Social Network Approach to the Marginal Social Movements` Discourse Reproduction: The Case of Russian Lesbian Feminist Discourse

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 11:15
Oral Presentation
Oxana MIKHAILOVA, Higher School of Economics, Russian Federation
This paper develops social network approach to the marginal social movements` discourse reproduction. Russian lesbian feminism was taken as an instance of marginal social movement.

Lesbian feminist community and its ideology appeared in the USA during the Second-wave feminism (Reger, 2017). Lesbian feminism gained its followers from Radical feminism and Gay Liberation movement (Reger, 2017). Initially, lesbian feminist community consisted of young, middle-class, white women who studied in universities (McCammon and Einwohner, 2017). Now lesbian feminism in USA is not as popular as it was in 20th century, nevertheless, some of the lesbian feminist ideological elements are still present in American society, for example Michigan Womyn’s music festival (Browne, 2009). In contemporary Russia, lesbian feminism exists not only offline but also has several communities in social network Vkontakte such as “LF” and “Lesbiyanki-feministki”. Study of Moscow lesbian subculture has shown that Russian lesbians have similar to American lesbians lexicon (Saraeva, 2014). Probably, Russian lesbian feminist discourse also has properties of cognitive and social subsystems, which make it similar to American lesbian feminist movement. If Russian lesbian feminist movement has the same social base as American one, the discourse of the lesbian feminists could influence Russian social life on the different levels of social structure.

It is planned to combine social network analysis with in-depth interviews to recreate social mechanisms, which spread lesbian feminist discourse in Russian society. We are working on techniques for the structuration of discourse in social networks, detection, operationalization and validation of manipulative behavioral models. These models could maintain integrity of the Russian lesbian feminist community.