Krasniakova A. O. Internet communication as a factor of consolidation of individual political subjectivity

The Internet communication is defined as subject social interaction carried out by verbal and non-verbal means on the Internet. The issues of studying the Internet communication have been analysed and its characteristics have been determined. It is proved that online communication in politics, unlike other communication media, has advantages, which promote the formation of the two-way subject-subject model of communicative interaction. It is stressed that virtual interaction, on one hand, stimulates subject’s activity and, on the other, can lead to individual’s isolation from the current political realities. The findings of the empirical research dealing with youth’s subjective evaluation of the influence of social actors on the development of the political subjectivity are presented. It has been found out that according to the respondents the impact of the Internet communication on the development of the political subjectivity is made on the level of micro- and meso-environment and it is more potential than the influence of political parties and state institutions.

Key words: the Internet communication, political subjectivity, social interaction, social networks, micro and meso environment.

Problem. Rapid growth of the internet technologies cause emerging of new field of action for people, opens new potential for self-development and self-realization. Internet dramatically changes the way of life of the modern human, influences on user’s knowledge formation system, life value orientation and worldview. Due to technological progress develop changes of the communication progress structure. The distance between users are decreased, every subject has the opportunity to take part simultaneously in different forms of communication interaction – mass, group, interpersonal; in communicator or recipient role. New type of social interaction in virtual space develops – internet communication, the main goal of which are not only sharing verbal and nonverbal information but also creating and maintenance of new social connections.

The main problem of internet communication in political virtual space, is that communication in the net shouldn’t consider like traditional process, that applies connection between politics and peoples, communities and generations. Modern internet technologies are forming new type of thinking, changes the translation mechanisms of social experience. For a quite short period of time cyber-generation become more experienced than older people, and the gap between the generations in the views on economics, politics, culture is increased. Modern conflict between the generations are not limited in traditional way like father-son contradictions. Common system of socialization is destroyed, appearing new one, unknown by previous generations methods how life experience transfers. If within the configurative culture of industrial and postindustrial society transferring of the life experience comes from older to younger generations or from peers to peers, but within the part of the prefigurative culture of information society knowledge sent from senior to younger generations likewise as from younger to senior. So internet communication like social    interaction system in combination with traditional subjects of the political socialization is helps to obtain political knowledge, values, achieve behavioral norms and simultaneously form new expectations of young generation to political development of the country. According to this investigation of the internet communication and its influence on the process of political socialization and subjectivity of young people are significant scientific and social problem.

Some aspects of communicative interaction in the field of the internet of the young people were analyzed by (Bilius I.M., Kvit.C.M, Konoplotskii C.M., Klimchyk V.O., Luchinkina I.A., Mironrnko G.V., Naidonova L.A., Ostapenko M.A., Petrun’ko V.O., Pigolenko V.I., Posohova V.V., Pochepcova G.G., Romanenko V.O., Sus’ka O.O., Sherbin V.M., et al. [2; 5-7]. Though internet communication like of the formation factor of the political subjectivity still not considered.

Goals: identified and characterized by features of the internet communication like factor of the formation political subjectivity of the young people; empirically investigate subjective evaluation of the influence of internet communication on political subjectivity evidence by students.

In the modern investigations of the problem of the communicative people activity in the net we observe different approaches for determination of the term “internet investigation”. There is controversy between the scientists about the substantive (communication, hyper-communication, discus, conversation) and adjective (virtual, network, electronically, computer mediated, computer, digital). With the increasing number of the investigations in different fields of science we observe large misunderstanding within the form and the single noun “communication”, but still majority of scientist use term “internet communication”, “internet discus”, “computer communication”, “network communication”, “virtual communication”, “hyper-communication” like synonyms.

Open question remains about the ratio between the term “conversation in the internet”, “communication in the internet”, “internet-communication”. Its explained by the difference of communication in virtual space comparing traditional one. In this process of communicative interaction thought the shortening of the distance among the user new types of relationships and styles of communicative interaction occurs. Every participant of the communicative process in the internet acts independent, becomes a subject of the internet society and internet environment.

Scientists suggests that the special features of the internet-communication are virtuality, interactivity, hypertextuality, globality, creativity, anonymity, fragmentivity, mosaicness. Wherein they are point attention to the trance-marginal character of user’s communication in the internet (number of anonymous users and spread of information are undetermined), high mobility of users (person, social system, social institutions), changes in hierarchy information spreading (from vertical, one subject is dominating over another, to equal), two-sidenes [1; 2; 5-7; 10]. We thought that internet communication in political space also has advantages from another types of communicative interaction. They are:

  1. Mutually mediated interaction of politicians, government members, leaders of social and political organizations with every user by pages in social networks, chats, email, skype etc.;
  2. Diffusion of communication through time and place in the internet-space – interaction didn’t bound to the place and time of user. Place and time in virtual space modeling by user itself;
  3. Convergence tendencies – influences on subject-subject communication model formation. First of all, seen in tolerance to political uncertainty of other subject of interaction, finding a compromise to his opinion. According to theory of psycho – sociological interaction Tatenko V.O. “instead of subject-subject inherently ideas of rivalry, surviving one through the another, proposing subject-subject model of mutually mediated self-grown, i.e:  every one actively, thoughtfully, initiatively, ethically and creatively gives all the maximum and the best that he have and take same from another. Develops real, social “We” [8, p.184]. Great example of society interaction we can see in social network Facebook;
  4. Lack of social and age differentiation of users – authority of users, including politicians of any age and social status, and depending not from his social status but from his intelligence level and computer competence and activity. Important thing an existence of they own political sight, emotional positivism, communicative competence, systematical presence in the network and the knowledge of preforming high integrative actions in political space.

Never the less internet communication has it negative effects, that can affect the process of political personality formation. We propose to consider different paradoxes of the internet communication influence.

  1. Internet communication continue the line of human inventions like radio, telegraph, telephone, TV, that connects people from different countries, religious, languages. At the same time with advancement of internet technologies number of social and war conflicts are increased, number of participants and ranges of this conflicts are also increasing. According to Hans Koechler (retired professor of philosophy at the University of Innsbruck, Austria) under condition of a modern information society the development of the global network doesn’t lead to social progress. “Neither Internet, nor the new social media doesn’t bring us to peace and justice. On the contrary last decade of hatred among the civilizations and splits in society are increased “[4, p.76].
  2. There is a fact that online interaction between users has the psychotherapeutics effect, since it lowers physical activity, decreases conflictability thought reduction of personal contacts. However, due to hyper-communication internet-space becomes a platform where sharp political discussions occurs and in result of it political opposition and tension level in society are increased. It is certainly having an influence of psychological status of the people. Beside this transient, fragmentation and mosaic of the information in the virtual space creates informational overload and this is result of aggression.
  3. Dipping in to the political flow of information, sometime controversial and has provoke content, causes “slipping” of information, therefore problem of information sorting becomes actual. The possibility of acquiring different information, make comments of it and further sending it to others, from one side make subject more active and from another make it lonely in the boundless virtual space. Young people how doesn’t have enough of life experience start to use only that part of political information that can be useful for defending they life interests. Excessive information becomes “noise background” that interrupts social and political analysis, holds back real life political activity. Besides people exclusion from direct participant in activity of the controlling organs of self-organization, social and political organizations result in development only virtual, fake political subjectivity, when person feel them like a subject only in virtual political space. So activity in virtual space stimuli activity of a person in social and political space but if virtual activity doesn’t have a feedback from activity in real world, result is increasing of personal isolation from political reality. This can be a cause of fake political subjectivity development which later, if real political action occurs, can convert to real, effective or remains only virtual.

  We should mark that in virtual world person always operate with images, that occurs in the result of information analysis of a different agents of interaction. According Jürgen Habermas agents of the influence in the virtual space are so called feudal of a public space (providers, editors, administrator of the sites), which are trying to affect on a conscience of internet users and not only field contend with information but also imposed their position [9]. So, in the process of internet communication person feels like independent cause he thought that creates new social connections, controls his own political space of interaction, take virtual part in political events, political debates, discussions on social and political theme. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t forget that internet technologies insensibly for human bound in their memory any information and in that motive form they needs, interests, values, political sights. Moreover, any user is open for external influence including manipulation. Sherbina V.M. argues: “Internet helps to influence on people from early age. In a process of internet communication develops not only language and cultural expansion and also programming of a certain structures of conscience and subconscious, including political orientation” [10, p. 114].

   Guaranties for balance maintenance between real and virtual political space on our thought are political subjectivity – is capability of a person to take part in consciously realized political activity the main goal of which is to influence on a political and social processes. Signs of political subjectivity are persistence of interests to politics, political competence, realizing of capacity to influence of political and social processes, desire to take part in social and political life of country, real political action, civil responsibility, initiative in social problem resolving, responsibility for own political behavior and the behavior of others [3, c. 52].

  In our study special interest is concept of J. Spencer, according to which communication like social interaction occurs through conversation, changing of information about events that are important for its participants. Respectively we look on internet communication like social interaction of the subjects, that can be achieved by verbal and nonverbal means in the internet to creating and maintenances new social contacts. We believe that person who enters the internet environment to communicate with other people, already shows some signs of subjectivity, for instance, activity, self-growth desire, self-improvement and self-realization.

  To find out where is influence of the internet communication form subjective evaluation to formation of the political subjectivity in young people, we make empirical investigation by using repertory grids method. Respondents were offered to estimate, how activity of a political, nonpolitical subjects (family, friends, teachers, Media, social organizations, government institutions) and internet influences on development of their inters to politics, political knowledge, desire to take part in social and political life, responsibility for their country, initiative in resolving of social problems, realizing the possibility to exposure on the course of social and political processes, responsibility for their own political choice, real action in political actions. To the list of influence agents, we include social networks. In this case we analyze internet, according to its role in political processes, like political phenomenon of modern life, social institution, that cumulating a set of norms, that regulates interaction between the people in different areas of life and converts this interaction in the social role system [7]; Internet environment we consider like new field of social interaction created by different persons, where own political “I” forms.

   In this study performed in 2015 and 137 persons in age 18-27 years take part in it. All respondents were active internet users (registered at least in one social network). Experimental group were formed from students of 3 and 4 course of Kiev universities.

    According to data that we acquired we found average values of the influence of social subjects and internet environment on the signs of political subjectivity (table 1). And we make our interpretation about the subjective evaluation of the influence of internet communications on political subjectivity signs formation by the students. In the result we show that students evaluate influence of the internet communication on the political subjectivity signs formation on the level of nonpolitical subjects of micro- and mesoinvironment (family, friends, teachers, Media) and much higher than influence of political subjects (politicians, government institutions). Wherein respondents consider that internet resources are more influential than internet social networks, when talking about political interest, political knowledge, basics of political interaction. And interactive interaction in social networks has more influence on the desire to take part in social and political life of the country, be real participant in political events and the capability to be responsible for his political behavior. Equal influence has internet resources and social networks on felling of responsibility for their country, initiative in social problem solving and realizing the possibility to influence on the result of social and political processes.

  When we talk about political subjects, we should mark that the social organizations influence on the student’s desire to take part in political events respondents evaluated like influence of the teachers, internet environment, Media. Influence of the social organizations on real activity in political events students compare to influence of friend’s while consider it higher that influence of other subjects. Unfortunately, influence of political and government institutions on the formation of the political subjectivity signs respondents rated as the least.

  Conclusion. Internet communication is a system of a social interaction of different subjects, that carried out with help of verbal and nonverbal tools in the network for changing the information to creating of new social connections. Unlike the other types of communication internet-communication in the political space has in own benefits, that has positive influence on personal subjectivity development, particularly political. Novel virtual internet-environment, created in result of internet-communication of different subjects, promotes the two-sided subject-subject model of social communicational interaction, that accelerates personal subjectivity formation.

  For young people internet-environment becomes a novel social existence place, were formation of personal political “I” occurs. Communication in the internet-environment like interaction of equal subjects stimulates them in virtual political space and launches a formation process of the political subjectivity of young people.

Average values of social subjects and internet-environment influence on political subjectivity signs


*Note: Political events influence of the formation of political subjectivity investigated separately; its values shown to compare political events influence with different social subject influence.

However, all the negative features of the internet communication in the political space that we characterized decreased the political activity of young people. If virtual activity doesn’t have feedback by real political actions an isolation from political reality increased, that can lead to development only virtual subjectivity.

 In this empirical study we shown that influence of internet-environment respondents are evaluated on the level of the influence of family, friends, teachers, media, social organizations. An influence of the political subjects that creates real political and virtual political space, including the influence of the political and government institutions, on all signs evaluated by the students like the lowest. So, exactly those political subjects that should play the prominent role in the formation and development of the political subjectivity young citizens, should find the mechanisms to involve of the young people to real political activity and the influence of young people on the outcome of political processes in the society.

  Perspective for investigation of the internet communication influence on the formation of political subjectivity is discovery of the interaction styles in the virtual space and also development the communicative groups that promotes the development of the political subjectivity signs.

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