Dissertation Abstracts

Visual Interaction in the Symbolic Space of Information Society

Author: Shuster, Olga , shuster_olga@mail.ru
Department: Sociology
University: Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: Russian

Keywords: visual sociology , mass communication , culture , photography
Areas of Research: Visual Sociology , Communication, Knowledge and Culture


Today information transmission in its classical sense is not a goal of communication anymore. And there are several reasons for that.

First of all, social behavior is always oriented towards others. In the 21-st century a real reason for interaction is to present oneself to others. The medium is not just the message; it is the message (most often visual) about the social status of the addresser. Secondly, as a result of the expansion of service sphere, interaction becomes a significant part of labor relations and the labor itself becomes more qualified. However, thirdly, mass education gives birth to the narrow qualified specialists, who are only good at what they are doing and have limited capacity for perception and interpretation of information. The fourth reason is a mass media that creates a need to transmit huge volumes of information for a large distance in the shortest time and with minimum distortions in interpretation. Therefore the notion of efficiency becomes very important in modern communication.

Thus, there is a tendency to simplify communication and make it accessible to a general audience. Visual messages, such as photography, clothes, interiors and profiles in social networks do not require special skills for interpretation. That is why visual communication becomes one of the main aspects of the modern society. This is the end of the Gutenberg galaxy of text communication and transition to a new type of society with an image-based visual quasi space.

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