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The use of arts-based research has recently gained attention among scholars in diverse fields of social sciences for its capacity to communicate research beyond the authority of the written text as well as to engage with non-academic audiences. This article focuses on the dynamics of art as knowledge work from the perspective of contemporary art and its institutions: if academic research goes’ to the arts then how does this ‘going’ interact with the already established politics, economies and ethics of the art field? I will be arguing that research emerges as a generalized category, if not a systemic imperative, of doing contemporary visual art, and that within this territory arts-based research encounters similar issues with those surrounding academic production and consumption. I summarize challenges pertaining to issues around deprofessionalization, new forms of distinction and art’s increasing resemblance to the information apparatus.
The book On the Digital Semiosphere by John Hartley, Indrek Ibrus, and Maarja Ojamaa is a highly original work that aims to develop a multi-dimensional method of analyzing culture and understanding the relationships among humanity, other living beings, and the planet. The authors offer a holistic method of analyzing complex interconnections between personal sense-making and global ‘big data’, whose trajectories of development appear to be mutually reinforcing. Such a ‘systematic approach to the creation of meaning and thence knowledge, by the whole species across the whole planet, is the analytical minimum needed to understand “what’s occurring”’, the authors claim
Recently the World faced force push to distant learning caused by COVID-19 disease. Statistical numbers show a notable increasing number of users of corporate educational solutions utilizing cloud architecture. However, non-cloud-based learning tools do not meet this growth. In this work the authors consider the causes of that contradictory behaviour and present an explanation based on differences between two types of these educational systems. Also, the authors formulate an interpretation giving a list of extracted technologies or product features that allow corporate solutions to quickly gain popularity among educational society. In addition, clear examples of their connection to learning methods that can improve teaching, learning, and the last, but not the least a user’s experience are provided. And finally, the authors highlight a sig- nificant role of integration and interoperability standards supporting easy com- ponents replacement and scaling.
The article makes a case for the need to completely rethink the modern conceptual framework used to describe the processes occurring in the area of communications. Instead of multiple, difficult-to-define and contradictory terms, such as ‘new media’, ‘social media’, ‘social networks’ and so on, we suggest a summarising concept of ‘digital communication services’. Analysis of those digital services indicates that they increasingly use artificial intelligence (AI) in the field of technology communications. The article describes some of the consequences of its use.
In reference to Russia, the concept of “Internet sovereignty” is commonly used to evoke the state’s efforts to tighten its control over the Internet in order to consolidate a non-democratic political regime. Many scholars have discussed Russia’s “sovereign Internet law,” adopted in 2019, yet the precise meaning of both “sovereign” and “Internet” in this context has largely been overlooked. In this article, we attempt to problematize the use of both concepts by drawing on the history of the Internet in Russia to accentuate the structural asymmetries of power in “global” Internet governance. We argue that Russia’s Internet sovereignty claims, grasped in the context of these asymmetries, can be seen as an expression of counter-hegemonic tendencies. Moreover, a historical account of the Internet’s transformation in Russia problematizes a conception of “Internet sovereignty” as unitary and unchanging.
Ethnicity-targeted hate speech has been widely shown to influence on-the-ground inter-ethnic conflict and violence, especially in such multi-ethnic societies as Russia. Therefore, ethnicity-targeted hate speech detection in user texts is becoming an important task. However, it faces a number of unresolved problems: difficulties of reliable mark-up, informal and indirect ways of expressing negativity in user texts (such as irony, false generalization and attribution of unfavored actions to targeted groups), users’ inclination to express opposite attitudes to different ethnic groups in the same text and, finally, lack of research on languages other than English. In this work we address several of these problems in the task of ethnicity-targeted hate speech detection in Russian-language social media texts. This approach allows us to differentiate between attitudes towards different ethnic groups mentioned in the same text – a task that has never been addressed before. We use a dataset of over 2,6M user messages mentioning ethnic groups to construct a representative sample of 12K instances (ethnic group, text) that are further thoroughly annotated via a special procedure. In contrast to many previous collections that usually comprise extreme cases of toxic speech, representativity of our sample secures a realistic and, therefore, much higher proportion of subtle negativity which additionally complicates its automatic detection. We then experiment with four types of machine learning models, from traditional classifiers such as SVM to deep learning approaches, notably the recently introduced BERT architecture, and interpret their predictions in terms of various linguistic phenomena. In addition to hate speech detection with a text-level two-class approach (hate, no hate), we also justify and implement a unique instance-based three-class approach (positive, neutral, negative attitude, the latter implying hate speech). Our best results are achieved by using fine-tuned and pre-trained RuBERT combined with linguistic features, with F1-hate=0.760, F1-macro=0.833 on the text-level two-class problem comparable to previous studies, and F1-hate=0.813, F1-macro=0.824 on our unique instance-based three-class hate speech detection task. Finally, we perform error analysis, and it reveals that further improvement could be achieved by accounting for complex and creative language issues more accurately, i.e., by detecting irony and unconventional forms of obscene lexicon.
The increase of internet penetration across Russia has reduced entry barriers for individuals and companies who want to report locally. New digital technologies have given rise to many semi-professional local media projects, so-called ‘hyperlocal media’ (Metzgar et al., 2011; Tenor, 2018), created on various online platforms and social networking sites. Websites, blogs, and social media groups (the so-called ‘pabliki’ in Russian) on the popular social networking site VKontakte have opened up new access routes to local news, both for ordinary citizens and the authorities, but have also become a challenge for traditional local media. This article investigates how the media landscape changes in response to digital technologies in a provincial town of nearly 40,000 in the European part of Russia. More specifically, the article investigates how professional journalists from traditional media and practitioners from hyperlocal media sites understand the influence of digital technologies on the aims and work practices of media in a Russian province. The study is based on in-depth interviews with the editors of traditional local media (e.g. print newspapers) and owners of new hyperlocal media initiatives. The research explores different approaches to the ways in which two groups of media actors understand and make use of the internet and digital technologies. However, within peculiar Russian media model, these differences have led to collaborative rather than competitive relations between the two groups.
This paper examines relations between doctoral students’ employment and graduation outcomes at a research-intensive university in Russia. Since most doctoral students lack financial support, they find employment and work full-time. This study addresses two questions: first, how the employment status is related to graduation outcomes (defending a thesis) and, second, how characteristics of student employment decrease the chances of defence of a thesis. The research is based on a longitudinal dataset of doctoral students that were enrolled in doctoral programmes between 2008 and 2017. The dataset combines survey data collected during the doctoral training and administrative data about the students’ graduation outcomes gathered in 2018. The results show that on-campus employment increases the chances to defend the thesis and off-campus employment is negatively associated with the completion. The findings may help define the groups of students that are at risk of attrition and should be provided with appropriate support.
This article explores aspects, transformations, and dynamics of the ideological control of the internet in Russia. It analyses the strategies of actors across the Russian online space which contribute to this state-driven ideological control. The tightening of legislative regulation over the last 10 years to control social media and digital self-expression in Russia is relatively well studied. However, there is a lack of research on how the control of the internet works at a structural level. Namely, how it isolates “echo chambers” of oppositional discourses while also creating a massive flood of pro-state information and opinions. This article argues that the strategy of the Russian state to control the internet over the last 10 years has changed considerably. From creating troll factories and bots to distort communication in social media, the state is progressively moving towards a strategy of creating a huge state-oriented information flood to “litter” online space. Such a strategy relies on the generation of news resources which attract large volumes of traffic, which leads to such “trash information” dominating the internet.
Political Internet memes are an underresearched phenomenon situated at the intersection of digital and political communication. Regarded as a unit of cultural information transmitted online, such a meme can be considered as both a manifestation of anonymous networked creativity and a mechanism of political participation. The article presents the results of an investigation into Internet memes generated by protest discourses on Runet (Russian Internet). The examination of Internet content allows us to draw conclusions as to the thematic emphases of protest actions represented in Runet’s memosphere and the specifics of the image of Russian protest as reflected in memes.
This chapter focuses on media practices of shaming, as performed during the early years of the so-called Greek crisis (2009–2015) by the news media of Germany, Denmark and Greece. The chapter shows that the hegemonic publicity around the ‘Greek crisis’ cumulated into a public shaming practice of the Greek people, ridiculed by media spectacles of crisis. Although ‘all Greeks’ were blamed for the crisis, the media focused on examples of lay wrongdoings, such as practices of petty corruption instead of examining the systemic character of corruption in capitalism. Shaming here is therefore connected to the politics of the crisis and austerity and is meant to discipline the object of austerity reforms.
This article focuses on the ways in which the Danish liberal mainstream press covered events related to the so-called Greek crisis. In particular, we examine the coverage of the different Greek national elections that took place during the Greek crisis years (2010–2019) by Jyllands-Posten (JP), a popular Danish daily newspaper. Qualitative content analysis is deployed to study a corpus of 70 news and editorial articles published by JP on the aforementioned topic. Our analysis highlights the existence of three main interrelated themes in JP’s constructions of the Greek elections: a moralist, a culturalist, and a technocratic/ anti-leftist theme. These themes are theorised through the use of relevant theory on class cultures and politics today.
This chapter explores the practice of crowdsourcing in global governance as a tool of multilateral diplomacy to interrogate its exact role and place in decision-making processes. It focuses on media discourse analysis of the public debates concerning the new definition, focusing mostly on the international Anglophone media and on the blog posts written by museum professionals. Conducive to cultural diplomacy stewardship and the cooperative engagement of the professional museum community, International Commission of Museums (ICOM) strives to tackle cultural engagement challenges and promotes “creativity, innovation, and systematization in this field of inquiry and practice”. The museum definition has traditionally been a part of the ICOM statutes and its revision “is a formally regulated process. The crowdsourcing exercise proved that online participants were highly motivated, interested, and engaged museum professionals who took the challenge with great enthusiasm and commitment.
Examining the “digital” as a challenge to one of the most traditional spheres of private and public life of Russians, the chapter is focused on institutional aspects of the religion digitalization in the theoretical frame of mediatization. Normatively, digitalization as such does not contradict the dogmatic teaching of any traditional for Russia religion, in Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism theologically it is being considered as a neutral process with good or bad consequences depending on human will. Therefore, functionally digital technologies are seen by religious institutions as a shaping force, one more facility (channel, tool, space, network) for effective preaching while the core of religious practices still remains based on non-mediated interpersonal communication.
25 years after the first publication of Media Events: The Live Broadcasting of History (Dayan and Katz 1992), not only has the concept of media events firmly taken root in media theory, but it has also been developed considerably as a result of multiple critical interpretations. Going beyond a neo-Durkheimian ritual perspective, which emphasized the integrative role of ceremonial media events, has allowed a number of authors to identify such genres as ‘disruptive’, ‘traumatic’ or ‘conflictual’ media events, including, first and foremost, terror, disaster and war (Cottle 2006; Dayan 2008; Hepp and Couldry 2010; Katz and Liebes 2007; Mitu and Poulakidakos 2016). However, there is another type of events targeting social and cultural change, which do not exactly fit the ‘integrative/disruptive’ opposition, even if these events take the form of protest, for ‘protests and strikes are agreed forms of sanctioned disruption’ (Katz and Liebes 2007: 159). Until protest grows into a revolution and civil war, it is an instance of ‘ritual’ chaos, constituting a part of the order. Events of this type show some features of social drama and cultural performance (Turner 1974, 1982; Alexander 2006, 2011). Nevertheless, not every ‘transformative media event’ (Mihelj 2008) has such radical goals and sweeping scale.
‘Transformative media events’ are initiated in public spaces by citizens, whose disagreement with certain social conditions and/or a call for change they express. The transformative power can be an inherent element of the event (for instance, in the case of a protest action), or can emerge as a result of public response to a published opinion or document (such as a YouTube video recording police abuse). The latter case includes practices of ‘sousveillance’ (Mann et al. 2003) or ‘citizen witnessing’ (Allan 2013) directed at the democratization of social relations. A key feature of ‘transformative media events’ is their tight connection to the ‘citizen media’, by means of which they become visible and powerful. In this context it seems useful to consider media events as ‘user-generated media events’ (Mitu 2016), ‘new media events’ (Neverson and Adeyanju 2017), ‘transmedia events’ (Bacallao-Pino 2016), etc.
The study focuses upon ‘city public groups’ (‘gorodskie pabliki’, local newsgroups on social networking sites) – the new entrants in the local media space of the Russian province that have recently become important actors of regional public communication. Such groups combine news posting and citizen discussions, report on local affairs and gossip, and entertain. Some groups are based on user-generated content; others create their own content or act as aggregators. Being non-registered and grassroots initiatives, these media enjoy higher freedom in comparison to official local newsrooms.
Given the popularity of city public groups among local citizens and local authorities’ interest toward them, owners and moderators of these media are playing an influential role for local mediated discourse. Based on the gatekeeping theory and its extensions for digital space, this paper explores the emerging roles of these new gatekeepers in the local communities. Based upon 28 in-depth interviews collected by the author in Russian towns in 2017 to 2018, the paper also analyses the professional norms and values of the owners and moderators of local city groups that they employ to perform their gatekeeping function.
Availability of alternative information through social media, in particular, and digital media, in general, is often said to induce social discontent, especially in states where traditional media are under government control. But does this relation really exist, and is it generalizable? This article explores the relationship between self-reported online news consumption and protest participation across 48 nations in 2010–2014. Based on multilevel regression models and simulations, the analysis provides evidence that those respondents who reported that they had attended a protest at least once read news online daily or weekly. The study also shows that the magnitude of the effect varies depending on the political context: surprisingly, despite supposedly unlimited control of offline and online media, autocratic countries demonstrated higher effects of online news than transitional regimes, where the Internet media are relatively uninhibited.
Many critical thinkers agree that it is the inequalities and injustices of the global neoliberalorder which have brought about “the populist explosion” (Butler, 2016; Harvey, 2018; Judis,2016; Mouffe, 2016; Taguieff, 2016; Žižek, 2018).1All the latest populist developments2–from the left-wing populism in Greece, Spain, or Italy to the right-wing populism in France,Austria, or Finland – are seen from this perspective “as if masses of people throughout theworldhadstoppedbelievinginthe reigningcommonsensethat hasunderpinnedpolitical dom-ination for the last several decades,” as Nancy Fraser puts it (2019, p. 8). An important ques-tion then arises: what made the ideology of neoliberalism so successful that it assumed therole of the “common sense” reigning globally?