Values Underlying the Information Culture in Communist and Post-Communist Russia (1917−1999)

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

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Values Underlying the Information Culture in Communist and Post-Communist Russia (1917−1999)

  • Hedwig de Smaele Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium

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Abstract:  In this article the concept of information culture—understood as the dominant handling of information, shared by a dominant proportion of journalists, the public, authorities and other actors within a societal environment at a given time and place—is explored in the context of Communist and early post-Communist Russia (1917−1999). Three value pairs underlying the attitude towards information are explored: individualism and collectivism (the relation of man to the state), universalism and particularism (the relation of man to man), and pluralism versus dominance (the nature of knowledge and truth). Continuities are found between the Communist Soviet Union and post-Communist Russia in their instrumental use of media and information (collectivism), the view on information as a particular privilege rather than a universal right and the monopoly of truth. Post-Communism, therefore, appears not only as an indication of time (i.e. the period after Communism) but also as an indicator of the continuation of basic value orientations over these time periods.

Keywords:  collectivism; Communism; information culture; particularism; post-Communism; Russia; value orientations



© Hedwig de Smaele. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.