Manipulative Technologies of Meaning-Generation: ‘Care of the Self’ and Digital Mass Media

N. P. Makarova


Modern digital mass media actively perceive the concept of “care of the self” and work with its particular plan, the practices of constructing an “ideal” subject in its unified and standardized model. The article presents an analysis of the manipulative technology tools on the example of a serial, mass distribution apparatus for actual digital media. The interpretation of the dual mechanism is carried out by attracting the content of the works of the German philosopher T. Adorno and the Dutch linguist, theorist of discourse analysis T. Van Dijk. It is noted that the appeal to the universal personality in everyone, which can be considered as an object of practice, the legitimization of the content of the articles is affirmed by an act of dedication to the circle of the “chosen ones” through the use of the categories “we”, “all of us”; by the method of generalization, universalization to a group, construction of a community (“man as a species”). The language of the articles, through the trusting effect of familiar expressions, vaguely known authoritative statements, appeals to the integral personality inside of each reader. As a result, “care of the self” becomes in a transformed form a profitable object for broadcasting, as well as the property of everyone, a mass audience, through digital media. Modern practices of “care of the self” incorporate the desire for the state of “non-self” and offer the dissolution of the “I” in algorithms, mass average settings for ascent from the sphere of direct experience to the space of third-party observation of one’s own internal manifestations.


care of the self; mass media; digital reality; meaning; manipulative mechanism; discourse analysis



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