Digital Political Communication in Russia: Values of Humanism vs. Technocratic Approach

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The massive spread of digital technologies has led to the transformation of practices related to communication and, in particular, political communication. The development of digital technologies in political communication results in the emergence of new participants, who can be called network actors, the perception of which by various social groups is transformed under the influence of the values shared by the communication parties. The research discusses the current state of the communications theory in the light of the digitalizing media space and the transforming humanistic values. The authors suggest applying the ideas of post-humanistic philosophy to the analysis of the problems and prospects of political communication in the context of digitalization. The purpose of the research is to study the specific features of political communication in a digital society based on an anthropocentric approach and in the context of opposing modern humanistic values to the ideas of technocratic control and management. The empirical basis of the study includes the results of two focus groups (students and senior citizens) held in St. Petersburg in the spring of 2022, where participants discussed the problems of communication between people and chatbots. It was found that although young people in general interacted more actively with chatbots, both age groups showed a favorable attitude towards chatbots and technological progress. However, in the senior age group, humanistic values manifested themselves more explicitly (the problem of a “live voice”, issues related to the emotional component of communication, and even concern for jobs that people might lose). The authors conclude about the insufficiency of the technocratic approach and the need to take into account the values of modern humanism in implementing new forms of communication with network actors.

About the authors

Ilya A. Bykov

Saint Petersburg State University

ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8462-5320

Doctor in Political Science, Professor of the Department of Public Relations in Politics and Public Administration

Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

Sergey V. Kurushkin

Saint Petersburg State University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6154-6988

PhD in Political Science, Lecturer of the Department of Theory of Journalism and Mass Communications

Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2022 Bykov I.A., Kurushkin S.V.

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