Efanov A.A. The Russian-Ukrainian Crisis: Was There a Moral Panic?

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2017.2.10

Aleksandr A. Efanov

Candidate  of Sociological  Sciences, Associate  Professor, Department of Journalism,

Orenburg State Pedagogical University

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Pushkinskaya St., 18, 460000 Orenburg, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article attempts to make a sociological analysis of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, which began in February 2014 and is still  ongoing.  The subject of this study is the  ratio of strategies covering  the  Russian-Ukrainian crisis in news and information programs of the Federal TV channels (“Novosti”, “Vremya”, “Vremya pokazhet” (Pervyy kanal); “Vesti”, “Vecher” s Vladimirom Solovyevym” (VGTRK (“Rossiya 1”, “Rossiya 24”)); “Segodnya”, “Mesto vstrechi” (NTV)) and reactions of society to them. Used the complex of methods: quantitative content analysis, discourse analysis, series of online surveys in the social network “VKontakte” “Panic social moods and television” (n = 400). Chronological framework of the study: December 2014 – December 2016. On the ground of the author’s sociological study it is concluded, that  the Russian-Ukrainian crisis has provoked one of the types of a moral panic – a panic social moods – as a result of risks concerning the viability of society, the potential threat of social boundaries destruction. This topic kept the first place in the “agenda” for more than two years. However in 2016 due to the relative stabilization of the situation in Ukraine the volume of airtime to the coverage of this issue in news programs of the Federal channels decreased 7-fold. The level of panic social moods in relation to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis decreased in 3 times (in 2014 this question was concerned 69 % of respondents, in 2016 – 21 %). Thus, it can be assumed that the decline in media interest will inevitably lead to a recession of panic social moods attitude to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, the gradual development of personality of social immunity to this phenomenon.

Key words: moral panic, Russia, Ukraine, crisis, mass media.       

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