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New role-of-social-media-litvinenko


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4.5.12, Bottom-Up and Top-Down, Main Hall: Role of social media in political mobilization in Russia (Anna Litvinenko) #CeDEM12

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New role-of-social-media-litvinenko

  1. 1. Role of social media in politicalmobilization in Russia(on the example of parliamentaryelections 2011) Dr. Anna Litvinenko, St. Petersburg State University
  2. 2. „The Web That Failed“ (Fossato, 2010)“despite the presence of the internet, Russia has remained a relatively authoritarian state in which political parties and grass-roots organizations have had little role to play” (Oates, S., 2008, p.2).
  3. 3. Social mobilization in Russia “Organization leaders and political judgments are an important way in which the soviet experience continues to shape post/soviet state/society interactions. … more specifically, activists redeploy their preexisting beliefs, networks and resources in the post-soviet context to construct organizations and build relationships. … (Henry 2010) Started 2008 with local cases, solving practical problems; has increased enormously since 2010.
  4. 4. Movement „For Fair Elections“
  5. 5. Portrait of protesters most of the registered people for the rallies were from 18 to 28 years old with the peak figures in the age group from 23 to 24 31 percent of protesters in Moscow were between 25 and 39 years old, and 25 percent between 18 and 24. They were mostly well-educated, middle-class people; the urban elite. (poll during the second big rally in Moscow, on the 24th December, Levada-centre, 2011)
  6. 6. “Digital natives” in Russia “Generation Z” (Hawkins P., Schmidt L. 2008) – young people who don’t remember life without Internet and who were media-socialized already in the digital age, have come into their own historic “switch” of generations in Russia
  7. 7. “Modern Performers” and “Post- Materialists” (classification of the Sinus-Institute).
  8. 8. Participation divide 50 million Internet users in September 2011 it is still only one-third of the Russian population. But even if people are online or using blogs, most of them are hardly interested in politics (Etling, Alexanyan, Kelly, Faris, Palfrey, Gasser 2010), which correlates with the international patterns of internet usage (Castells 2007). Russian Facebook, which can be considered as a core “meeting point” political opposition has 9 million users.
  9. 9. Two information „worlds“ it is challenging for acute political topics to make a spill-over from the blogosphere to traditional media, especially to state- controlled TV-channels if they do manage it, then these topics get a certain political spin that matches with the usual news framing of these TV- channels. Still no ‘hybrid media system’ (Chadwick 2011) in Russia
  10. 10. Role of social media: Thanks to the ease of political participation via the Internet, political activism is facilitated The spiral of silence (Noelle-Neumann 1993) works as well in the social networking sites, facilitates spill-over from online- communication to offline-activism
  11. 11. New role of traditional media Journalists as activists and opinion leaders Content providers for discussion in social media
  12. 12. ConclusionThere are significant changes going on in the Russiapublic sphere due to the usage of social media inpolitical communication. It is not appropriate to talkabout “a revolution,” because only a relatively smallpart of the population takes part in the oppositionaldiscourse, but there are definitely some signs of anevolution towards democratization to be seen,although a more exact prognosis of the futuredevelopment can be given only after the evaluation ofthe evolution of the protest movement after thepresidential elections in March 2012.
  13. 13. Thank you for your attention! Anna Litvinenko, PhD