Old Communication – New Means: The Linguistic Study of Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church Websites

  • Author / Creator
    Pankovskyi, Iaroslav
  • This dissertation is concerned with the communicative potential of websites. The World Wide Web is a relatively new locale for communication on which an increasing number of users rely daily in Canada and in Ukraine. However, up to the present time there has been no unified framework for the analysis of communicative potentials of websites. The present study has developed an integral linguistic model that unifies the analysis under the overarching framework of systemic functional linguistics. Design, content, and navigation are examined within this framework in connection with three linguistic metafunctions: ideational, interpersonal, and textual. This perspective permits viewing websites as texts, albeit complex in structure and multimodal in nature. The model has been successfully applied to the analysis of four major websites of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada and in Ukraine and the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Ukraine. The selection of these sites is explicated by two considerations: first, the necessity to study in depth Web use in the non-profit sector including religious organizations which has been indicated by previous research (e.g. Nelson, 2008; Strickland, 2004; Palmer, 2004); and, second, by the fact that Web use in this context renders communication a central concern. The research findings suggest that the communicative potentials of the websites under analysis are restricted with respect to all three linguistic metafunctions preventing them from communicating effectively with youth whom the Church seeks to engage. The Greek-Catholic websites, however, have been shown to be more efficient in terms of dialogic properties than the Orthodox sites. The theoretical value of the current research lies in developing an integral linguistic model for the analysis of communicative potentials of websites. The model can be used (a) to enhance certain features of the Churches' websites and thereby improve communication with communities via the Web and (b) to inform non-profit and educational institutions (e.g. secondary schools, Universities) how to better establish and maintain an effective dialogue with their respective communities. Thus, the proposed model has both theoretical and practical value and can be useful to religious, educational, and other non-profit organizations.

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  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
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    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.