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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
This article, using the 2018 Russian presidential election as an example, examines the technologies used to align politics with spectacle. The author’s opinions and conclusions are based on a theoretical foundation in the form of the “show-orientation” concept, it being a device inherent to modern civilization, associated with a universal distribution of mass media and means of mass communication. Current manifestations of media-biased social and political life are characterized by a universal distribution of traditional and innovative sources for broadcasting event reports. The rapid worldwide development of the internet serves as additional motivation for spreading show business technologies within the realm of politics. The use of show business technologies is especially pronounced during election cycles and electoral campaigns. The author highlights and thoroughly analyzes the following technologies of converging politics with spectacle: event promotion technology, personality promotion technology, targeted informational terrorization technology, performance creation technology and political hype technology. The convergence of politics and spectacle specifically manifests in the form of show business stars directly participating in a campaign, integration of media industry representatives into the electoral process as candidates, strategy for media coverage of electoral campaign topics, turning televised debates into a political show, as well as creating artificial hype around certain events and personas. The use of certain technologies was evident during the 2018 Russian presidential election campaign. As for the social consequences of show business attributes encroaching on the political process, and especially the election itself, they come down to the fact that this leads to the mass perception of traditional political values being undermined. The end goal of spreading show business technologies, given the context of show-orientation being a device of modern civilization, is an eventual simplification of how the public perceives objective reality.
elections, election campaign, showization, mass consciousness, mass media, public policy, information terrorism, political performance, political hype.
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