Ostrovskaya E.A. Internet Mediatization of Confession in the Orthodox Social Networking Sight vk.com

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2018.3.6

Elena A. Ostrovskaya

Doctor of Sciences (Sociology), Associate Professor, Professor of Department of Theory and History of Sociology, Saint Petersburg State University
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Universitetskaya Emb., 7/9, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

Abstract. The mediatization of social reality, which confidently declared itself in the early 2000s, is clearly presented as a new digital dimension of religion. Religions of the historical heritage of Russia actively master modern media and digital space of the Internet, create their own media environment of religious network interactions and events, discourses concerning society. The mediatizationof religions has the effect of changing the communicative profile of religions, promoting their topics in a broad public discussion on a par with the political and economic agenda. Modern sociological analysis of religion as an integral part of society now involves the search for answers to the question about the correlation of offline measurements of religious interactions, organizations and communications with their online presentations. One of the actual directions of sociological research of the digital space of religious interaction and discourses was the concept of mediatization of religion, developed by the joint efforts of scientists of the international team "Scandinavian research network". In line with this concept, the author refers to the study of the communicative aspect of the confession of the Orthodox faithful in its offline-online dimensions. As a basic and minimal unit of religious participation, confession as an interaction presents aspects of affiliation, religious-worldview and activity involvement. Central to the consideration in this article is the problem of studying the formats of confession representation in a variety of communicative themes of the digital environment of Orthodox parishes. The study in its full volume was carried out in several stages in 2017– 2018 years. For two years the author has been conducting an offline structured observation of confession in the Orthodox churches of Ekaterinburg, processing and analysis of the results; consequently we carried out operationalization of observation units in relation to online communication confession, collected, processed and analyzedthe data. In 2018, the author undertook a study of media communication network vk.com communities of Ekaterinburg parishes, applying structured observation and qualitative content analysis. Using a continuous, multistage, quota sampling, the author has explored digital landscapes, and key communication subjects digital communication 22 vk.com communities of the parishes of Ekaterinburg. The results of our study are presented in detail and analyzed in the article.

Key words: mediatization of religion, Internet communication, Orthodox social networking site vk.com, confession as a digital communication, complete structured observation, content analysis, units of structured observation.

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Internet Mediatization of Confession in the Orthodox Social Networking Sight vk.com by Ostrovskaya E.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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