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Events

(Dis)abling the Public Sphere: Reshaping the Discourses on Disability in Contemporary Russia

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The report reveals the processes of transformation of disability discourses in the Russian public sphere in recent decades.

It is shown how the traditional gatekeepers of public discussions related to significant topics and social problems of disability - the state and state-affiliated organizations - are giving way to new actors and spaces for self-presentation. Among these actors, grassroots public organizations and representatives of communities of people with disabilities, parental self-support groups, fundraisers, performative spaces of art projects, popular bloggers in social media are gaining intensive public support and visibility. The research offers a reflection of the noted changes based on the theoretical typology of four classical models of the public sphere (representative liberal, participatory liberal, discursive and constructionist), time-tested by the researchers of contemporary social movements in Europe and the United States (Ferree, Gamson, Gerhards, Rucht, 2002). Using the case study methodology and the results of 15 expert interviews with activists with disabilities, journalists, NGO representatives, and performative art projects leaders, the authors analyze the possibilities to contextualize this theoretical typology in disability research in the post-Soviet public sphere. The authors consider the formation of discourses of agency in terms of neoliberal “responsibilization” of people with disabilities (Mladenov, 2015), as well as tendencies (com)modification of the category of disability caused by the media and state political technologies to be the core transformations of the Russian public sphere in recent decades.

Speakers :

Olga Verbilovich, Junior Research Fellow Il SIR, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design, HSE University

Elena Iarskaia - Smirnova, Head of IL SIR, Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, HSE University

Discussants:

Evgenia Nim, Associate Professor, Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design, HSE University

Elena Pronkina, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design, HSE University

Moderator:   Sergey Startsev

When : January 27th, 4:00 p.m. (Moscow time)

Language: Russian

Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/98198297970?pwd=a2N0Z20wMjNQdWx1Rytja0hKOUN4UT09

ID: 981 9829 7970
Access code: 359416