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XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology
Date: 15th to 21st of July, 2018
Place: Toronto, Canada
Papers presented: "Domestic Violence on Russian Television: a Sociological Perspective" and "Does Domestic Violence Exist According to Russian Church and Television?"
The XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology 'Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses, and Responsibilities' was organized by the International Sociological Association (ISA). During the seven days of the Congress that took place from 15-21 July 2018 in Toronto, Canada approximately 6000 delegates from around the world engaged in the discussions.
Since the inception of the discipline, sociologists have been concerned with power, violence and justice. Current social, economic and political challenges enhance their relevance. States' failures to meet their responsibility to provide basic resources are often deflected by blaming the most vulnerable. Despite visible progress on equality issues, violence against women and intersectional violence point to the entrenchment of the gender border around the world.
The ISA World Congress theme, 'Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses and Responsibilities' focuses on how scholars, public intellectuals, policymakers, journalists and activists from diverse fields contribute to an understanding of power, violence and justice.
It was my pleasure to get a chance to present my papers titled 'Domestic Violence on Russian Television: a Sociological Perspective' in the session "Media Representations and Cultural Studies: Approaching Current Ideas on Power, Violence and Justice" and 'Does Domestic Violence Exist According to Russian Church and Television?' in the session "Victim, Perpetrator or Else? Perceptions of Violence from a Generational and Gender Perspective".
I analyzed how two Russian scripted television shows, Boiling Point (2010) and The Perfect Victim (2015), constructed their domestic abuse storylines. I proceeded with selecting video clips from both shows that demonstrated various types of abuse – physical, sexual, verbal, economic – and recorded female audience's reaction towards them. I focused on how these clips were perceived (both emotionally and cognitively) by the participants of the experiment based on their education, income, place of residence, marital status and number of children, and religious beliefs. I asked how the creators of the show frame the topic of domestic abuse in terms of their narratives, visual elements, and even the language. I aimed to determine if such a depiction can be positive, neutral, or condemning, and what kind of help is offered to the victims on the show. I proceeded to discuss how realistic these portrayals are and how the audiences perceive them. And I compared these depictions to the official rhetoric of the Russian Orthodox church. I am sure that the feedback I got from the colleagues from different countries will help me improve my doctoral thesis.
In this professional exchange in an international context, I was able to establish contacts with international scientists and to further expand existing networks from my participation in the event. This Congress is a part of the development of a planned follow-up application for this project and the completion of my thesis.