European Values in Contemporary Political Debates in Russia Anna Potsar, HSE
Competing Names or CompetingValues vs. Укроп (Dill) [Ukrop = Ukr<aine> + <Eur>ope] Колорад (Colorad<o beetle>) [Kolorad<skiyzhuk>]
Ideological positioning occurs in: • Choice of topics; • Local meanings; • Disclaimers; • Implications and presuppositions; • Descriptions; • Metaphors and hyperbole; • Argumentation
Imposing of the Evaluative Frames • Ideological opposition • Simplification / reduction of content • Focusing the grounds for the evaluation • Labelling • Specific word usage • Specific word-composition (derivation) National patriotNational traitor
We/They or Self/Other Positive self-presentation and negative other-presentation is expressed in all levels of discourse structure by means of interactional, pragmatic, semantic and stylistic strategies while discussing: • Ethnicity • Language • Religion • Culture • Behaviour • Social status • Traditions
Crucial Choices of Russia (IX-XXI) National conflict Political change Economical crisis Social upheaval Anything else Where to belong? What way to choose? How to argue the choice? How to convince / persuade the general public? “The debate on the development of Russia always starts with the identification of the position of Russia between East and West” (Fedotova, 1995)
Binary Opposition of Fuzzy Notions West Value judgments supported by moral and ethical values
Nationality Policy by V. Putin • Behind «the failure of the multicultural project» there is a crisis of the model of «the nation state» – the state which was historically constructed only on the basis of ethnic identity. This is a serious call which Europe, as well as many other regions of the world, is to face. • Russia arose and for centuries developed as the multinational state. The state where a constant process of mutual accustoming took place, meaning mutual penetration, mixing peoples at levels of family relations, friendship, business. • Self-determination of Russian people is the polyethnic civilization fastened by Russian cultural kernel. • Russian nation is the basis of the state – since the existence of Russia. Great mission of Russian – to unite, fasten a civilization. Language, culture, «the world responsiveness», by Feodor Dostoevsky's definition to fasten Russian Armenians, Russian Azerbaijanians, Russian Germans, Russian Tatars … To fasten in such type of the state civilization where there is no «national minorities», and a recognition principle “self-other" is defined by common culture and common values. • This civilizational identity is based on preservation of the Russian cultural dominant which belongs not only to ethnic Russians, but also all by other keepers of such identity irrespective of a nationality. • System problems of society often find a way out in the form of international tension. It is necessary to remember that there is a direct dependence between unresolved social and economic problems, defects of law-enforcement system, inefficiency of power and corruption and the conflicts on the national grounds. • The strategy of national policy based on civil patriotism is necessary for us. Any person living in our country, shouldn't forget about his or her religion and an ethnic origin. But first of all he or she should be the citizen of Russia and be proud of it. • The elementary requirement to the people, wishing to live and work in Russia, is their readiness to master our culture and language. From next year it is necessary to make an examination in Russian language, in history of Russia and the Russian literature, to be obligatory for acquisition or extension of migratory status. Our state, as well as other civilized countries, is ready to create and provide to migrants the appropriate educational programs.
Putin’s address to Federal Assembly • Russia must be the sovereign and influential country. We have not only to develop with confidence, but also to keep the national and spiritual identity, not to lose ourselves as the nation. We are to be and remain Russia. • In a civil liability, in patriotism I see the consolidating basis of our policy. To be a patriot means not only to keep faithful and loving attitude to your history, though, certainly, it is very important, but first of all to serve the society and the country. (Refers to Solzhenitsyn) • And if the nation isn't capable to preserve itself and to reproduce, if it loses its life priorities and ideals, it does not even need the external enemy to decline. • For revival of national consciousness we need to connect together historical eras and to return to understanding of that simple truth that Russia began not in 1917th and even not in 1991th, that we have one and indissoluble thousand-year history, relying on which we find the internal force and sense of national development. Year 2012th - Year of the Russian history comes to an end. But the attention to national history, educational and scientific projects shouldn't weaken. • …any nationalism and chauvinism cause direct huge loss first of all to those people and that ethnos with which interests allegedly nationalists are anxious. And therefore any manifestations of "simple and final" so-called solutions which are proposed by nationalists and extremists of different sense are so dangerous to Russia. Whatever big words they said, they pull us to public degradation, pull the country to disintegration. We have to consider attempts to provoke interethnic tension, religious intolerance as a call to unity of the Russian state, as threat for each of us. We won't allow the emergence ofthe closed ethnic enclaves in Russia with their informal jurisdiction, living out of common legal and cultural framework of the country, defiantly ignoring the standard norms, laws and rules.
Discursivestrategies Through discourse social actors constitute knowledge, situations, social roles as well as identities and interpersonal relations between various interacting social groups. In addition, discursive acts are socially constitutive in a number of ways. • They play a decisive role in the genesis, production and construction of certain social conditions. Thus, discourses may serve to construct national identities. • They might perpetuate, reproduce or justify a certain social status quo (and national identities related to it). • They are instrumental in transforming the status quo (and national identities related to it). • Discursive practices may have an effect on the dismantling or even destruction of the status quo (and of national identities related to it). On the basis of these sociological macrofunctions, constructive, perpetuating, transformational and destructive macro-strategies of discourse are distinguished.
DiscursiveStrategies • Constructive strategies serve to ‘build’ and establish a particular national identity. These are primarily linguistic procedures which constitute a national ‘we-group’ through particular acts of reference. Components of constructive strategies are all persuasive linguistic devices which help invite identiﬁcation and solidarity with the ‘we-group’, which, however, simultaneously implies distancing from and marginalization of ‘others’. • Perpetuation and justiﬁcation strategies attempt to maintain, support and reproduce national identities. Perpetuation strategies are used to emphasize the need ‘to hold the course of the ship of state’ (the assimilatory metaphor of being in the same boat is very common in this context), i.e. to support continuity, to discursively construct immigrants as a threat to national identity. Justiﬁcation and legitimation strategies are speciﬁc types of perpetuation strategies. They are primarily employed to defend and preserve a problematic narrative of ‘national history’ which refers to controversial acts or events of the past. They help justify a social status quo ante, for example Austria’s highly problematic handling of the crimes of the Nazi regime. • With the help of transformation strategies one can discursively attempt to transform the meaning of a relatively well-established aspect of national identity into another. The speaker, moreover, may already have an idea of this new meaning. • Dismantling or destructive strategies serve to de-mythologize or demolish existing national identities or elements of them. Apart from a direct dismantling, the strategy of heteronomination serves to dismantle the myth indirectly.
Patriotic homosocial discourse Patriotic homosocial discourse has no ties to a particular political ideology (i.e., conservative or liberal thought) but is deeply invested in whatever happens to be the dominant, majority theory. <…> Nationalism provides a useful starting point for understanding how patriotichomosocial discourse works. With roots in nationalism, patriotic homosocial discourse adds an element of sexualizing or making deviant any group designated as nonpatriotic. <…> Kim H. Pearson (2006). Patriotic Homosocial Discourse, in: Women & Law Much of the current political discourse mirrors homosexual panic due to ambiguity about masculine/national identity, concern about porous borders/penetration and fear of non-outed enemies of the state. To hold at bay the fear that America has always-already crossed into what George Washington termed "entangling alliances” with other countries and cultures or is even an enemy by its own definition in dealings with other nations, the media uses theoretically homophobic constructs to ensure conformity to a majoritarian view, implying that dissenters are effeminate, cowardly, and gay. As the nation exhibits signs of deep anxiety about fluid borders (forcible penetration) and paranoia that neighbors and other ordinary citizens could be enemies (non-outed homosexuals), the alienation of the unknown other (homosexual) is mapped onto the idea of patriotism and reiterates homosexuality as deviancy and dissent from the mainstream.