THE INTERNET AS A COMMUNICATIVE TECHNOLOGY AND ITS POLITICAL VALUE
Keywords:political ideology, cognitive-ideological matrices, student consciousness
The work presents some results obtained in the process of implementing two sociological studies of the consciousness of students in the South of Russia, conducted by the research team of the Southern Federal University in the period of 2014-2016 and 2018-2019. Methodologically, both studies included a series of free group interviews, questionnaires and focus groups. Analysis of the data obtained shows a significant shift in the sentiments of student youth towards greater opposition to the current government: if in 2015 less than two-thirds of the respondents (60.6%) believed that radical changes in Russia were impossible, then in 2019 more than two-thirds of respondents expected serious shocks (72.4%). Among the key reasons for the growing tension in Russian society, students name socio-economic (42.2%) and internal politics (50.0%). But the greatest resonance in the student mind is caused by the attempts of the Russian authorities to control the Internet. Thus, according to a survey conducted in 2019, 37.4% of respondents consider the Internet the most important source of information, and another third (29.5%) point to the anti-constitutional nature of these laws. Therefore, Internet restrictions may well become an annoying factor: 39.7% of those surveyed declared their readiness to take part in protests, if there are any. The analysis shows that the communicative value of the Internet is at a much deeper level of the cognitive structures of student consciousness than traditional political values. The value of Internet freedom turns out to be one of the most basic values for today's youth, comparable to fundamental values such as social connections, recognition, identity, etc.
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