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Discursive construction of femininities in contemporary Russian women’s magazines Open Access


Other title
Russian magazines
multimodal discourse analysis
value orientations
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Babicheva, Julia
Supervisor and department
Nedashkivska, Alla (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Marples, David (History & Classics)
Maheux-Pelletier, Geneviève (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
Osadnik, Wacław (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
Ilnytzkyj, Oleh (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
Zvereva, Vera (History, Russian State University)
Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Transformations of the post-Soviet period in Russia affected virtually every sphere of social life. The national mass media market underwent noticeable changes, particularly, the segment of women’s magazines. Two major Soviet women’s magazines Rabotnica ‘woman worker’ and Krest’janka ‘peasant woman’ were drawn into a competition with magazines based on Western formats. This situation involved a clash between local and global values. Two decades later, women’s magazines established in Russia continue to be contested spaces where orientations toward collectivism and individualism are expressed. This dissertation investigates the discourse of contemporary women’s magazines established in the Soviet Union (Krest’janka) and in post-Soviet Russia (Karavan istorij and Samaja). In these magazines, verbal and visual discursive strategies used to construct femininities are analyzed. Multimodally articulated patterns of intersubjective positioning reveal underpinning value orientations that largely inform magazine discourses. The methodological framework is based on the Appraisal theory elaborated by Martin and White (2005) and the ‘Grammar of Visual Design’ developed by Kress and van Leeuwen (2006). These approaches are respectively employed for the study of verbal and visual interpersonal communication. The utilized framework presents verbal and visual discursive features from the perspective of constructed power and solidarity. Power and solidarity are considered the guiding principles of interpersonal communication whose aim is to align the readership with expressed positions. Power and solidarity strategies participate in conveying value orientations that are considered from the perspective of individualism and collectivism (Shavitt et al. 2006). These cultural dimensions respectively correspond to global and local values. Collectivistic and individualistic orientations coexist in the discourse of women’s magazines. They also constitute a potent ideological tool to shape society.
License granted by Julia Babicheva ( on 2011-09-26T23:53:31Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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