Papers of BAS, Humanities and Social Sciences

Vol. 3, No 2, 2016

ARCHITECTURE

SYMBOLIC ARCHITECTURAL CROSS OF SOFIA: MASS PERCEPTIONS MANAGEMENT

Chavdar Hristov

Abstract: Architecture is one of the oldest propaganda tools that ideologically expresses the human community’s attitudes and aspirations. It makes a strategic link among past, present and future, demonstrating permanently the community mission, vision and goals. For centuries it influences mass perceptions depending on the specific architectural configuration, maintaining or changing human collective concepts and beliefs. Information signals emitted are mainly visually recognized, at heuristic level and are manifested as feelings strengthening the dominating ideological stereotypes. The propaganda impact is soft but insistent not requiring any extraordinary concentration and the very persuasive message is conformal.

There are several architectural objects in Sofia center that have not changed their original functions for more than a century. In their interconnectedness they form a symbolic architectural cross, a collective object that reflects the community perceptions for the construction of the restored Bulgarian state and nation as a result of the imposed by the power elite polices.

This kind of a limited architectural complex of buildings, monuments and streets gathers in itself places of memory and “live” periodic commemorations. It affects emotionally thousands of deliberately visiting or daily passing – through people, directing their thoughts and actions in a determined, initially set, perhaps accidentally configured as a cross, direction. This direction expresses the aspiration of the resurgent nation to prosperity, supported by different but interconnected architectural symbolism.

Key words: architecture, propaganda, mass perceptions, symbolism, places of memory, cross, Sofia

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Papers of BAS, Humanities and Social Sciences

Vol. 2, No 3-4, 2015

SOCIOLOGY

ORCHESTRATED TRANSFORMATIONS IN MASS THINKING

Chavdar Hristov

Abstract: This article deals with the thesis that any significant socio-economic transformation is accompanied by an institutionally guided process of change in mass thinking according to the new ideological imperatives whose carrier it is. Without any such values support it could not be carried out successfully. The mental transformation follows a communication model that emerged as a historically well-established social practice with a specific mechanism of combining restrictive and propaganda activities of varying strength and generational focus in analogous situations. Its main objectives are the new generations who must support and enforce the implemented social change over a sustained period of time. The hypothesis is presented that in the totalitarian to a democratic society transition in the Bulgarian example a similar model of mass thinking transformation is applied. Asocial survey research was conducted among part of the new generation to confirm or reject this hypothesis. Although the sample is not a representa­tive one, it outlines trends that confirm the operation of the model by the presence of ideological beliefs that largely overlap with the new values. At the same time these trends highlight generational and other influences that characterize them as a generation of the transition period with hybrid ideas (borrowed from the past and present) about the modern democratic society structure.

Key words: mass thinking, change, mental transformation, ideological beliefs, transition period