The Use of Blogs as a Persuasive Instrument : Examining the Case of Online Discussions of Social Injustice in the Russian Federation

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Title: The Use of Blogs as a Persuasive Instrument : Examining the Case of Online Discussions of Social Injustice in the Russian Federation
Author: Skoromnova, Maria
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Sosiaalitieteiden laitos
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Research
Helsingfors universitet, Statsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för socialvetenskaper
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2013
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Media and Communication Studies
Medier och kommunikation
Abstract: The growth of public debates in the Russian Federation and an increase of state control over the media channels force people to seek for an alternative platform where they can create a visible counter voice against the state. At the beginning of the 21st century, the Russian networked social movements have adopted blogosphere for this purpose. Eventually, they have turned it into a center of public debates about the issues of social injustice in the society. The current research aims to discover how Russian users of LiveJournal constructed persuasive argumentation and what strategies they use to persuade an audience into changing their opinion and attitudes in reference to case of social injustice. The research is valuable because it reveals relevant information about the values and the motives of the online citizens in the country. The study is based on an analysis of blog entries published on a social networking platform LiveJournal. The blog entries are related to a certain single case study. The case study tells about a car accident which happened on 25 February, 2010, in Moscow. This study belongs to qualitative research. The flexibility of the method allows using different techniques and methods for the analysis. I applied the method of pentad criticism by Kenneth Burke (1945). The data materials consist of 121 blog entries which were published on from 25 February, 2010, till 30 April, 2010. I collected data with the help of searching machines integrated into their interface of website. The results of the study conclude that the selection of one persuasive strategy of narration over the other replicates the logic of people’s behaviour. Possessing both private and public characteristics, communication in the blogosphere may create tension when users talk about crucial topics as social injustice in the society. As a result, an application of different persuasive strategies helps to counterbalance bloggers’ tension between desires to express their personality and reach their persuasive goals.

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