Discursive loyalty in the conditions of centralization of power in Russia: nature and typology of the phenomenon
// Conflict Studies / nota bene. – 2020. – ¹ 3.
– P. 51-62.
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Abstract: This article raises a problem of existence of the verbal political symbols of autocratic discourse in public space. The hypothesis is advanced that in the conditions of centralization of the Russian political system, forms a specific type of discursive loyalty, interpreted as communicative behavior within the framework of the structure of verbal political symbols set by the official political discourse. The object of this research is the Russian sociopolitical discourse of Russia in the early XXI century. The subject is the instruments of manifestation of discursive loyalty used by public actors. Special attention is turned to the public attitude on verbal symbols of the country’s leader, political parties and bureaucracy in the conditions of centralization and personification of power over the period from 2000 to the present. An attempt is made to formulate the typology of discursive loyalty based on the components of perception of political symbols indicated by R. Cobb and C. Elder. Three basic types of discursive loyalty are defined depending on the dominance of separate components in perception: 1) affective, based on emotional empathy with the content of the discourse of power and its source; 2) cognitive, based on recognition of the relevance of verbal symbols of the discourse of power; 3) analytical, based on rational choice of the verbal symbols of power upon availability of the alternative or evasive option. Types of loyalty are illustrated by examples of discursive behavior of the subjects of civil society of the early XXI century – presidency and prime-ministry of V. V. Putin, whose personal influence actualized the affective type of loyalty, and the results of transformation of the political system led to proliferation of analytical type of loyalty. The author believes that the prevalence of analytical type of discursive loyalty is dangerous for the political system, due to its simulated nature, which creates an illusion of public support.
Keywords: components of perception of the symbol, verbal political symbol, centralization of power, discourse of government, public discourse, discursive loyalty, political loyalty, manipulation, politics, authority
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