Digital Rotation And Lacunae Of Socialization


The article analyzes the fundamental causes of the crisis of socialization and education in modern society. The study is based on the position that global informatization and mediation are based on information and computer technologies. The article substantiates that the generation of "educators" and the generation of "pupils" exist in different cultural and linguistic paradigms. The generation of "fathers" is oriented towards the cultural-semiotic system of linear, authoritarian-monistic discourse, epistemological and political monism. The generation of trainees is semiotically immersed in a hypertext, media, which is characterized by the nonlinear logic, epistemologically and politically pluralistic system. The coexistence of two generations speaking different "languages" and living in different conceptual and semantic systems is characterized by the presence of mental, cultural, and civilizational lacunae. In that case, they coexist and come into conflict because grandchildren use visual and technocratic codes that are alien to the older generation. We must admit that the digital shift, the visual turn in culture, influenced in a significant way the processes of socialization, forming intergenerational socialization gaps. In these conditions, the principal means for overcoming the intergenerational lacuna of socialization is the formation of a hermeneutic system of society, capable of positively working in more diverse codes than before. The generation of human-machine intelligence must master the methodology and practice of intentional dialogue. The modernization of education should be aimed at developing reflective consciousness and thinking as a guiding principle in the formation of a tolerant consciousness through participation in emotional and semantic contact.

Keywords: Digital shift, global communication, intergenerational gaps, modernization of education, upbringing


One of the acute social problems in modern Russia concerns the socialization of youth. From our perspective, difficulties on this path are due to underestimating the fundamental impact on social relations of global informatization, communication, and computerization, outdated knowledge of the cognitive, educational, and hermeneutic mechanisms of society. Meanwhile, the mediation of cognitive and educational processes has radically changed the mechanisms of coding and transmission of knowledge. Let us point out several apparent factors that significantly modified the educational and upbringing process and were not sufficiently considered in the domestic practice of upbringing and education:

  • dominance of global communication content over local,
  • penetration of the media environment into the ontological reality of society,
  • the transformation of communication channels into interactive networks,
  • transformation of human intelligence into human-machine,
  • constituting nonlinear thinking as a norm, under the influence of computer hypertext,
  • a visual turn in culture.

Paradoxically, but in order for the role of the digital factor in socialization and cognition (education) to be sufficiently well understood, it is necessary to turn to a semantic approach. In other words, the digitalization of cognition, education, and upbringing need a radical turn towards humanization: the status of education in society must radically change. Teachers and educators should become the highest priority professions (as in Luxembourg). In a knowledge society, education lays the structure of society, formats the image of both society and the individual. The authors do not pretend to cover all aspects of the humanitarian revolution that pedagogical theory and practice must go through. The article examines the conceptual approach, based on which a model of effective educational practice can be constructed.

Problem Statement

The classical methodology of education and upbringing turns out to be insufficient in the post-industrial society. It uses an authoritarian-dogmatic methodology that is inadequate to the current situation when a teacher or educator was viewed as a demiurge. Society is a repository of outstanding values. Modern society has become global, communication is global and universal, and the subject of this communication is primarily a student. Caregivers and parents should say goodbye to authoritarian discourse and turn to the discourse of intentional dialogue. Non-classical methodology, in contrast to the classical (object) setting, realizes itself as a subjective, "understanding" methodology. It proceeds because personality is not an object, but an autonomous self-existent, that is, a Person (Langle, 2000). An educator cannot force a child, force, "teach" (in the authoritarian sense of the word) to understand. "I," as a person, realize myself as an autopoietic system. "I" am not a product of the educator's will, but "I" independently realize myself and forms my own beliefs. As a participant in communication, the educator must ensure the pupil's self-realization and finding himself in acts of practical hermeneutics (hermeneutics of action and communication).

Research Questions

The subject of study is:

  • intergenerational cultural, linguistic, and cognitive gaps in the context of digitalization,
  • strategic goals for the modernization of education and overcoming the gaps in digitalization.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the article is as follows:

  • disclosing the reasons for the emergence of intergenerational cultural and linguistic lacunae during digitalization,
  • defining a strategy for the modernization of the education and socialization system in an information society.

Research Methods

The main emphasis is placed on non-classical methods such as semiotic, discourse, hermeneutic. An integrating role in the interaction between different types of methods is played by the interdisciplinary method and semiotics, in alliance with psychology, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and the methodology of intentional dialogue (Aleksandrov & Gricenko, 2019). The failure of social and cultural transmission mechanisms is manifested in the form of mental and linguistic gaps (Danilchenko, 2009), which methods of semantic filling or compensation must overcome. Playfully, the teacher and the child can master the techniques of being in a situation of uncertainty, misunderstanding and learn the techniques of eliminating semantic lacunae. This task is not trivial since the recipients (educators and learners) must comprehend the reflexive attitude laws in liminal discourse – interpreting the text (situation), making explanations, comments, and changing the context.


Modern society is structurally and qualitatively different from the society of the industrial era. The essential differences between the society of the era of information civilization and the society of the industrial era are of a profound nature.

The ontological differences are as follows: the society of the information age removes the classic dilemma of being and consciousness, that is, being turns into an information and communication environment, into a multitude of communicative interactions, which are not just the result of personal interactions but also a multitude of facts of social life. In the information society's space, the subject ceases to be the bearer of objective knowledge (objective truth); objective reality turns into a space of personal interactions.

Suppose the industrial era's consciousness was formed by ideology (scientific, religious), which was a rationalization of the lifeworld circumstances. In that case, the thinking substance of modernity is a digitally constructed mass media myth. The social consciousness of the digital myth has a different structure than the industrial society's social consciousness. These differences are essential for understanding socialization processes and for creating modern models of education and upbringing.

Discourse is an element of interaction. Therefore, knowledge of the characteristics and properties of modern discourse is essential for the process of socialization of children and for carrying out correctional activities. Discourse has linguistic (vocabulary, syntax, pragmatics) and logical characteristics of the implementation of language strategies. The living, oral form of its realization, emotions, silences form meaning in it. In a globalized postmodern society, it is not the ideal of rationality that dominates. However, emotional-associative and analog discourse resulting from a visual turn, although technically, is based on a discrete approach.

Digital consciousness is an attribute of the modern young generation. The modern discussion about the social function of discourse is primarily stimulated by Gray's book Liminal Thinking (Gray, 2016). It is centered around the problems associated with the formation of beliefs. "Liminal discourse" is a product of globalization and of digitalization, communication reflected in the theory of postmodernism. Consider the main features of liminal discourse that are important to consider in modern theory and practice of forming beliefs: liminal discourse from the informational point of view is multichannel because, in the conditions of the dominance of global communication, each message turns into a carrier of polysemantic meaning; concepts and terms become ambiguous: the concept of "family" in every civilizational and ethnic pool is filled with its characteristics, and the family is also a traditional clan family, a modern monogamous family, a family with one parent, a gendered family, and other concepts.

Globalization makes the past, present and future equal, presupposes a variety of choices;

  • since liminal discourse is internally diverse, it is initially lacunar by its internal nature,
  • filled with failures of untranslatability, misunderstanding, misunderstanding, differences in understanding;
  • liminal nonlinear, which is stimulated by modern digital codes, hyper-textuality.

Each point of semantic fixation in this text is a "semantic nest," giving rise to logical transitions and associative connections. Due to the introduction of screen culture and the substantialization of right-hemispheric thinking, the visual turn contributed to a change in mentality at the level of the principal semiotic codes.

Liminal discourse is a part and manifestation of the semiosphere of the global communication system. This semiosphere forms the world's social picture, functions as a discourse of intellectual manipulation, acting through the sphere of attraction and temptation. The young generation chooses the digital-liminal discourse as their existence's communicative environment (we will conventionally designate this system as Internet & computer I&K). However, educators' generation is immersed in the communicative space of linear, rational, authoritarian discourse (conditionally, P&T is a radio & television system). The division of communication audiences into an Internet audience and a television audience is conditional because the television audience for 2019 has 82.6 %. However, this fact is of fundamental importance for explaining the processes of socialization and cultural transmission for this study. It turns out that the generation of pupils and the generation of educators communicate in different languages, in different semantic and discursive spaces.

There are linguistic and cultural gaps between the generation of television and the generation of the Internet. According to Danilchenko (2010), lacunas represent linguistic, logical, semantic differences, contradictions, and even gaps between representatives of various social groups or even subcultures. Educators and pupils are characterized by different languages and differences in logic but semantic fields of consciousness, i.e., mentality. The social context, the type of contextual culture, leaves an imprint not only on the content but also on the discourse's logical and linguistic properties.

Liminal discourse is an important type of discourse for overcoming the lacunae of media consciousness and forming beliefs in postmodern society. The liminality concept is the leading concept for explaining the "ontology of transitivity" of personality in postmodern society (Fusu, 2017). In cultural studies and ethnography, "liminality" was constituted in the 20th century thanks to the efforts of van Gennep (1960) and Turner (1974). In Russian, "limen" is translated as "threshold", "threshold of discrimination" (in psychology), as "border", "edge", "borderline" (Budge & Wallis, 1920).

Upbringing or social correction is the process of overcoming gaps using semantic filling or compensation. This task is not trivial, as it can mean correcting beliefs. In traditional culture, a vivid example of liminality during socialization is the initiation rite, as pointed out by Thomassen (2006). In initiation, the subjects lose their previous quality and acquire a new status, which is consolidated in the acquisition of a new adult name after completing the tests. From this point of view, all kinds of qualification exams in modern society are also a form of liminality, and even the entire learning cycle can be interpreted as a process of transition from one status to another.

Turner is credited with considering liminality as a social marker of a threshold, intermediate relationship, and transition from one social status to another. Liminality includes, on the one hand, the blurring of status, uncertainty, and on the other hand, the possibility of a new structure. Liminality characterizes personality, community, and entire eras. Naturally, graduates of schools, colleges, universities, special boarding schools are liminal individuals and communities. Their transformation into new social groups is a significant change in their lifeworld, in essence, acquiring a new social status and meaning.

Liminal discourse is a virtualized discourse based on the semantics of possible worlds and computer socio-semiotic virtualization. All these methods and channels are fundamental in shaping children's beliefs. Liminal discourse by its intrinsic nature is polysemantic, ambivalent. Therefore, on the one hand, it gets along well with alternative beliefs. On the other hand, it confronts traditional views for an ethnos or society and creates a worldview confrontation between generations. The ambivalence of liminal discourse can be the basis for the loss of identity (Adamyants, 2019). Thus, the analysis by specialists of socio-cultural samples of products that are popular among children shows the following:

a) in these works, the lines between good and evil are often erased,

b) there is a poeticization of "cool" behavior that deviates from the traditional,

c) there is reticence and uncertainty in the formulation of socially significant conclusions,

d) presentation of information outside the value determination (in a computer game, you can play for your people or play for your opponent).

However, if the intergenerational communication culture is established, then generations' interaction is carried out successfully. For this liminal discourse must be included in a tolerant intentional dialogue. By itself, liminal discourse is open, allowing perceiving an alternative or changing people's beliefs patiently. Cyclically, this includes three main phases (Ponomarenko, 2014):

a) the first is preliminary (separation) when the initial meaning is loosening. For example, the original metaphor begins to be used in an improper sense;

b) the phase of liminality itself, when a concept, a term acquires an ambivalent meaning;

c) the post-liminal stage means the emergence of a new independent concept, term, image, idea.

Liminal discourse is a mechanism for the formation of both new semantic constellations and beliefs. However, in this case, additional difficulties are found for both the teacher and the student. On the one hand, liminal ambivalent discourse contributes to the flexibility of thinking, increases adaptability since it opens wider semantic possibilities of adaptation for the individual. On the other hand, the new generation's consciousness ceases to be "one-dimensional," which is the property of a teacher and educator. Liminal discourse transplants the student into a multidimensional semantic reality and changes his ontological status compared to the educator. The worldview basis of the personality is changing, he not only moves from one-dimensional reality to a multidimensional one, but the student lives in a more complex world. Besides, the teacher's world is rationally, harmoniously arranged, and the world of the student has Chaos in its fundamental principle. The teacher lives in a cognizable, ordered, predictable and controllable picture of the world – one God, one Truth, one authority. The student lives in a world in which Chaos prevails over order, truth in this world is multiple and relative, and the future arises in an ambiguous, unpredictable way (bifurcation). This complete replacement of ontological status and basic categories (values, authorities, ideals) often means that teachers and students live in different realities. In natural science, this is reflected in the replacement of rationality with synergetic, in the humanitarian sphere and culture by the invasion of postmodern categories, in the communication sphere, information-computer hyper-textuality. In particular, in linguistics and literary studies, this is reflected in the phenomenon of intertextuality (Ratiani, 2013). Intertext is exempt from political control, equal status of all recipients but suffers anonymity and averaged information presentation.

For semantic gaps to be filled in communication between different types of discourse, representatives of different cultural and linguistic communities must conduct a semantic dialogue. From our perspective, the weak link in the domestic educational and upbringing ideology is the inability to conduct an intentional dialogue. Suppose teachers and students use different language codes and, at the same time, fill the same words with different meanings. In that case, this indicates the presence of a linguistic gap situation, a semantic gap between subcultures and communities. Therefore, modern society, especially teachers and educators, must constantly improve their hermeneutic training in the field of mastery of modern discourse and the field of semantic dialogue.


The high dynamics of modern society's development lead to the fact that parents and children, teachers and students turn out to be representatives of different types of sociality. These types of societies differ not only in values ​​and ideals but also in linguistic means and different ways of understanding. The use of a computer and global communication in an information society removes from teachers and parents some qualities that were considered an attribute of their authority: absolute knowledge, mastery of modern discourse, cultural authority.

Global communication turns a child into a participant in global subcultures, the values ​​of which are set a priori to the local society. The child's mentality and actions are subordinated concerning the global values ​​presented in the semiosphere of the World Wide Web and virtual visual images. A cardinal pedagogical problem is an issue of developing beliefs because the dominant liminal discourse is focused on maximum diversity and eclecticism.

The mass media process develops the highest values and the highest authorities. However, they are formed not consciously but unconsciously in the collective media process that creates a universal social myth. Therefore, the "mentor" role is extremely important and responsible, who owns the methods that help the student find an identity. An authoritative mentor can only explain the secrets of a social myth or demonstrates the path to the ideal of Superman, achievable with the help of a global myth.



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29 November 2021

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Cultural development, technological development, socio-political transformations, globalization

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Gritsenko, V. P., Danilchenko, T. Y., Perova, E. A., Oposhnyansky, A. V., & Sinitsyna, Y. N. (2021). Digital Rotation And Lacunae Of Socialization. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in The Context of Modern Globalism, vol 117. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 646-652). European Publisher.