WHY ARE RUSSIANS NOT AFRAID OF ECONOMIC SANCTIONS? PRINT MEDIA COUNTER-RHETORIC STRATEGIES
Keywords:economic sanctions, media, construction of social problems, discourse intensity, deproblematization
AbstractThe article analyzes the key strategies of deproblematization of the economic sanctions and Russian food embargo used by four Russian print publications such as Rossiyskaya Gazeta (pro-governmental newspaper, 945 articles), Novaya Gazeta (oppositional newspaper, 396 articles), Argumenty i Fakty (popular newspaper, 258 articles) and Kommersant (business newspaper, 1574 articles) from March 2014 to December 2014. The discourse of these media sources are considered in terms of ideological stance (loyalty towards authorities or oppositional media) and information category (mass or business edition). According to the Title Popularity Ranking (TPR), these print media are dominant in the Russian media space. Newspapers use a wide range of deproblematization strategies. Some of them are aimed at refuting the importance of the problem as a whole (unsympathetic counter-rhetoric), others try to prove how insolvent the proposed ways to tackle the problem are (sympathetic counter-rhetoric). The author concludes that unsympathetic counter-rhetoric prevails in the economic sanctions’ discourse. The most popular deproblematization strategies are ‘anti-patterning’, ‘telling anecdote’ and ‘counter-rhetoric of insincerity’, as defined by Ibarra and Kitsuse. The discourse intensity on this issue is remarkable. For example, the Russian food embargo is more noticeable in the public space than sanctions. The share of articles devoted to the Crimea topic has been steadily decreasing during 2014, but the proportion of the articles concerning the ruble exchange rate is strongly increasing.
STATE AND SOCIETY