Smirnova Tatiana

Titre provisoire: Social and cultural event in the era of digital social networks: the case of the « Fête des Vignerons »

PHD Supervisor : D. Vinck, Co-direction: N. Baya Laffite, University of Geneva


This PhD research analyses the role of social media in the preparation and running of the Fête des Vignerons 2019. Being an important event in the history and culture of French-speaking Switzerland (around one million visitors), the Fête is unique: it only happens every 20-25 years. The 2019 edition, it took place in a world where digital social networks are widely present. Its organisation used them to interact with visitors, performers, and partners. The research question can be tentatively formulated as follows: how does the use of digital social networks transform the organization, the process, and the memory of the Fête? We focus on understanding the roles that these social media play and the digital traces of the Fête that will remain for future generations. 

To answer this question, I began ethnographic observation work both during the preparation of the Fête (by integrating in the team of volunteers who worked with the Executive Management) and in the digital environment (by practicing digital ethnography and by building up a corpus of traces left in digital social networks and subjecting them to digital studies). The research will report on the work of the actors involved in the preparation of the Fête in terms of designing and managing the content of social media and monitoring what happens before, during and after the Fête. The final part of the research project concerns the memory of the Fête: what surrounds it (preparation and experience) and its transmission from one generation to the next – which is associated with social media networks.

Understanding the processes that occur with and within social media - in events such as the Fête des Vignerons - opens up new perspectives for the comprehension of the role of digital technologies in society as a means of interaction between individuals and the transmission of "messages" to future generations.






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