Russian-Speaking Digital Buddhism: Neither Cyber, nor Sangha

Елена Александровна Островская, Тимур Баторович Бадмацыренов, Федор Хандаров, Иннокентий Актамов

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The paper presents the results of a study that implemented a mixed methods approach to explore the question of correlation between online and offline activities of Buddhist organizations and communities in Russia. The research was carried out in 2019–2020 and addressed the following key issues: How do Buddhist websites and social media communities actually interact with offline organizations and Russian-speaking Buddhist communities? How do the ideological specifics of Buddhist organizations and communities influence their negotiations with the Internet and strategies towards new media technologies? Within the methodological frame of the religious–social shaping of technology approach by Heidi Campbell, we used the typology of religious digital creatives to reveal the strategies created by the Russian-speaking Buddhist communities developing their own identity, authority, and boundaries by means of digital technologies. In the first stage, we used quantitative software non-reactive methods to collect data from social media with the application of mathematical modeling techniques to build a graph model of Buddhist online communities in the social network and identify and describe its clusters. The second stage of the research combined biographical narratives of Buddhist digital creatives and expert interviews
Translated title of the contributionРусскоязычный цифровой буддизм:: ни кибер, ни сангха
Original languageEnglish
Article number449
Number of pages20
Issue number6
StatePublished - 17 Jun 2021

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