Alexey Titkov 1, 2
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 2 The Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, Gazetny Pereulok, 3-5, Moscow, Russian Federation 125009

Culture Mechanisms in Rebellion: Protest as a Language Game

2016, vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 208–233 [issue contents]
Students in the humanities (cultural anthropology, philology, etc.) address the problem of cultural mechanisms in social changes. This problem is one of the key topics in the cultural sociology of the collective monography Anthropology of Protest, written about the popular protest in Russia in 2011–2012. In the Anthropology of Protest, protest rallies are described as a nexus of communication between protesters and the government (macro-level communication), and among protesters (local level communication). The authors focus on the analysis of the protest rallies’ slogans and statements as seen on placards and banners. Special issues in the Anthropology of Protest are the role of language games in protest statements, and the effect of the local (topographic, etc.) context of small protest rallies on the form and content of protest statement (in the cases of Occupy Abay, toy “nano-rallies”, and others). The Anthropology of Protest provokes cultural sociologists to more actively discuss the nature of moral classification, as well as the role and impact of the media. The Yale school of cultural sociology realizes moral classification rather in a structuralist style than as a tool of plain binary oppositions. The revised study describes moral classifications as complex non-linear phenomenon with condensation (Verdichtung), displacement (Verschiebung), or other types of effects which are characteristic of language games. The role of the mass media was described by J. Alexander (in the case of the Watergate affair) through the Durkheimian model of collective ritual. An analysis of the circulation of protest texts and topics in social media incline our attention into an alternate theoretical agenda, that of Tarde’s model of inter-personal influence and diffusion.
Citation: Titkov A. (2016) Vosstanie kul'turnykh mekhanizmov: protest kak yazykovaya igra [Culture Mechanisms in Rebellion: Protest as a Language Game]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 15, no 2, pp. 208-233 (in Russian)
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