O. A. Bogatova. Social Construction of the Republican Identity in the Regional Political Discourses

UDC 316.334.52:323

O. A. Bogatova. Social Construction of the Republican Identity in the Regional Political Discourses

The study was supported by the Russian Scientific Foundation for the Humanities within the research project “Formation and Harmonization of Russian National and Regional Identity in a Multiethnic Region of the Russian Federation, the Case Study of the Republic of Mordovia” (Grant 16-03-00145 a from the Russian Scientific Foundation for the Humanities).

BOGATOVA Olga Anatolievna, Doctor of Sociological Sciences, Professor at the Department of Sociology, National Research Mordovia State University (Saransk, Russian Federation) (e-mail: bogatovaoa@yandex.ru). ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5877-7910

Key words: region, regional identity, republican identity, sociology of a region, regional policy of identity, Republics of the Russian Federation

Abstract. The paper analyzes the specifics of the discourses of the regional identity policy in the mass media in the Republic of Mordovia in terms of “ethnization” and “culturalization” of the republican identity. The impact of the identity of the Republic’s elites on the formation of the republican identity in relationships with the federal government and the federal ethno-political discourse is shown.

Synopsis. Introduction: the subject of this study is the specificity of the discourses of regional identity policy exemplified by the case study of the Republic of Mordovia. The purpose of the study was to identify the main discourse technologies of controlling the formation of the republican identity in the media in the process of creating a positive image of a region in the Republic of Mordovia through integration of the regional identity and the ethnic identity of the titular ethnic group.

Materials and Methods: the empirical basis of the paper were the results of the discourse analysis of information materials of a number of the Republic of Mordovia mass media for the period of 2006—2016 performed in accordance with the Laclau and Mouffe’s poststructuralist discourse theory.

Results: in the discourse of the republican identity policy in Mordovia, two interrelated strategies for its construction may be identified: the “ethnization” strategy intended for internal and external recipients, and the strategy of demonstrating the dependence of the Republic addressed to the voters. The ethnic specificity of the Republic of Mordovia including the ethno-cultural and ethno-demographic aspects, at least in part, is a consequence of “ethnization” of the political discourses and practices, which, in turn, is a product of coordination of interests of the regional and federal elites, and not of the inertial activities of the Soviet institutions, and it is accompanied by references to the policy of the Federal Center.

Discussion and Conclusions: both discourse strategies of the republican identity policy in Mordovia serve the same purpose to institutionally single out the region as a specific object of administration and justify effectiveness of the existing regional regime.


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For citation: Bogatova O.A. Social Construction of the Republican Identity in the Regional Political Discourses. REGIONOLOGIYA = REGIONOLOGY. 2017; 1(98):117—138.

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