To study the relationship between the discourses of modernization, technological progress, digital innovations role in the economy and society, and new social practices that have appeared in the space of Internet services, as well as those transformed under the influence of the digital ecosystem.
The modernization theory is used as a general conceptual framework of the study. The mixed methods strategy implemented in this study implied expert survey, in-depth interviews, narrative analysis, reflective thematic analysis, discourse and content analysis, online observation, secondary data analysis.
Since the research is designed as an umbrella project, each part of it deals with its own empirical base and research case (with the exception of theoretical chapters). In total, the study relies on the results of expert and in-depth interviews analysis, content and discourse analysis, as well as online observations and open web-resources data monitoring.
In the course of this study, the authors came to the following conclusions:
Exploration of the ideas about the Russian Internet regulation showed that the state cannot be considered a single, monolithic managing entity. According to the experts’ opinions and official documents content, the “state” is understood as a multiple range of social actors whose participation in Internet regulation is situational and depends on the assigned political goal. Moreover, each actor can have its own vision of what the Internet actually is and meant to be. In addition, Internet regulation studies should pay attention to “imaginary coalitions,” whose members form new alliances and diverge from formal and institutional affiliations.
The analysis of the trends of smartization of urban systems has revealed the growth of the volume and speed of smart technologies adoption in Moscow and other large Russian cities. At the same time, smartization technologies are often implemented without a qualitative assessment of risks for the urban environment. There are practically no studies of cyber hazards for smart cities in Russia; official documents contain only optimistic forecasts and reports on achievements. Lack of attention to the cyber vulnerability of smart cities can lead to a potentially dangerous “expert dictate” and hackers’ blackmailing, as well as large-scale technological disasters.
The study of modernization of the medical and social examination system in Russia showed that, beginning from 2010, the system has been technologically renovated in a number of aspects of its activities. In particular, the process of awarding the “disabled person” status is carried out through the electronic services system and an electronic queue, including the introduction of audio and video recordings of examination procedures. A unified federal electronic registry of disabled persons is set up. The analysis of parents of children with disabilities interviews’ narratives allows to identify key problems that need articulation in public sphere. The study develops the analytical approach to the exploration of public discourses of medical and social examination system reforms with the particular focus on the online self-help groups and public associations of parents of children with disabilities.
The analysis of the university science mediatization has revealed various formats of its presentation by national research universities: the “Science” section; university scientific publications; popular science online media timelines; newsfeeds and announcements; PDF archive or online version of a university corporate newspaper; students’ official media; slide shows on the main university web-page; press releases; posting on social media and YouTube videos. The most common format for keeping the public informed about the scientific activities of a university is a news feed. Most universities do not have specialized online resources promoting university science.
The self-tracking practices study among Russian students revealed four types of self-tracking discourses: “progressive,” “pragmatic,” “critical,” and “dystopian.” They represent differences in understandings of the self-tracking as a cultural phenomenon. Almost all students have some kind of experience with self-tracking, while some seek to limit it, or for some reason abandoned it. According to students’ views, existing self-measurement technologies fail to create a strong motivation for self-optimization, but their effectiveness can be increased in the future.