corporations in the public sector. For example, in the largest Russian bank, Sberbank, 70% of middle managers were reduced due to the implementation of artificial intelligence. Those employees who perform monotonous work lost their jobs. All those who most often did “secretarial” work remain without earnings. And if we speak about public sector it will be women, because today in Russia, more than 70% of civil servants are women, most of whom work in junior/minor and middle positions.

In the spring of 2019, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation proposed to reduce the number of civil servants in the next two years - in territorial bodies, 15% of employees would fall under reduction, and 10% in the central office. And if Sberbank provided the majority of employees who fell under the reduction, the opportunity to undergo retraining, then what guarantees in this situation can they provide to officials? Based on a series of expert interviews, we got the idea that the hr-services of the authorities are not preparing for reductions and do not create roadmaps in accordance with future changes. In our paper we will discuss the future of female bareaucratcs in the era of e-democaracy, as well as the difficulties faced by hr-departaments of agencies and changes in the personnel policy of state bodies.

Presents in Panel 1E

Digital Inequality in the Russian Provincial Region

The paper presents the results of annual monitoring research conducted since 2014 in a Russian provincial region, and shows the issue of digital inequality, which comes along with inequality in getting knowledge and skills in different social groups (Ragnedda, 2017). New information technologies become one of the most important factors in territories’ development. Areas with poor infrastructure not only drop out of the development process. Quality of life of its population rapidly decrease; people who have higher knowledge and skills capital and who are the richest part of consumers would leave the territory. Digital inequality geographical specificity is analyzed in the case of online and offline shopping predomination in a region. There are all three types of digital inequality in the same areas: inequality in technological access, in knowledge and skills, and in the desire to use them to benefit from online trade. Districts where online trade development compensates for poor development of competition in a real trade, are more developed in terms of technical infrastructure. However, there is tension between social groups who can and want to use online shopping, and who do not want to use it, but cannot rely on real trade, which decreases because of demand reduction. In the areas, the consumer behaviour of one group narrows the choice of others in the real trade. Coexistence of several forms of both online and offline-trade consumer behaviour poses complex tasks of competition development regulation to improve the community’s quality of life. Attitude towards digital inequality as the only technical problem can exacerbate inequality and increase pressure on the real trade markets, especially for vulnerable groups.

This paper is co-authored with Nina Ivashinenko and Mikhail Teodorovich

Presents in panel 6E

Ceremonial Speaker

Presents in the Opening Ceremony

The Impact of Soviet Nuclear Experiments in the Arctic Region. Environmental and Human Consequences.

Most of the direct nuclear contamination in the Arctic region are from Soviet and Russian sources over a period of more than 40 years associated with the Cold war activities, military, and weapons production facilities, operation of the nuclear icebreaker fleet, and wastes from nuclear power plants. However, especially nuclear explosions remain one of the main sources of nuclear pollution in the Arctic, with many human consequences for native and non-native peoples of the Region. The case-study of Novaya Zemlya - where a total of 130 tests were carried out high in the atmosphere and at low levels above water, at the water/air interface, below water, and underground - is still one of the most important case that can be useful to study the devastating effect of political decisions (the history of nuclear testing is a remarkable component of power struggles and power politics between East and West in the 20th century) in employing technologies and how today societies respond to them. After evaluating alternative locations, in summer 1957, Novaya Zemlya was selected as the site for multi-megaton atmospheric tests as well as for tests underwater – despite the harsh and sensible environment far above the Arctic Circle and proximity to the Russian mainland and Europe. Eighty-five atmospheric nuclear tests are officially listed as having taken place at Novaya Zemlya from 1957 to the last on 25 December 1962. The explosion of the terrifying “Zar Bomba” in 1961, the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated in the history of mankind (it had a yield of 50 megaton TNT), on the Novaya Zemlya is a symbol of this unique technological trend. What’s more important is that in Russia parts of Novaya Zemlya are currently in active use for potential prosecution of tests. The current potential continuation of nuclear experiments on the Novaya Zemlya’s archipelago increases the relevance of understanding its nuclear testing history (using arctic-specific information collected for the Course on Arctic Studies at the University of Milan, books and papers in Russian, published in the last two decades, and the data elaborated in Scandinavia and stressing the importance to foster a close association between risk assessment and practical programmes for the purpose of improving monitoring, formulating responses and implementing action plans), in order to prevent possible new experiments and the human and environmental consequences they can cause to Arctic residents, first of all expelling them from the region (which was the case of the inhabitants of the Novaya Zemlya), and seriously damaging their health (the vulnerability of arctic populations, especially indigenous peoples, to radio-caesium fallout deposition is much greater than for temperate populations) and their way of life.

Presents in panel 6A

Photography Education and Digital Transformation in Russia: Discourses on Photographic Realism

Documentary photography and photojournalism, like many other spheres of media production, have been changed and challenged in the process of digital transformation. Even if both amateur pictures and photo manipulation have a long history in journalism, the situation is so different today that some scholars have compared it to a paradigmatic shift (Solaroli 2015). One aspect of this shift is spread of “citizen photojournalism” and immediacy of circulation, another is that the easiness for post-production has made photo manipulation more of a rule than an exception (Van Dijck 2008). Moreover, we live in a time when social media has become a central news source and where there is a widespread mistrust in facts and elites. These factors challenge the way of visually documenting the surrounding social reality, anchored in journalistic and documentary photography’s ideals of realism and objectivity.

Programs for photojournalism and documentary photography education are sites where future professional photographers, teachers and practicing photographers meet, and where discourses and practices around what it means to visually document reality take shape. How do the educational practices and discourses adapt to these changes and challenges? And how is the ongoing transformation of documentary photography and photojournalism perceived by both educators (who themselves often simultaneously are professional photographers) and students (who will shape the future of the profession)?

Combining theories about photographic truth (e.g. Newton 2001), research around photojournalism and journalistic cultures (e.g. Pogliano 2015), with research about visual literacy (e.g. Messaris 2012), in our comparative research project we analyse educational practices at photography schools in Russia and Sweden. In this paper, we will focus only on two sites in Russia: Department of Photojournalism and Media Technologies at Lomonosov Moscow State University, and Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia. Based on interviews with the program and course leaders, focus groups with students, observations of educational and examination moments, and descriptions of the courses and course literature, we aim to discuss the contextualized adaptation of the educational practices to the universal tendency of digital transformation of documentary photography and photojournalism. We also highlight the heterogeneity of discourses on documentation of social reality and photographic realism within one and same national culture of photography education.
 

This paper is co-authored with Patrik Åker 

Presents in panel 4F

The Environmental Context of the Transformation of Russia's Food System

Russia's food system has undergone profound changes over the last fifteen years. Large capital investments in agriculture and food processing industries have led to significant technological change, increases in production and productivity, and hence to dramatic changes in how food is produced and processed. The "modernization" of the Russian food system aligns with several political priorities of the Putin regime and in many ways made possible through a cornucopia of support measures. Although technological change is taking place with the aim of import substitution and has led to the strengthening of domestic producers, the technologies and modes of production are largely modelled on the cutting edge of industrial food production in Western AICs.

The environmental implications of technological change in the Russian food system are largely unexplored, even as they are an increasingly scrutinized aspect of agriculture in capitalist economies. This paper is an attempt to map some of the ways in which recent changes in the Russian food system have transformed the relationship between farming and food production on the one hand, and nature on the other. The focus is on two aspects of the environmental impact of food systems that have drawn at least some attention by Russian social actors: first, the changing nature of waste - from waste generated by the inflexibility of the planned economy to the waste generated by the commercialization of processed food. Secondly, as farming becomes more profit oriented, producers have drawn on new genetic resources developed by the livestock and seed industry - with consequences for biodiversity that have yet to attract much attention.

Presents in panel 6A

Scientific Utopia in the Home: Early Soviet Discourse and Practice.

After the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks moved quickly to expropriate private property, issuing decrees sanctioning the seizure of residential dwellings and turning the home into a key battleground in the struggle for socialism. The home became a prime site for fostering a key utopian notion with roots in pre-revolutionary Bolshevik discussions: the much-anticipated “new way of life” (novyi byt). Emerging out of the neo-positivist currents of Bolshevik thinking at the turn of the century, the “new way of life” was seen as a higher state of living—as a new code of behaviours, norms, and habits that would elevate the consciousness of the individual, and thereby facilitate the advancement of humanity through as yet unrealised collective potentials and social harmonization. Those duly elevated through such practices, it was theorized, would become the “new people” (novye liudi); after 1917, they would be the idealized “New Soviet Man” and “New Soviet Women,” forging ahead as the vanguard of a new civilization, taking humanity on to the next stage of development. Lenin would pour scorn on those that he thought went too far with such musings—including Alexander Bogdanov and a Bolshevik faction that suggested a new proletarian culture would open the door to the biological, intellectual, and social perfectibility of humanity. Nevertheless, the leader of October was himself not immune to such utopian visions. Lenin knew that the progress of revolution would be dependant on the emergence of a vanguard of young people willing to realise its ideals.

This paper will assess the modern technological and scientific discourses that helped fuel Bolshevik visions of a “new way of life,” demonstrating how such ideas were appropriated and enacted through the example of activist experimentation during the opening years of revolution.

Presents in panel 4E

Presents in panel 4A

Presents in panel 4A and 7F

Presents in panel 6E

 

Old Russian Chant Books as Databases

Old Russian tradition of musical writing and chant books together with writing and book culture. Chant books were intended for keeping, searching and using of musical information. So, chant books can be considered as DataBases. Analogue with databases exists on several levels.

Subject area is Russian liturgical chant. Items to be taken into account are hymns with their attributes: genre, mode (echos, glas), liturgical situation, model (automelon, podoben), text, tune.

On logic level structure of each chant book can be presented as a table. Each column and line reflects structure of the book or of its part. If we read table sequentially from left to right and line by line we receive a real order of hymns in chant book. On physical level chant books represent codes (of parchment or paper).

Some attributes form the book structure, other attributes are noted in title of hymn. Structure of chant book makes searching for data rather convenient. For example, Octoechos (conform to liturgical instructions of Jerusalem Typikon) can be presented as table, where lines signify mode and columns show liturgical situation (Vespers, Matin, Liturgy). In this book all hymns of each mode concentrate in corresponding part of the book; hymns of the same liturgical situation appear rhythmically in the beginning, middle or end of each part.

A researcher’s work goes in reverse direction to the work of book-writer: scholar has to show the book structure in table form and then to reveal principles that lie in its basis. These principles are cultural paradigms such as church calendars (fixed and Paschal), order of liturgy worship, hymnografic genre and musical mode.

Database (chant books) structure developed from 11th to 17th c. Sticherarion of 11–14th c. is based on the only principle of church calendar; the same book of 16 – 17th c. is based on two orders: church calendar and liturgical order. Obikhod, the chant book of Russian origin, has most complex structure using all structural principles. Obikhod can be represented as several tables linked to each other and described as relational database.
Divine Service of Russian Orthodox church needs a set of chant books – allocated database, and Typikon plays the role of cerver.

Analogue between chant books and computer databases has practical consequences. In medieval Russia chant books had no sacred meaning, they were just encyclopedia of chant. On the other hand, books do not reflect musical practice but depict ideal vision of church singing.

Now we use chant books in combination with digital means. Libraries and archives put collections of manuscripts to Internet. To find any Old Russian hymn one can use a digital collection of manuscripts and then look for hymn using medieval principles.

Presents in panel 3E

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 Ekaterina Arutyunova 

Presents in Panle 1E

Data Protection Problem: Enhanced Rights for Persons vs State Security (Case of Russia)

Today data protection became a serious problem. Of course, spread of information technologies and widening scope of social networks have caused multiple risks for personal data. People use various social networks and online services; they provide contact information, bank details, and personal photos and expect that their information will be available to a limited number of familiar persons or to specific companies. Spread of personal information can lead not only to uncomfortable situations when unfamiliar persons would try to contact you using your e-mail address and phone number, but also undermine personal security, including financial safety. State actors (like Russia) and non-state actors (like the European Union) introduce measures to ensure effective data protection and punish for their violation. Such legislation demonstrates efforts of the authorities to enhance rights of persons. However, some of states’ activities raise concerns about their priorities. My research aim is to examine how state actors implement data protection and determine their priorities. In this paper, I focus on case of Russia and its interpretation of data protection. On the one hand, Russia is very active in legislative support of data protection. In 2006, it introduced a law regulating use of personal data, which was amended several times in order to make it more efficient and respond to new challenges. On the other hand, Russian legislation prescribes a number of exceptions when judicial authorities can get access to personal information and communication. It has been explained by national security requirements, particularly measures to combat terrorism. The Russian officials argue that in order to prevent terrorist activities they might require access to personal data, communication and money transfer information. They consider it as an exceptional measure that could be arranged only on the basis of court’s decision and would never violate general principles of data protection. Social networks and messengers demonstrate different reaction to these requirements: some of them cooperate with the authorities (like vkontakte), others prefer to protect privacy of their customers (e.g., telegram). As a result of this research, I will examine how the Russian authorities try to ensure personal data protection and describe major challenges to data protection in Russia.

Presents in panel 7E

Presents ib panel 5A and 7D

“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 Olga Bronnikova 

Presents in panel 7F

Presents in panel 2C

Digitalization and Its Sociotechnical Barriers: The Case of Russian Digital Economy

The modern Russian economy is presented as an economy of a "new technological generation": it involves the development of ultra-modern "end-to-end technologies" such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and big data, in professional areas and everyday life. Digital, mobile, virtual technologies involve users of different degrees of preparedness, but in this process there are always barriers and difficulties - whether physical obstacles and lack of access, material resistance and obsolescence of infrastructure or human fear. Political will, market mechanisms and a high level of information technology development are not enough to make digitalization efficient.

Technological, sociocultural and institutional barriers arise in cooperation with digital innovation. Their complexity can be assessed if different levels of production, implementation and use of technologies are taken into account. Breakdowns, failures, difficulties, negative and unsatisfactory experiences are in the focus of my presentation; special attention is paid to users as key participants of digitalization, which for some reason remain highly underestimated in programs of state development like the "digital economy".

Presents in panel 6F

Presents in panel 2E

Photography Education and Digital Transformation in Russia: Discourses on Photographic Realism

Documentary photography and photojournalism, like many other spheres of media production, have been changed and challenged in the process of digital transformation. Even if both amateur pictures and photo manipulation have a long history in journalism, the situation is so different today that some scholars have compared it to a paradigmatic shift (Solaroli 2015). One aspect of this shift is spread of “citizen photojournalism” and immediacy of circulation, another is that the easiness for post-production has made photo manipulation more of a rule than an exception (Van Dijck 2008). Moreover, we live in a time when social media has become a central news source and where there is a widespread mistrust in facts and elites. These factors challenge the way of visually documenting the surrounding social reality, anchored in journalistic and documentary photography’s ideals of realism and objectivity.

Programs for photojournalism and documentary photography education are sites where future professional photographers, teachers and practicing photographers meet, and where discourses and practices around what it means to visually document reality take shape. How do the educational practices and discourses adapt to these changes and challenges? And how is the ongoing transformation of documentary photography and photojournalism perceived by both educators (who themselves often simultaneously are professional photographers) and students (who will shape the future of the profession)?

Combining theories about photographic truth (e.g. Newton 2001), research around photojournalism and journalistic cultures (e.g. Pogliano 2015), with research about visual literacy (e.g. Messaris 2012), in our comparative research project we analyse educational practices at photography schools in Russia and Sweden. In this paper, we will focus only on two sites in Russia: Department of Photojournalism and Media Technologies at Lomonosov Moscow State University, and Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia. Based on interviews with the program and course leaders, focus groups with students, observations of educational and examination moments, and descriptions of the courses and course literature, we aim to discuss the contextualized adaptation of the educational practices to the universal tendency of digital transformation of documentary photography and photojournalism. We also highlight the heterogeneity of discourses on documentation of social reality and photographic realism within one and same national culture of photography education.

This paper is co-authored with Liudmila Voronova

Presents in panel 4F

Presents in panel 3C