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Technological Modernization in Countries with Hybrid Political Regimes: Public Discourses and Social Practices

2020
Department: School of Media

Goal of the research

To characterise production and execution of technological (digital) modernization project in hybrid regimes countries (in Russia in the first instance).

Methodology

Conceptual model of the research is based on a modernization theory and mediatization framework. Empirical research methods are online survey, in-depth interview, narrative analysis, content analysis, frame analysis, Secondary data analysis. There is used mixed research design.

Empirical base of the research

The project uses integrative approach, so each of the research cases has empirical base. The study is based on results of surveys, in-depth interviews, narrative analysis, discourse analysis and data of Internet resources monitoring.

Results of research

In a study the authors have concluded:

a) Historical analysis of social and legal discourses about the Internet shows that the Internet as the object of state regulation and sovereignty is complex. It is necessary to move beyond the idea of a global and Western-centric Internet to the idea of a decentralized history of the Internet with many local Internet and with different political possibilities.

b) A study of digital disconnection of Russian IT-specialists indicates that the rejection of involvement in Internet communications is associated with the following factors: the loss of “elite” place status by the Internet (with a bulk user), Internet commercialization, political regulation of the Russian Internet (Runet) and a concern about the use personal data by government and corporations.

c) The COVID-19 pandemic make a serious impact on all areas of social life, including the use and perception of public urban spaces. A quantitative survey which was conducted in the spring of 2020 showed that the young population of Moscow take protective measures against COVID-19 ambiguously. At the same time, most of the respondents agree that lockdown is more or less necessary.

d) Trends of representations of education policy and reforms became visible by сontent analysis of Russian media. Specifically, simplification and populism of the audience's ideas about the education system, its goals, actors and reforms. Media separate into "elite" and "popular" clusters, the first speaks about the progress of Russian universities in Educational Rankings, and the second speaks is skeptical of educational innovations.

e) Analysis of the educational mediatization process by Russian technology companies is demonstrated that companies are becoming significant players in the educational services market. Specifically, educational project Yandex.Practicum is successful. The goal of the project is training of IT specialists. A specific feature of the project is the use of transmedia storytelling.

According to the results of the survey, the use of mobile media plays an important role in the romantic communication of students, it influences on their ideas about love relationships and forms new norms of it. Mobile technologies frame practices of participation (collective everyday life, collective creativity, sexting, etc.) and practices of separation (conflicts, partings, hosting). Mobile media make it possible to regulate media-related interactions with a romantic partner