Although conflict representation in media has been widely studied, few attempts have been made to perform large-scale comparisons of agendas in the media of conflicting parties, especially for armed country-level confrontations. In this paper, we introduce quantitative evidence of agenda divergence between the media of conflicting parties in the course of the Ukrainian crisis 2013–2014. Using 45,000 messages from the online newsfeeds of a Russian and a Ukrainian TV channels, we perform topic modeling coupled with qualitative analysis to reveal crisis-related topics, assess their salience and map evolution of attention of both channels to each of those topics. We find that the two channels produce fundamentally different agenda sequences. Based on the Ukrainian case, we offer a typology of conflict media coverage stages.
Russia has a widespread injection drug use epidemic with high prevalence of HIV and HCV among people who inject drugs (PWID). We conducted a mixed methods study of young (age 18-26) hard drug users in St. Petersburg. Thirty-nine structured and 10 semi-structured interviews were conducted. No HIV cases and two HCV cases were detected among the PWID subsample (n=29). Amphetamine and other stimulants were common (70%), opioid use was rare and episodic. Consistent condom use was low. No PWID reported syringe-sharing, 51% reported other drug paraphernalia sharing. Contacts with older (30+) PWID were rare. A new cohort of drug users in St. Petersburg may have emerged, which is much safer in its injection practices compared to previous cohorts. However, risky sexual practices of this new cohort may expose them to the possibility of sexual transmission of HIV and widespread drug paraphernalia sharing to the HCV epidemic.
During the nineteenth century, German philosophy developed from a type of general knowledge to an academic discipline at the university. Changes across disciplines to the philosophy of science and psychological surveys created new challenges for the place and purpose of philosophy in the educational system. The content of logic courses for secondary schools (Gymnasiums) was centred on the dissociation of nature and the scale of logic.In this paper, I will examine a number of projects for teaching philosophy at the secondary school level from new humanism to reduce philosophical to philological concerns about different projects offered by Niethammer, Hegel and Herbart. Then, I will focus on the most successful – Adolf Trendelenburg’s Elements of Aristotle’s Logic (1st edition of 1836). This work is a compilation of the logical texts of Aristotle, and for as long as sixty years, it was an official textbook in Prussian secondary schools. The aim of the paper is to show how the rethinking of Aristotle’s heritage affected the theoretical and ideological expectations of propaedeutic courses and transformed the image of logic as a philosophical discipline.
Due to weak state and administrative capacity, the Russian government has involved resource-rich non-state actors into policy-making since about 2005 and established numerous institutionalized platforms, networks, and forums. These networks mainly emerge on regional and local levels and are designed to generate policy advice, implement decisions, and contribute to output legitimacy. A crucial question is how the authorities govern and regulate these bodies under the terms of a hybrid regime. The paper sheds light on why and how state authorities interact with non-state actors and unravels functions and flavors of governance networks in Russia. Drawing on the empirical results of case studies on anti-drug policy conducted in the regions Samara and St Petersburg, the paper reveals that state dominance within networks is a significant characteristic, although authorities rarely apply explicit ‘hard’ tools of government onto collaborations with non-state actors. The paper also allows for theorizing on the role of governance networks in a hybrid regime.
In this paper, drawing on empirical evidence from Russian society, the authors seek to analyze the ways in which ordinary people can overcome a perceived gap between “high” politics and their everyday experiences. We argue that the concept of everyday politics is not enough to prepare the ground for politicization in everyday life, at least in highly dismantled society. In examining ethnographic case studies of people who consider themselves apolitical, the paper introduces the concept of “pragmatic politics,” which is defined as an activity of inscribing the broader world within the sensitive everyday experience. The examined case studies speak to four different modes of everyday politics that reveal various modalities of pragmatic politics.
This chapter draws some conclusions about distinctive features of post-Soviet creativity, looking at the example of the career trajectories and professional identities of recent creative graduates from Moscow and St. PetersburgThe emerging Russian contemporary art industry, in transition from the Soviet cultural monopoly to the market economy, has not yet established standards of cultural production. Until then, the organisation of creative work involves negotiation and experiment in an ideological battlefield where neoliberal creative entrepreneurialism and the principles of Soviet bureaucratic organisation can meet, accompanied by the heroisation of labour. Conducted in Moscow and St. Petersburg from 2013 to 2017, the study is based on 61 in-depth interviews with young curators, art managers and visual artists. It reveals that at least two cultural systems, based on different set of skills and promising different forms of rewards, are active in Russia at the same time. Thus, to gain access, creative graduates should be qualified in both and must be capable of switching fluently between the two systems.
This two volume constitutes the refereed proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Digital Transformation and Global Society, DTGS 2019, held in St. Petersburg, Russia, in June 2019.
Beginning in the early 1920s, Bolshevik leaders proclaimed the need to radically revise the pre-revolutionary legacy of children’s literature and to create new Soviet books for children. In our paper, we seek to disentangle what factors played a role in the chances of legacy authors and works to be included in the limited selection of appropriated children’s classics by the 1930s. Based on thе comprehensive bibliographic data on books for children printed between 1918 and 1932 along with several authoritative Soviet sources recommending books for children, we use statistical modeling to assess what authorities effectively served as a kind of “security certificate” protecting certain authors and books from the default purge policy. Our results indicate that inclusion in the 1923 Narkompros list of authors whose work was pronounced a state monopoly, as well as inclusion in the Gorky’s list of books suggested for his “World Literature” publishing house both had a significant positive effect on the number of printings by the given author. Contrary to our expectations, the popularity of the author in the pre-revolutionary anthologies for children did not promise any significant publishing growth prospects in the 1920s and early 1930s.
Topic modeling is a popular approach for clustering text documents. However, current tools have a number of unsolved problems such as instability and a lack of criteria for selecting the values of model parameters. In this work, we propose a method to solve partially the problems of optimizing model parameters, simultaneously accounting for semantic stability. Our method is inspired by the concepts from statistical physics and is based on Sharma–Mittal entropy. We test our approach on two models: probabilistic Latent Semantic Analysis (pLSA) and Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) with Gibbs sampling, and on two datasets in different languages. We compare our approach against a number of standard metrics, each of which is able to account for just one of the parameters of our interest. We demonstrate that Sharma–Mittal entropy is a convenient tool for selecting both the number of topics and the values of hyper-parameters, simultaneously controlling for semantic stability, which none of the existing metrics can do. Furthermore, we show that concepts from statistical physics can be used to contribute to theory construction for machine learning, a rapidly-developing sphere that currently lacks a consistent theoretical ground.
This paper investigates to what extent activity of a social movement on a social networking site is related to participation in offline collective action. Through this research, we seek to contribute to a broader theory of effective communicative structures of social movements. We use the data of roughly 12,000 individuals from 17 online groups representing the branches of the ‘Observers for Fair Elections’ movement in 17 districts of St. Petersburg, Russia, and compare their online properties to real offline participation of movement members in elections in the role of electoral observers. We find that while prediction of individual offline participation with this online data is of limited power, association between district participation rates and online group features is very strong. Large, more inclusive and evenly connected networks, where people are engaged in high-threshold online activities, produce more offline participants; weak individual-level prediction, combined with strong group-level prediction, suggests either the presence of the ‘network effect’ or of third factors – such as prior contentious experience or the effect of leaders.
This article considers the “territoriality” of civic institutions. Is the “frontier thesis” – according to which areas of new settlement exhibit higher levels of individualism, political activism, and civic organisation – a description only of the western United States, or is it a manifestation of a more generalisable phenomenon found in other global frontier regions? In order to do this, we examine data on the nature of civic institutions in frontier zones in four countries: Brazil, Russia, Canada and the USA. Taking a wide range of survey items, we find that voluntary activity, social trust, tolerance of outgroups, and civic protest are not unique to the American historical experience, but generalised legacies of frontier life. We suggest that the experience of settlement is conducive to the formation of norms of community solidarity and cooperation, and this observation should encourage a new wave of comparative frontier studies.
This paper considers the efforts of local activists to participatein public discussions on contested territories in St. Petersburg, Russia, and influence political decision-making on their (re)development and change. It also questions to what degree such grassroots efforts become political and analyzes different contexts for, and barriers to, politicization. Complementing sociological theorization on civic engagement and civic participation with French pragmatism, we examine how these activists constantly shift between informal, context-specific forms of protest and more institutionalized and politicized ones. Using a case-study approach, we describe and compare two recent conflicts in St. Petersburg where local residents resisted (re)development projects imposed by political and economic elites: the defence of the Yurgens House in the historic center of the city against its expected demolition, and the protest against renovation in Alexandrino, a park area on the city’s periphery. The analysis is based on semi-structured interviews with local activists, participant and non-participant observation at public rallies and other gatherings, and qualitative analysis of protesters’ communication practices on social networks. We demonstrate that external political and social constraints encourage activists to be flexiblein their forms of engagement, using a wide repertoire of tools of contestation, using local knowledge tactically, operating rationally within legal frameworks, and addressing broad audiences in search for public justification and support. We conclude that, whether theselocal activists remain at the level of informal place-based initiatives or opt for more institutionalized and professionalized forms of civic participation, they insistently reject the political rationale of their efforts.
In the context of the spreading HIV epidemic in Russia and the lack of government's effectiveness in addressing this problem, the role and importance of HIV activism in protecting the rights and improving the quality of life of HIV positive people has been increasing. This article focuses on the development of the HIV community in St. Petersburg, one of the largest and the most problematic, in terms of the HIV epidemic, cities in Russia. The research was conducted within the qualitative methodology, using ethnographic case-study methods and biographical interviews. The authors use the analysis of field observations and 19 interviews with men and women involved in HIV activism in St. Petersburg to show how collective actions of NGOs and action groups form the city HIV community through working with different groups and the development of participants' agency
HIV testing among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Russia has been documented to be low; however, few studies have been conducted outside of the major metropolitan cities. The aim of this study was to determine how many PWID were aware of their HIV serostatus and what motivators were associated with getting tested for HIV.
Our analysis describes HIV testing behaviours among 593 PWID in Ivanovo and Novosibirsk, Russia. Participants completed a questionnaire and consented to HIV testing. We used logistic regression modelling to determine demographic and behavioural correlates of HIV testing.
Self-reported history of HIV testing was 52% in Ivanovo and 54% in Novosibirsk. Prior knowledge of serostatus was very low among PWID who tested positive (3 of 102 in Ivanovo and 0 of 11 in Novosibirsk). The most common reason for testing was doctor referral, and the most common locations were government HIV/AIDS centres and prisons. HIV testing was rarely client initiated or led by a personal motivation for being tested.
HIV testing in Ivanovo and Novosibirsk is suboptimal, resulting in poor knowledge of HIV serostatus. More programmes to promote HIV testing among PWID are urgently needed in both cities.
We address the question how people’s opinion and features of information interact in the process of indirect social influence. Implicit learning was considered as a mechanism for conformity in social perception. We carried out 2 experiments using a hidden covariation detection paradigm. In a learning phase, participants memorized a set of female photographs presented together with their attractiveness ratings. The ratings correlated with the hairstyle of the photographed women. The participants who did not consciously detect this correlation demonstrated a systematic bias toward the correlation when evaluating the new stimulus persons. Information about the source of the ratings in the learning phase (other people’s opinions or nonsocial sources) did not modulate learning. Learning was not observed when participants critically evaluated the ratings during the memorization phase. The study shows that (a) conformity may be based not only on reinforcement learning mechanism (as was previously suggested) but also on unsupervised implicit learning; (b) implicit learning occurs automatically irrespective of the context (social or not); and (c) a critical attitude toward learned material may prevent implicit learning from being manifested in a test phase. We conclude that indirect social influence may be affected by people’s opinion toward the provided information. The study contributes to both implicit learning and social perception research.
This introduction article is divided into three parts that together provide an overview of concepts which guide this special issues overarching vision. First, we interrogate the idea of the “Cold War” as a discrete historical period and narrative frame for understanding religion's histories and politics. When doing this, we point to asymmetries in experiencing the Cold War legacies in different “worlds.” Second, we introduce “religion” as an empirical object of analysis, considering various methods for approaching the rhetorical, ritual and political-theological aspects of everyday religious life. Third, we consider how the post-WWII era of decolonization shaped the border and territorial politics of the Cold War, and consequently, examine various concepts of the “border.”
This introduction aims to present the general outline of the special issue and to elaborate on the context against which most of the studies were conducted. We discuss the political, economic, social, and historical processes that contribute to shape Russia; this helps to understand local activism and protest in contemporary Russia. Since this context is relevant to all the papers, the readers would benefit from reading this introduction first. The second part of this paper introduces the contribution that the special issue makes to the study of activism and politics, with papers analyzing different aspects and kinds of activism in a variety of circumstances and settings. A central question common to all papers is the problem of politicization which is treated at the intersection between social and political inequalities, the experience of everyday life and political imagination.
The article deals with representation of labour migrants’ languages in St. Petersburg’s
linguistic landscape. The data analyzed in the article were gathered through fieldwork (in
2016–2017) in different districts of the city. The communication between the majority and
ethnic minorities is conducted only in Russian, both in official and in informal exchanges,
such as between commercial agencies and non-Russian speakers. Even in places with no
official regulation, non-Russian languages’ use is significantly rare and occurs predominantly in the frame of in-group communication. Only two languages, Chinese and Uzbek,
occasionally can be used in advertisements but targeted exclusively to minorities. Both
official language policy and attitudes of ethnic majority tend to ignore actual diversity of
the city, maintaining urban monolingual‘façade’.
The article focused on the experience of studying youth cultural practices and group identities in Russia in the post-soviet era. The attention to 25 years period of the youth cultural space transformation could be explained not only with scientific interest and an attempt to understand the changes that have occurred in this historical period, but with the fact, that during these years the theoretical and practical findings and work of the Scientific Centre “Region”, Ulyanovsk State University (founded in 1995) and Centre for Youth Studies, Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg (founded in 2009) were developed. The task to include in the frame of one article all our results is ambitious and perhaps could not be complete. That is why we will focus the main attention on the key directions of the transformation of youth cultural practices, on the crucial plots of the direct and mediated influence of global trends as well as local discourses. It is important to understand: did these changes follow the global tendencies (Europe, North America, and Australia) described in the key works of researchers of youth cultures and practices? Or is the Russian case an exception fallen out the ‘classical’ picture? The basis for the analysis is the data from key research projects of our Centers, as well as new theoretical and methodological approaches to the analysis of changing youth sociality in the frame of political and cultural transformations of Russian society.
The contemporary youth studies are developing as mostly metrocentric. As a result, rural youth often find themselves out of the focus of attention of researchers, and they are marginalised in comparison with urban youth, whose experience and lifestyle are perceived as the normative model for all areas. In these conditions, rural space is labelled as illegitimate and structurally depriving for youth. This approach is criticised by researchers working in the tradition of cultural geographies of childhood and youth, who take into account the multiple, complex, often contradictory, but still unique and autonomous experiences of today's young people living in rural areas. The article is based on 59 biographical interviews and describes how Russian rural youth comprehend belonging to places in three rural localities. The authors single out three types of prerequisites defining the place attachment and local identities among young people: rational choice, biographical rootedness, and community rootedness.