Competitive Discourse in an Imitational Democracy: The Multifaceted Image of the Opponents in the Online Materials of Russian Political Parties and Leaders

  • Author / Creator
    Medvedev, Artem A.
  • In contemporary Russia, the Internet serves as the most diverse and open platform of sharing and contrasting ideas. While the most life-like imitational democracy elements do manifest themselves to a limited extent in the mainstream print and electronic media, only online do all political forces and leaders have the opportunity of reaching a wide audience and disseminating seemingly uncensored information. This thesis analyzes the discourse of Russia’s political parties and figures through the prism of representation strategies. Particular focus is made on the ways Russian politicians represent themselves indirectly, through their opponents. Through the adaptation of Teun van Dijk’s racist discourse studies and Buell and Sigelman’s study of negative electoral campaigns to a wider phenomenon, it is possible to disclose such strategies as de-positivization/de-normalization, de-patriotization, de-personification, de-veracity, de-politization, de-contemporarization, de-intellectualization, de-ability, de-lawfulness, de-independence, de-morality/de-civility, and de-superiority. Data includes the materials from the websites of such diverse political forces as the self-proclaimed communists, nationalists, liberal-democrats, socialists and democrats, as well as the websites of individual political leaders. The thesis aims at disclosing an important aspect of political and inter-group discourse by means of online media within the context of post-Soviet social transformation.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.