Discursive construction of femininities in contemporary Russian women’s magazines

  • Author / Creator
    Babicheva, Julia
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2011
  • 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.