Year of Graduation
Framing of Political Activity of the Opposition in the Russian Media as a Means of Protest Neutralization
Faculty of Politics
This research paper is devoted to the mass consciousness of Russian people. A subject of this study is the set of Russians’ ideas on political opposition in Russia.The aim of the study is to identify ideas about and understanding of Russian opposition that exist in the public consciousness, and which are being broadcast by Russian authorities using federal mass media.The implementation of this objective in the paper is achieved through completing the separate tasks, which are as follows:1. Identifying the key characteristics of the ‘political opposition’ theme in the information field for the period from 01.06.2011 to 31.12.2012 with the tools of the online library of Russian-language media “Public.Ru”; 2. Highlighting the major features of the frame of the political activity of the Russian opposition, that was created by the federal mass media;3. Finding out Russians’ understanding of the political opposition, spread in the mass consciousness, on the basis of secondary analysis of sociological data.The research is based on the basic principles of the theory of frames, and, in particular, on approach to study the effects of political frames, which was proposed by D.Snow and R.Benford and actively developed by D.Macleod.The paper contains an overview of the theoretical aspects of studying the role of the frame for policy analysis. The results of the secondary analysis of sociological data on Russian citizens’ attitudes to the mass media and study of modern Russian television audience are provided.The study is concluded by providing the results of practical research of presence of the ‘political opposition’ theme in the media, based on the resources of the online library of Russian-language media Public.ru. It also includes a description of the substantial features of the frame of the political activity of the Russian opposition, created by the Federal mass media.Conclusions made in the study imply that the current state of the public sphere in Russia is characterized by the absence of current political competition and "colonization" of the mass media with the interests of Russian authorities, which prevents the formation of a request for an independent space for communication, where it would be possible to generate the public opinion and develop alternative to pro-government political positions and preferences.The paper is concluded with the deliverables stating that active use of mass media by the Russian authorities as a tool for creating and distributing the frame of the political opposition does not lead to strengthening the legitimacy of the current government. However, it leads to erosion and weakening of the protest potential and the reduction of opposition moods in the society.