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Session Overview
RN18_07b_IC: Theatricalization and Digital Representations
Thursday, 31/Aug/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Christiana Constantopoulou, Panteion University Social and Political Sciences
Location: Intercontinental - Aphrodite I
Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel Syngrou Avenue 89-93 Athens, Greece Floor: Lobby Level

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eva aladro, dimitrina semova, paula requeijo


In our contribution we describe the procedures and results of the European Project ( Erasmus Plus) “Artivism: Social Practices as Instruments to Social Transformation” where four European institutions are working, collecting and studying different political/artistic phaenomena connected with political and social action in the main cities of Spain, France, England and Hungary.

The Project focuses on establishing a Worldwide Artivism Archive which will collect the main artivistic phaenomena throughout the globe. We show the different phases of the Project, such as the Idea Bank with the main issues of young political and social interests, the Artivism Archive in which we select “artivists” connected with Ideas of our Bank, and finally the Initiation to Artivism Workshops which will in the end channel the artivistic forms of social and political action to the youngsters .

In our exposition we will specially focus on some interesting cases concerning the Idea Bank we have developed and how the artivistic efforts towards a new impulse in political life are enriching social and political agendas of social life. Artivism is enriching and giving new life to the theatralization of political life as prove some important political processes born in last years. We will present how the birth of a new political energy was born in the artivistic way of mobilising people, although this new impulse is not present in mainstream mass media and traditional public opinion. We will discuss the struggle between artivism new politics and old ways of social tendencies, to change and evolution.

YouTube reviewers: Exploring the emerging practices and boundaries of online reviewing

Maarit Jaakkola

University of Gothenburg, Sweden

This paper inquires into the boundaries and definitions of digital-native reviewing beyond the traditional institutional milieu of arts and cultural criticism. Reviewing new cultural products has been an integrative part of the artworld, but reviewing in the field of popular culture has been less systematized, recognised and studied (cf. Orlik 2016, Wright 2015, Blank 2007). In this paper, I will first outline a tentative definition of reviewing and then test and contest it with three cases that I exploratorily call video reviewers, comedy reviewers and player-reviewers, who represent different groups of YouTube content creators with a critical relationship to cultural products. By analysing and discussing their videos as a boundary work from three perspectives with an integrated (and updated) conceptualization of criticism - professionalism, entertainment, and fanwork - I intend to arrive at a framework in which the concept of reviewing/criticism can be theoretically conceptualized in the context of digital environments and global popular culture for further study.

Gamification in Russian Bloggers’ Communication as a form of Teatralization.

Elena Chankova

Russian State Social University, Russian Federation

Modern social discourse (networks, blogging and more) is characterized by the absence of shared rule. The collapse of social institutions rules in virtual space is a social problem in contemporary media discourse. Social consequences of the phenomenon are expressed in the form of weakened normative regulators, drastic value change and lack of socio-cultural norms. Participants’ expectations become unpredictable and uncertain. The usual mechanisms of social interaction are broken in the new virtual condition . In this situation actors use reflection to regulate their behavior. Moreover, rationalization of behavior and the construction of new norms of communication contribute to overcome the uncertainty. Rationall behavior of an individual serves as a tool to overcome the breaks in linearity.

The content analysis of Russian blogs concerned with important social and political events in Russia and in the world allow to reveal specific forms of virtual interactions. It is the form of gamification - the hybrid of gaming and pragmatic action. This form refers to the situation that is not regulated by social institutions. The most confident actors perceive the situation as a game. They substitute the essence of the situation and seek through a reflexive search, forseeing the best options for self-realization in the game. In conditions of uncertainty, the actors distort the situation instead of increasing certainty. They turn the situation into a game and instead of sharing meaning they seek every opportunity to win. The parties are seeking to hurt each other and not to prove the truth and make a fool of oneself in front of others. This is the real behavior of people in the network.


Oksana Lychkovska

Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University, Ukraine

Our contribution deals with specific character of contemporary hybrid war represented in digital media. The main element of actual political performances is creation of ambivalent narrative constructions such a narrative of crisis which reflects political postmodernism in public and media spheres. Actual political narrative encompasses all crucial components of postmodern ideology: relativity of truth, truth and lie are defunct as antipodes, reality takes shape in fiction, fact-checking of breaking news is absent as far as its necessary is arguable. Thus, the boundaries between law and lawlessness, between sovereignty and interference in internal affairs, between war and peace, reality and fiction began to dissolve. Situations of postmodern in politics concede when the same political actors are combatants, arbiters and moderators of peaceful settlement. The Ukrainian case, “the Crimea issue” and Russian-Ukrainian hybrid war is one of such illustrative example of theatricalization of politics which can have rather crucial effects.

Sociological content-analysis of Ukrainian and Russian media narratives concerned “the Crimea issue” enabled to reveal principal components of information hybrid war that took place in traditional and digital media: concealed mechanisms of political confrontation, new “soft power” as misinformation which forms dissociated consciousness and controlled personality. The examination of special categories of narrative analysing such as “agenda settings”, “types of content’s general modality”, “presence/absence of imperative modality”, “special visual ways of influence”, “character of conflict”, “heroes/committers of conflict” permitted to construct and compare two opposite models of postmodern hybrid information wars: authoritarian and libertarian ones relative to “authoritarian and libertarian” media conceptions.

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