Constructing modern Russian identity through discourse metaphors

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The current paper presents a comprehensive literature review of research into the phenomenon of Russian national identity and emphasizes the crucial role of discourse metaphor in narratives of national culture and identity. The latter, as a complex mental construct, encompasses common or similar beliefs or opinions internalized in the course of socialization as well as emotional attitudes, behavioural and linguistic dispositions. The paper claims that Russian patriotism-based national identity construction is directly related to the historical background, current political ideology, as well as objectives and tasks the state sets. Patriotic sentiments in Russia tend to boost due to some life-changing dramatic events or challenges the countryhas to face; this gives rise to employing a multitude of discursive practices, which relyheavilyon discourse metaphors. The relevant point the paper proposes lies in the fact that discourse metaphors, being conceptuallygrounded, serve as a pervasive cognitive mechanism applied to explain a complex abstract concept of national identity. However, its meaning is still being shaped in relation to a particular period of time and the context where a debate is unfolding. Unlike conceptual metaphors that are considered to be universal, independent of time, discourse metaphors change or evolve within the ongoing discourse and are intended for specific purposes. The current paper seeks to demonstrate how particular metaphors can serve as discursive mechanisms of constructing the national identity to achieve both culturally and historically specific strategic purposes. The authors claim that a combination of co-occurring metaphors in the public discourse forms a holistic extended metaphorical narrative promoting a particular view of Russianness and focus on some of them.


National identity, conceptual metaphor, cognitive mechanism, discourse metaphor, metaphorical narrative, russianness

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IDR: 149131559   |   DOI: 10.15688/jvolsu2.2020.3.10

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