Head of the Organising Committee
Sanna Turoma
sanna.turoma [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Coordinator
Kaarina Aitamurto
kaarina.aitamurto [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Intern
Miikka Piiroinen
miikka.piiroinen [at] helsinki.fi

Conference e-mail:
fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)50-3565 802

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi


Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Marina Gavrilova (Higher School of Economics, Saint-Petersburg, Russia)

Explication of a Concept "Culture" in Russian Political Discourse

A distinctive feature of the modern society is a stronger connection between cultural processes and political discourse. In the cultural area, as well as in other spheres of public life, politics directs the social activity of people. In turn, culture has a great influence on the politics with its ideas about the world, values, and patterns of behavior. Besides, the nexus of discourse and culture manifests itself in cultural specificity of political concepts. We found out that in Russian Presidential rhetoric democracy deals with the idea of peace and law, in American Presidential speeches democracy is used with concepts of freedom, equality, and universal good. Despite of the fact that Russia is a country of great culture only since 2010s Russian leaders have emphasized the role culture plays in modernization of the country and construction of national identity. This interest can be explained by influence of post-modernist conditions, globalization and issues of state sovereignty. 2014 was declared the year of culture in Russia and as a result in the end of the year "Basics of State Cultural Policy" was approved. A new nomination that refers to cultural identification - a (wo)man of Russian world - appeared in political discourse. Drawing on discursive analytical approach we examine the topics, discursive strategies and linguistic devices which are used to construct the "culture" concept and then how political leaders follow the requirements of Russian speech culture. The analysis is driven by following questions: What is the meaning of "culture" in Russian political discourse? Do different discourses define culture in different ways? What role does culture play in political activity? How does political discourse affect culture and vice versa in Post-Soviet Russia? How do Russian leaders discursively construct the country as a cultural locality?