Assessment of Cinematographic Influence on Social Representations of Heroism: approbation of an approach

Author: Irina V. Trotsuk, Maria V. Subbotina

Communicology. 2018. Vol.6. No.4
Irina Vladimirovna Trotsuk, Dr. Sc. (Soc.), professor, chair of sociology, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia; Maria Vladimirovna Subbotina, postgraduate student of the chair of sociology, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. Address: 117198, Russia, Moscow, Miklukho-Maklaya St., 6. E-mail:

Abstract. Sociology has not developed a clear and standard approach to assess the influence of cinema on social representations of heroism, hence the paper identifies some necessary conceptual and methodological steps in this direction.
First, the authors consider different interpretations of ‘heroism’, techniques of its empirical study, and methods to analyze the perception of movies. Second, the article displays the results of the pilot study of social representations of heroism, including those formed under the influence of movies. The qualitative content analysis of four groups of Russian films revealed the distribution of types of heroes according to the authors’ classification. The survey based on the unfinished sentences technique has allowed to assess the perception of movie heroes by two groups (parent and children generations). The survey has shown that the interpretations of real-life heroism in two groups are similar while the movie heroes differ: adults prefer military heroism, and children believe that heroes are to fight their internal fears and inspire others to overcome life difficulties.

Keywords: hero, heroism, cinematography, social representation, content analysis, unfinished sentences technique

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For citation: Trotsuk I.V., Subbotina M.V. Assessment of Cinematographic Influence on Social Representations of Heroism: approbation of an approach. Communicology (Russia). 2018. Vol. 6. No.4. P. 140-158. DOI 10.21453 / 2311-3065-2018-6-4-140-158.

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