Piracy Cultures| The Culture of Subversion and Russian Media Landscape

Ilya Kiriya


This paper provides a conceptual framework for analyzing parallel (or subversive) media activities in Russia that enable Russian media consumers to act independently from official institutionalized sets of rules and constantly violate both traditional rules (based on great state pressure on content) and the globalized capitalist media economy based on commercial interests. These alternative sets of activities can be interpreted either like an entire parallel public sphere where alternative debate is articulated, or like separate parallel activities recompensing supply and demand failures. Two hypotheses are posed by author. The first states that accessibility of media production in general in Russia is a key element of a contemporary social contract. The second hypothesis relates parallel media practices with certain acts of political activism among narrow groups of the population that could not find places for self-expression in the institutionalized media field and use alternative media outlets (especially blogs and another new media) that ultimately constitute the parallel public sphere.

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