The Image of the Other in the (post-)Covid Period: Analysis of Russian-language Internet Queries
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The Other

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Aliev, R., & Yakushenkova, O. (2021). The Image of the Other in the (post-)Covid Period: Analysis of Russian-language Internet Queries. Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies, 3(4), 163-190.


The digital age has greatly changed the way information is stored and accessed. The Internet allows us to retrieve an unlimited amount of data from anywhere, at any time of the day or night. The search for new information consistently takes place via search engines, which process and store user query statistics. The analysis of these queries allows us to trace various social trends. At the same time, the personality of the researcher does not affect the "query" of the user, who is fully "sincere and independent" in finding the information he or she needs. Our hypothesis for this study is that by analysing the queries of Internet users we can identify the attitude of the contemporary Russian society to the Other and determine the criteria by which the image of the Other is formed. Considering the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the researchers assumed that periods of lockdown may have had a particular effect, increasing interest in certain markers of otherness and decreasing interest in other markers. As a result, we identified 10 models of otherness during the (post)lockdown period, in which food and sexual marker groups are the dominant ones. In particular, the Other-Chinese model, as in previous years, remains worrying. The focus has shifted from the appearance to the sexual and food aspects. The COVID-19 pandemic has played a part in this. The Other-Japanese/Korean model also remains ambiguous, but there is a downward trend in alertness. As for the other models, for the most part they are allert-neutral.
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