Linguistic analysis of the “immigrant” as represented in Russian media

Cultural semantics

Authored by: Tatiana M. Permyakova , Olga L. Antineskul

The Routledge Companion to Migration, Communication, and Politics

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138058149
eBook ISBN: 9781315164472
Adobe ISBN:


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This study addresses the representation of the linguistic and cultural type “immigrant” in the newspaper subcorpus of the Russian national corpus (RNC), with a sample covering the period from 2000 until the present. The linguistic research methodology involves two stages: (1) analysis of the general meanings of “immigrant” in Russian and (2) analysis of its culture-specific meanings. The latter are interpreted as categorized cultural keywords. The results show that cultural semantic analysis reinforces the observations made with regard to the LCT structure: the economic purpose behind immigration (seeking employment) is not always accepted socially; Europe’s and Russia’s respective approaches to immigration policy are indirectly opposed, which may complicate communication in the international arena; although the media offers a predominantly negative portrayal of immigrants, it also consistently avoids “blaming the others” strategies. While immigrants in Russian print media are presented, by and large, as offenders rather than victims, they are also frequently regarded not so much as a threat but as a benefit to society. The culture-specific concepts that account for this bifurcation are those relating to history, religion, cultural constructs, and ethno-geography.

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