Smart mob: a socio-philosophical analysis

Philosophical and cultural studies

Information and communication technologies have given rise to a new social phenomenon that, for certain purposes, allows to connect strangers with the help of social networks, messengers, etc. However, even the name of this phenomenon, which is currently quite widespread in everyday life, varies in the scientific literature. The authors see the main goal of this study in overcoming the serious terminological ambiguity that arose in the definition of such concepts as smart mob and flash mob. The article presents the results of a content analysis of more than 1000 smart mobs (websites, forums, video recordings). The authors define the concept of a smart mob as a social group that acts coordinated in time with specific goals, having previously agreed the actions with the help of information and communication technologies. A flash mob is the smart mob’s version implying an instant meeting in a certain place. To clarify the possibilities and features of the smart mob, the article presents a detailed classification of the types of smart mobs by purpose (classic, game, political, deviant, personal, communicational, social and pseudo smart mob), form of participation, the way information is transmitted to participants and initiators of the action.

Citation: D.S. Bylieva, V.V. Lobatyuk, Smart mob: a socio-philosophical analysis, St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University Journal. Humanities and Social Sciences, 8 (4) (2017) 96–107. DOI: 10.18721/JHSS.8410