Legacies of Totalitarian Language in the Discourse Culture of the Post-totalitarian Era: The Case of Eastern Europe, Russia, and China

Legacies of Totalitarian Language in the Discourse Culture of the Post-totalitarian Era: The Case of Eastern Europe, Russia, and China


Edited by Ernest Andrews, Contributions by Matthew H. Ciscel, Contributions by Marius Dragomir, Contributions by Fengyuan Ji, Contributions by Ekaterina Levintova, Contributions by Andrejs Plakans, Contributions by Marek Skovajsa, Contributions by Norina Solomon, Contributions by Magda Stroinska, Contributions by Cosmina Tanasoiu

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  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Format: Hardback | 230 pages
  • Dimensions: 157mm x 231mm x 20mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 19 May 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Lanham, MD
  • ISBN 10: 0739164651
  • ISBN 13: 9780739164655
  • Sales rank: 1,672,457

Product description

This book is unique in its kind. It is the first scholarly work to attempt a comprehensive and fairly detailed look into the lingering legacies of the communist totalitarian modes of thought and expression in the new discourse forms of the post-totalitarian era. The book gives also new and interesting insights into the ways the new, presumably democratically-minded political elites in post-totalitarian Eastern Europe, Russia, and China manipulate language to serve their own political and economic agendas. The book consists of ten discrete discussions, nine case-studies or chapters and an introduction. Chapter 1 discusses patterns of continuity and change in the conceptual apparatus and linguistic habits of political science and sociology practiced in the Czech Republic before and after 1989. Chapter 2 analyzes lingering effects of communist propaganda language in the political discourse and behavior in post-communist Poland. Chapter 3 analyzes the legacy of Soviet semantics in post-Soviet Moldovan politics through the prism of such politically contested words as "democracy," "democratization," and "people." Chapters 4 and 5 discuss the way in which communist patterns of thought and expression manifest themselves in the new political discourse in Romania and Bulgaria, respectively. Chapter 6 examines phenomena of change and continuity in the socio-linguistic and socio-political scene of post-Soviet Latvia. Chapter 7 analyzes the extent to which the language of the post-communist Romanian media differs from the official language of the communist era. Chapter 8 examines the evolution of Russian official discourse since the late eighties with a view of showing "whether or not new phenomena in the evolution of post-Soviet discourse represent new development or just a mutation of the value-orientations of the old Soviet ideological apparatus." Chapter 9 gives a detailed and lucid account of the evolution of both official and non-official discourse in China since the end of the Mao era.

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Author information

Ernest Andrews is a visiting scholar at the Russian-Eastern European Institute at Indiana University.

Review quote

The book is a pioneering investigation of the lingering linguistic memories of the totalitarian past in contemporary post-Communist discourses. Contributions related to Eastern Europe, Russia and China provide a multi-faceted lens to view linguistic processes across societies with various Communist and post-Communist experiences. -- Lara Ryazanova-Clarke, The University of Edinburgh This wide-ranging collection of perceptive and thought-provoking studies of change from communism, and within communist systems, demonstrates why revolutions rarely permit a clean break with the past. Language continues, carrying patterns of thought across historic events, even when a new regime tries to alter a nation's thinking by changing the permitted modes of expression. This is a dimension of political life that political scientists and practitioners alike need to assimilate. These essays make a valuable contribution to that endeavor. -- Ronald J. Hill, Trinity College, Dublin This collection of essays offers a geographically diverse account of the legacy of totalitarian language in many former communist countries, with a chapter on post-totalitarian yet still communist China. Slavic Studies The volume looks at examples of contemporary political and media discourse in a number of Eastern European countries, as well as Russia and China. The topics range from the language of sociological scholarship in Czechoslovakia, to the language of the media and electoral campaigns in Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova, to the intertwining linguistic and cultural legacies of the Soviet era, the interwar republic and the diaspora in Latvia...informative volume. Slavic and East European Review, 90

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Chapter 1: The Absent Past: The Language of Czech Sociology Before and After 1989 Chapter 3 Chapter 2: The Linguistic Legacy of the Communist Propaganda in Post-Communist Thought Patterns: The Case of Poland Chapter 4 Chapter 3: What Does Democracy Mean in Moldova? Political Discourse Around Contested Words in the Disputed Elections of 2009 Chapter 5 Chapter 4: The Language of Romanian Post-Communist Politics Twenty Years After: Linguistic Memories of a Communist Past Chapter 6 Chapter 5: Newspeak in the Language of Politics in the Post-Totalitarian Era: The Case of Bulgaria Chapter 7 Chapter 6: Intertwining Legacies: Language and Socio-Cultural Change in Post-Soviet Latvia Chapter 8 Chapter 7: The Language of the Media in Post-Communist Romania:Changes and Continuities Chapter 9 Chapter 8: Official Ideological Discourse in Pre-Transition and Post-Communist Russia: What Have Really Changed Since the Communist Period? Chapter 10 Chapter 9: Language, State and Society in Post-Mao China: Continuity and Change