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Values Underlying the Information Culture in Communist and Post-Communist Russia (1917-1999)

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Smaele, Hedwig de

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Abstract In this article the concept of information culture - understood as the dominant handling of information, shared by a dominant proportion of journalists, the public, authorities and other actors within a societal environment at a given time and place - is explored in the context of Communist and early post-Communist Russia (1917-1999). Three value pairs underlying the attitude towards information are explored: individualism and collectivism (the relation of man to the state), universalism and particularism (the relation of man to man), and pluralism versus dominance (the nature of knowledge and truth). Continuities are found between the Communist Soviet Union and post-Communist Russia in their instrumental use of media and information (collectivism), the view on information as a particular privilege rather than a universal right and the monopoly of truth. Post-Communism, therefore, appears not only as an indication of time (i.e. the period after Communism) but also as an indicator of the continuation of basic value orientations over these time periods. (author's abstract)
Keywords Russia; information flow; information society; media; effect; mass media; media society; communism; post-communist society; political culture; media policy; social norm; value; value system; collectivism; particularism; historical development
Classification Media Politics, Information Politics, Media Law; Media Contents, Content Analysis; Sociology of Communication, Sociology of Language, Sociolinguistics
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 15-25
Journal Media and Communication, 3 (2015) 4
Issue topic Turbulences of the Central and Eastern European Media
ISSN 2183-2439
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution