Bullying in the Context of the Discourse of Hostility in the Modern Media

Research article
DOI:
https://doi.org/10.18454/RULB.2024.50.16
Issue: № 2 (50), 2024
Suggested:
01.02.2024
Accepted:
08.02.2024
Published:
09.02.2024
465
10
XML
PDF

Abstract

The topic of bullying as a form of social conflict remains invariably topical and especially relevant in the era of the rapid development of digital communication technologies. Modern conflict researchers face the question of the need for a detailed study of modern media in the context of their influence on the formation, representation, and generation of agendas within the discourse of hostility. The authors of the article attempted to analyze the role of patterns of interaction on the Internet within the framework of generating discourse of hostility and cyberbullying. The study reflects the specificity of modern media as an agent of acceleration of alienation processes in the situation of cyberbullying. The authors of the article conclude the effectiveness of incorporating interactive elements into modern media tools as a way of resolving contradictions, and also emphasize the relevance of creating prerequisites for promoting the deliberative nature of media in the context of realizing a tolerant and accessible media space.

1. Introduction

The topic of bullying as a form of social conflict remains invariably topical and especially relevant in the era of the rapid development of digital communication technologies. Modern conflict researchers face the question of the need for a detailed study of modern media in the context of their influence on the formation, representation, and generation of agendas within the discourse of hostility. The authors of the article attempted to analyze the role of patterns of interaction on the Internet within the framework of generating discourse of hostility and cyberbullying. The study reflects the specificity of modern media as an agent of acceleration of alienation processes in the situation of cyberbullying. The authors of the article conclude the effectiveness of incorporating interactive elements into modern media tools as a way of resolving contradictions, and also emphasize the relevance of creating prerequisites for promoting the deliberative nature of media in the context of realizing a tolerant and accessible media space.

Analysis of scientific and practical pedagogical, psychological, sociological, and conflict literature, periodical scientific publications, comparison, generalization, and synthesis.

2. Main results

The essence of modern society imposes its peculiarities on the genesis of discursive practices in the media sphere. The reality of the 21st century is that communication technologies make it possible to access information resources everywhere. This moment integrates all individuals into a single information field regardless of their social status and desire. Recently, the representation of extremely aggressive forms of influence on an individual and the formation of certain negative images of "enemy" and "stranger" has started to "gain momentum"

,
. Such images can be traced in many modern media sources, revealing such topics as the bipolar confrontation between the West and Russia, cases related to the oppression of national minorities, and so on. The scenario of sharply delineated dichotomy in the system of "one's own-another"
,
. Such simple binary schemes help to simplify the processes of categorization of the world by individuals, and thus canalize the perception of reality.

Controversial topics arouse interest, and sharp and emotional presentation should increase the effect of pressure on the acceptance of certain ideas, thus fulfilling the communicative task set by the authors of the text

. Naturally, all this is reflected in the discursive practices of the media everywhere, namely in the genesis of the discourse of "enmity". It is this aspect that seems most attractive for conflictology as an interdisciplinary field. It should be noted that the media in the world are very much emphasizing the representation of violence in the media space.

Discursive practices of hostility are routinized and entrenched, and hostility becomes an everyday characteristic of many situations of interaction between individuals and groups in various spheres of society. The discourse of hostility includes practices of dehumanization, double standards, and speculation of historical contexts

,
. Here the key importance is attached to the process of differentiation and demarcation on the platform of "us and them" and "us-others", it is for these media practices that the creation and promotion of the enemy image is characteristic. The discursive practice of hostility is manifested at different levels of social reality and in different types of its realization, be it sexism, homophobia, or nationalism. Hostility in this case is an attempt to preserve and protect one's privilege-right to a special group belonging, identity in the zone of symbols. Categories of discrimination and the construction of negative connotations in the historical field about differences are the basis for the dehumanization and demonization of certain social groups.

It should be noted that the process of hostility as a conflict is characterized by attempts of each party to justify the truth of its position, both of these positions are true in the understanding of one or another party adhering to them.

Now let us return to the consideration of the essence of the formation of hostility. Discourse of hostility is a special type of interaction or communicative relationship, in the process of which individuals or social groups are in the process of long-term antagonistic confrontation with each other, which also has the character of a destructive phenomenon. It is also worth noting that this type of relationship correlates with the surrounding socio-political environment

,
. The main aspect here is the creation of such an anti-humanistic image of the enemy when he is made an object of contempt and disrespect because of the inconsistency with the stated and recognized in a given society features or parameters recognized as normal, privilege. The attributes of an entire group are projected and extrapolated onto the individual. Representation and self-identification of oneself as a part of a certain group begin to have a sharply negative character. Dehumanization in this case is a deliberate distortion of the image of man and identification of his characteristics with animal and non-human essence. What then is practically necessary, in this case as a conductor of hostility? Within the framework of information confrontation, the use of electronic resources, conducting hacker attacks, hacking sites, and generating offensive content and content of intolerance. Johan Galtung noted that relevance, unambiguity, frequency, and continuity are some of the key points in "newsiness"
. Newsworthiness in this case is a method of focusing attention through agenda-setting for TV programs, bulletins, etc. In this case, there is an emphasis on the development and incorporation of certain worldview positions, the adoption of values, rules, and images, and the construction of a certain picture of the world.

It is necessary to emphasize the importance and role of media as a mediating structure in the dissemination of patterns of hostility language in textual and non-textual forms in social networks, as an interactive space of interaction between subjects involved in the educational process. Media as a mediator plays a key role in creating a certain impenetrable "vacuum" of hostility around the victim of bullying. The "vacuum" of hostility in this case should be understood as a social space of conflict, where the weakest opponent is subjected to a widespread, constant, and systematic negative impact of the strongest opponent, which is almost impossible to avoid.

In 1997, American researcher Bill Belsey

, based on the definition of "bullying", which was formulated earlier by D. Olweus, was able to define the concept of "cyberbullying". Thus, cyberbullying is presented as the use of a set of information and communication technologies (e-mail, smartphone, Internet, social networks, and various gadgets) for the deliberate, systematic, aggressive influence of an individual or a group aimed at insulting, or humiliating. The American researcher was one of the first to emphasize the use of modern media technologies as a key point in distinguishing bullying from cyberbullying.

Modern Russian researchers: E. A. Makarova, E. L. Makarova, and E. A. Makhrina define cyberbullying as a non-standard form of bullying that includes both moral and psychological aggression, the presence of power and coercion, boycott or isolation, and terror. A. Makhrina defines cyberbullying as a non-standard form of bullying, which includes both moral and psychological aggression, the presence of power and coercion, boycott or isolation, terror, blackmail, and threats realized through electronic communication

.

This aspect testifies to the media's self-determination in the existing social reality. Mass Media seeks to realize itself not so much as a source of information but as an agent of influence on public consciousness, and the creation of hysteria, concerning topical and controversial moments in the life of society, such as protest practices.

The processes of transformation and diversification of means of communication lead to the emergence of new tools for the creation, placement, and broadcasting of text. Some domestic researchers have concluded that it is necessary to derive a new, more global definition, which could become a designation for a wider range of tools for the generation and consumption of discourse

. This is how media of mass communication, a broader concept than mass media, appeared. This concept denotes a new type of communication media that provides global access to information, as well as the ability to participate in communication processes and create an information product. This includes messengers and social networks. It should be noted that the use of social networks has an obvious conflict potential. Speech aggression, which is not always controlled by the administration of communities in social networks, or site moderators, can lead to conflict confrontation, understood in this case as a negative interaction of subjects with mutually recognized mutually exclusive interests or values. In some cases, this conflict can go beyond the virtual space and develop into a conflict interaction between whole groups of interests supporting one or another position in the real world. The use of mass media leads not only to the establishment of pluralism and dialog but also imposes a great responsibility on the authors of the text in terms of zero tolerance towards discriminatory speech aggression.

The main differences between cyberbullying and traditional bullying are anonymity, the possibility of falsification, the presence of a huge audience, the rapidity of information dissemination, and the ability to "get" the victim anywhere and at any time.

In 2011, researchers Robin Kowalski, Susan Limber, and Patricia Agatston

formulated the most common patterns of bullying on the Internet:

- flaming – rapid, emotional exchange of remarks, often in a public chat room or conference room;

- harassment – persistent and aggressive remarks and behaviors directed at a specific person, causing outrage, excitement, stress;

- griefers (harassers) – players who deliberately harass other players to destroy the enjoyment of the game (using swearing, cheating, blocking parts of games, etc.);

- cyberbullying – publication of spiteful information on various Internet resources, social networks, memorial pages, thereby inducing an emotional outburst;

-cyberstalking – stalking the victim using electronic communications;

- sexting – deliberate sexualization of a dialogue within the framework of online communication in the absence of consent to such communication on the part of the other participant of the dialogue;

-denigration – disclosure of deceptive, humiliating, accusatory information;

- outing disclosure of personal data, often in the form of photos and videos obtained as part of private online correspondence;

-social isolation – avoiding the victim, a marked unwillingness to communicate, exclusion from electronic groups and/or conversations;

- happy – slapping, joyful mocking.

3. Discussion

Modern research emphasizes to a large extent the negative impact of bullying on the mental, and physical state of the opponents of the conflict in cyberbullying. People become withdrawn, anxiety, headaches, psychosomatic symptoms, decreased self-esteem and libido. Prolonged manifestations of depression generate a sense of hopelessness, which can become the basis for suicidal manifestations. In addition, both the victim and the aggressor experience high social anxiety. By adopting the whole system of cyberbullying, aggressors may be prone to the victim's behavior, being put in a bullying situation and not being able to defend themselves. Witnesses receive traumatizing effects by being in a conflict environment and feeling pressured by the aggressor.

It should be noted that the contradictory and fragmented selectivity in the presentation of information generated contradictions in the perception and evaluation of events by the recipients. Hence, we can conclude that by resorting to arousing extreme feelings in the viewer or reader, mass media attempt to influence or manipulate. By manipulation in this case we mean a special type of interactive practice by which the manipulator establishes control over the object of manipulation.

4. Conclusion

The generation of emotions of disgust and contempt as psychological states of a person serving as grounds for justifying hostility towards the "alien" is one of the main elements in the processes of forming the image of the "alien" and intolerance in general. Mass media, and especially messengers and social networks, are universal resources not only in terms of universal and global access to them, but also in terms of the convenience of their use to generate hostility towards stigmatized interest groups, political actors, and minorities

. It is necessary to note the fact that the generation of tolerant behavior in the conditions of struggle for the audience, electorate, and opposition to a political opponent initially appears to be a rather difficult task.

Aggressive behavior in the framework of competitive struggle is a natural reaction to a rival. Representatives of the so-called "independent media" that oppose the pro-government media are not known for their tolerant language and absence of hate speech in their texts. The confrontation between pro-governmental and opposition media resources is presented as a self-constituting conflict of values with an ever-growing list of irreconcilable differences and mutually exclusive interests. The subject, in this case, is the inculcation of one's value and aversion, hatred towards the opponent, and the tool is figurative and linguistic means

,
.

The role of language is integral when it comes to the manipulation of discourse. Language and instruments of manipulation with figures of words and semiotic structures have been researched by many scientists in the field of contemporary linguistics. They concluded that language is a mediary

,
. It should be noted that social media represented by social networks are an authoritative alternative to traditional media, primarily because of their independence, as well as the possibility of direct participation of the audience and recipients of the text in its creation and moderation.

Article metrics

Views:465
Downloads:10
Views
Total:
Views:465