Transdisciplinary Approach To The Study Of Personal Development In Digital Everyday Life  


Transformations of our time are a field of transdisciplinary research. The study of personality in this conceptual framework is based on an analysis of the phenomena of globalization, transitivity and mixing of various currents in modern reality. Trends in the development of modern culture are complex, diverse and contradictory. We consider such features of modernity as fluidity, variability, uncertainty, complication, hybridization as conditions for the formation of a fundamentally new cultural experience for the socialization of youth and personality development. Significant for modern youth socialization factor is the information space, including social networks and the Internet. All this changes the individual’s daily life: on the one hand, it leads to the diversification of the social space, to the emergence of different communities (subcultures) that do not perceive each other; and on the other hand, it leads to the self-organization of mixed everyday reality: merging of personal and professional experience; dissolving the boundaries between work and leisure; intersection and mutual penetration of online and offline spaces. Transdisciplinary approach allows us to integrate data from various disciplines studying the personal development in digital everyday life, and combine them into problem-oriented studies. Personality in light of the transdisciplinary approach becomes a multidimensional, controversial, versatile phenomenon. Personal development in the context of digital everyday life is also influenced by latent factors of globalization, cultural diversity and informatization.

Keywords: Transdisciplinary approachpersonal developmentdigital everyday lifeglobalizationmixed reality


Modernity and its transformations are a sphere of transdisciplinary knowledge: sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists, cultural researchers describe its features, highlight leading trends (Bauman, 2011; Bazhanov & Scholz, 2015). Psychological research also takes note these transformations of our time. For psychology it becomes important to consider the socialization of youth and the development of personality in the context of globalization, cultural changes, diversification of the socio-cultural environment and the expansion of the information space (Anolly, 2018; Martsinkovskaya & Orestova, 2019; Omelchenko, 2019).

Globalization, cultural diversity and informatization as factors in the formation of digital everyday life

Globalization is one of the important factors both in transformations of modernity as a whole, and in socialization in youth and personality development in particular. However, the effects of globalization are better visible in economics and social sciences than in psychology and humanities. Globalization and the growth of cultural diversity in the world are closely related processes. Like any latent factors of civilizational transformation in everyday life, globalization has its bright and dark sides (Table 01 ).

Table 1 -
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A positive consequence of globalization is the formation of a planetary identity, the increasing mobility of young people, the ability to travel the world, the development of communicative practices. The risks of globalization are the discovery of social inequality, the radicalization of certain minorities and the threat of resentment. The positive side of cultural diversity is the interaction of different cultures, the rising of innovation, the education of young people to respect other experiences. The risk of multiculturalism is a clash of values and ethnic conflicts.

These mixed and contradictory realities are a sociocultural space for the becoming of the personality of modern human. Globalization and cultural diversity not only expose identity crises, the inconsistency and instability of human life, the diversification of communities within a single society, collision of their values, but also contribute to the emergence of diverse lifestyles and new cultural practices.

Informatization is a complex technological, social and cultural process that has also led to significant changes in the way of life of mankind. The consequence of information has been the emergence of a global information culture, digital environment and virtual reality. Globalization, diversification of the sociocultural space and information culture are factors that have fundamentally changed the conditions for the socialization of younger generations. Digital everyday life is the sociocultural context that accompanies the development of the personality of a modern human.

It is especially important to note that digital everyday life is not only new technologies, but also the cultural and psychological transformations of modernity, covering the problems of identity, employment, education, healthcare, lifestyles and ways of thinking, perceiving space and time.

Researchers from various professional fields observe how a human’s personality changes under the influence of informatization, starting with the philosophical comprehension of digimodernism (Kirby, 2009) and ending with empirical studies that fix individual indicators of mental changes (perception, memory, attention, multitasking, etc.).

Within the same culture and the same society, we are dealing today with different models and content of personality development. The gap between the conditions of socialization becomes especially noticeable when comparing digital everyday life in megacities and in small settlements, as well as when analyzing generational change (Omelchenko, 2019; Radaev, 2019; Twenge, 2006). In the first case, the leading factor in diversification is the heterogeneity of the socio-cultural space of our time. In the second case, current transformations of lifestyles occurring over short periods of time are important. The growing variety of lifestyles in their consequences has two sides. On the one hand, we observe the cultural creativity of new social norms and behavioral practices, but, on the other hand, there is a potential for conflict for the interests and values ​​of different social groups. We assume that the reform of the education system, which takes into note factors of the key transformations of our time such as globalization, cultural diversity and the digital environment, should be the leading means of preventing these conflicts.

Research of both the socialization of younger generations and the development of personality in the context of digital everyday life are too complex and extensive to study these problems exclusively within the framework of psychology. The study of these issues is based on philosophical analysis, sociological surveys, cultural studies, media studies, psychological observations, etc. The facts about the development of the personality of a modern human, obtained from different sciences, must not only be compared with each other, but also comprehended in their completeness and integrity. We assume that a transdisciplinary approach is most productive for this analysis and synthesis.

Transdisciplinarity as a methodological strategy for studying complex and latently changing phenomena

Transdisciplinarity is a methodological strategy that is represented today by many approaches and interpretations, in the context of philosophy and science (Bazhanov & Scholz, 2015; Morin, 2008). We assume that meaning of transdisciplinarity is not only the integration of various studies in solving a particular problem, but also the consideration of complex, emerging phenomena that, due to their fleetingness, mobility and instability, may not be visible from the perspective of isolated disciplines (Guseltseva, 2018).

We assume that it is transdisciplinary thinking (mobile, flexible and complex) that can reveal the latent factors of globalization, cultural diversity and informatization in the development of personality in the context of digital everyday life.

Problem Statement

The paradoxical constancy of change, transitivity as a combination of variability and uncertainty (Martsinkovskaya & Orestova, 2019), liquid modernity (Bauman, 2011), and the digital environment have become a familiar context for the socialization of younger generations. The methodological problem for studying personality development in digital everyday life is the observation and description of the ongoing changes in both global and local, non-obvious aspects (Guseltseva, 2019).

Methodological problems of the study personality as complex and changing phenomena in digital everyday life

We assume that the leading methodological problem of this kind of research is the identification of those processes of cultural and psychological transformations in digital everyday life ​​that proceed imperceptibly and slowly and consequently cannot be detected by familiar research strategies and methods. The solution to this problem is the use of mixed methods and methodologies, reliance on data triangulation and transdisciplinary methodology (Guseltseva, 2018, 2019). We also assume that collecting a complete picture of the transformations of the digital everyday life by combining studies also helps in solving the problem posed.

Design for the study of personality in digital everyday life

We assume that a focused, problem-oriented approach that allows revealing a personality in the context of digital everyday life as a multidimensional and diverse phenomenon. The conceptual framework of the transdisciplinary approach covers all these aspects, integrates data obtained in sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, media studies and cultural studies (Guseltseva, 2018). So, globalization is considered here as the transformation of the space of everyday life through communicative technologies and mixing various sociocultural processes, where transnational movements enhance personalization and the diversity of lifestyles, mix cultural practices and values. In this context, we define informatization as the expansion of the information space of personality development through social networks and the Internet.

Research Questions

It seems that the transdisciplinary approach is a methodological strategy that allows combining studies of human development in digital everyday life, which are conducted in philosophy, sociology, psychology, media studies, cultural studies and humanities. We assume that this strategy will provide more complete and reliable knowledge that takes into note both positive and negative aspects of digital everyday life in personality development.

Personality changes hidden in everyday life

It can be assumed that a review of key transformations of modernity (such as globalization, cultural diversity and informatization) from perspective of a transdisciplinary approach reveals personality changes hidden in everyday life.

Digital everyday life contributes to both self-organization of communities and autonomy of personality

It can be assumed that network space and new communication practices in global, diversified and digital environment are the breeding ground for self-organization of communities, individualization of lifestyles and personal self-development.

Purpose of the Study

  • Analyze the processes of globalization, growth of cultural diversity and expansion of informatization as latent factors that create fundamentally new conditions for human existence - digital everyday life as a modern environment for socialization of youth and personality development.

  • Explicate a transdisciplinary approach as a methodological strategy for studying the hidden and antinomic aspects of personality development in digital everyday life.

Research Methods

In the process of research philosophical and theoretical analysis of secondary sources, and comparative-analytical method were used, as well as transdisciplinary approach (Bazhanov & Scholz, 2015; Guseltseva, 2018; Morin, 2008).


The socialization of youth and development of personality in context of digital everyday life is a fundamentally new phenomenon of modern era. In light of the transdisciplinary approach, we consider digital everyday life focusing not only on technological changes, but also revealing the influence of latent factors of globalization (common economic, communicative and cognitive space; planetary identity; antinomy of global and local; antinomy of stability and change; detection of social and cultural inequality; radicalization of minorities), cultural diversity (common socio-cultural space; multiple identity; variety of lifestyles and values; antinomy of the universal and unique; antinomy of tradition and innovation; clash of values and ethnic conflicts) and informatization (common information space, information culture, information socialization; mixed realities; antinomy online and offline).

The meaning of the transdisciplinary approach to the study of personality in digital everyday life is to identify indirect, non-obvious sociocultural and personal changes through a comprehensive interpretation of the data of anthropologists, political scientists, cultural researchers, sociologists and psychologists about the specifics of modern youth and generational transformation.

From the influence of online and offline spaces on personal development to the study of digital everyday life

In the early stages of Internet, researchers in the field of information culture in connection with personal development focused mainly on comparing online and offline behavior. In these studies, social networks were considered as an isolated communication space for both adolescents and youth. In particular, many studies analyzed the amount of time that students devoted to social networks, people's behavior in different environments, and the use of various communication tools. Virtual space was considered mainly as recreational and compensatory, allowing individuals to realize the needs inaccessible in real life. Nowadays, the Internet and digital technologies are so widespread and integrated into everyday practices and communications that the distinction between online and offline has almost disappeared. So, teenagers in the polls find it difficult to separate their classes online and offline (Polivanova & Korolyova, 2016). This is also confirmed in studies of identity (Martsinkovskaya & Orestova, 2019). Online and offline spaces have become not so much interacting practices in the life of young people as a single information space and a mixed reality of everyday life.

Cultural diversity growth and risks of digital divide

There is a digital divide in modern culture. Digital inequality is not only the limitations of Internet access and different levels of knowledge of digital technologies, but also the diversification of sociocultural practices of everyday life. Digital everyday life in different social and age groups (among residents of megacities, small towns, rural settlements, in a comparative analysis of youth and the elderly) varies both in coverage and content, and in the ratio of online and offline space. This is manifested in the actions and interactions of people in everyday life, in the design of comfortable pastime and participation in online or offline reality. If in large cities of Russia almost 80% of residents have access to the Internet, then in small settlements local digital services may be completely absent. In small cities, the Internet is used mainly for communication, while residents of large cities, in addition to social networks and instant messengers, also use the Internet to make purchases, conduct financial transactions, and receive other services (Kotov, 2018).

Digital everyday life contains archaeological layers of information culture, where technological platforms and communication practices are replaced during the life of one generation. In one sociocultural space, different information cultures can be represented: people who use a mobile phone exclusively as a telephone, and people who insist that “telephone culture is disappearing” (Madrigal, 2018). The involvement of person in a particular community is evidenced by the practice of using instant messengers. So, Moroz (2017) denotes the diversification of the communicative environment: she perceives a mobile phone call as an invasion of her personal space, while an older person refuses to write emails or messages. Most clearly, these changes in communicative practices are manifested in the digital everyday life of youth. Until recently, telephone communication was an absolutely normative social practice, but today an unexpected phone call has become perceived as a violation of confidentiality and intrusion into personal space. The culture of telephone communications is being replaced by various cultures of interaction in small communities, communication through messengers, and new norms of network etiquette.

Self-organization of network communities, personalization of digital environment, information visualization

The digital environment includes social networks in which global and local communication practices are mixed. In the self-organizing processes of social networks, autonomy of the individual develops. This happens through personalization of the communication environment; selectivity of contacts; reflection of their own preferences; independent selection of personal and digital space configurations. Digital everyday life breeds new cultural practices, social norms and ethics. Network communications participants learn to expand their cognitive abilities with the help of network intelligence. A feature of digital environment is interactivity and communication, flow of information into communication, which has the consequence of increased authorship and activity in digital space. The concept of “participatory culture” shows the ability of a network community to create and sustainably reproduce its own norms (Jenkins, 2006). An unintended event is the transfer of these practices and norms from online to offline space. So, what appeared in the network reality as personalization in the social space becomes civic activity (Omelchenko, 2019).

A modern Internet user is forced to learn constantly, mastering not only new technical capabilities, but also changing norms. The education and development of personality has become in many ways dispersed and latent here. So, an unsuccessful student in the school system can be a very successful blogger and YouTube leader. This is a challenge to the education system. It seems that the processes of self-organization of culture and personal self-development should be given greater importance. Further research also requires the question of whether the criticality of young people is increasing in relation to information and its sources. Until the 21st century, the education system was a culture of communication with the teacher and independent work with the text. Today, mass media perform a latent educational function for younger generations. Visual culture and images largely prevail over focused work with texts. Young people use a variety of sources of information. As a result, they become spontaneous integrators of knowledge. Here inequality arises spontaneously in the quality of work with information: some of them perceive information uncritically, but many in free swimming on the ocean of information develop the practice of critical thinking.


Digital everyday life is not only related to the development of information culture, mass computerization and new technologies, but also has deeper roots, on the one hand, embracing the civilization processes of globalization and cultural diversity, and on the other hand, extending into a new anthropology and personality psychology.

It is difficult to overestimate the importance for psychology of using data from sociology, political science, media studies and humanities, studying the development of personality in digital everyday life, but it is much more important that the totality of these data form a more complete and rich description in perspective of transdisciplinary approach.

Based on the analysis of data from sociology, anthropology, psychology, media studies and cultural studies, we single out self-organization of network communities, personalization, and variability of digital behavior as stable (long-term) trends. An unobvious consequence of the spread of cultural informatization is the fact that digital everyday life implicitly covers even those people who do not use e-mail, a smartphone and a computer. Cultural and psychological changes first appear in small communities, and then through globalization and digital everyday life quickly spread to the whole society.

Latent personality changes in transformations of digital environment

For users of social networks in the 2000s, anonymity, utmost openness, compensatory, recreational, and the possibility of implementing alternative identities were attractive. Nowadays, this is replaced by responsible authorial content, the desire to identify and comply with the boundaries of their privacy and other inhabitants of the Network, the implementation of ethical standards and rules for environmentally friendly interaction (Moroz, 2017). Apparently, global trends of humanization are spreading digital everyday life. Knowledge transfer practices have also changed in the modern world. What was elitist and transmitted from teacher to students became publicly available. This is a challenge for the education system, where the teacher has ceased to be a translator of knowledge, and is now forced to compete with the media. Communities have changed too. The modern young human consciously or implicitly is a citizen of the world. Younger generations (especially residents of megacities) have more planetary identity. Belonging to an ethnos, religion, region, caste, estate, gender, party is not so significant in the mobile world with accessible (through communication or in personal experience) sociocultural space.

Differentiation and polarization of small communities in digital everyday life and in global world

We emphasize that it is just as important to discuss changes in cultural practice in small communities, as well as describe entire generations (Twenge 2006, 2017). The contradiction in the descriptions and the multidirectional tendencies in the study of modern adolescents and young people is due to the variability of individual life strategies. So, in the range of one generation, we observe that some young people remain in their adolescence until the age of 30 (“completely unprepared for adulthood”), while others already in school age create additional employment, become financially independent and psychologically mature. It seems that one should not talk about the whole generation (Generation Me or iGen), but about the diversity of communities in digital everyday life, about the spectrum of individual strategies in personality development. Digital everyday life allows a flexible combination of communicative accessibility and privacy; many possibilities and difficulties of choice. This complex (ambivalent and antinomic) culture implicitly forms a complex consciousness that is tolerant to contradictions. However, the existing psychological terms are not quite suitable for describing these new realities. Terms form linear thinking, while in order to understand modern reality, thinking must be multidimensional, catch complexity and mobility. Along with multitasking, it’s just right to discuss multi-rationality.

Therefore, this is one-sided thinking; this vision is only on the one hand, if we describe new generations as infantile (ignoring their maturity and responsibility) and as individualistic (ignoring their readiness for solidarity) or as closed on social networks (ignoring their interest in real world). The transdisciplinary approach makes our thinking non-linear and more complex, linking many conflicting factors in analysis and synthesis.


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15 November 2020

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Psychology, personality, virtual, personality psychology, identity, virtual identity, digital space

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Guseltseva, M., & Poleva, N. (2020). Transdisciplinary Approach To The Study Of Personal Development In Digital Everyday Life  . In T. Martsinkovskaya, & V. Orestova (Eds.), Psychology of Personality: Real and Virtual Context, vol 94. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 311-319). European Publisher.