Edited by Jana Pelclová and Wei-Lun Lu
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 79] 2018
► pp. 149–178
Chapter 7. Dissuasion by characterization
The “poisoning” of an heroic analogy in Russian public discourse
The chapter examines public attitudes provoked by the nickname “Joan of Arc” in the Russian press. It argues that media discussions of Joan of Arc’s personality type have activated various prejudices among reporters and readers who tend to stigmatize strong-willed, independent, and self-confident women, such as Russian female oppositionists defying Putin’s regime. Ultimately these media discussions serve to discredit a movement that endangers the political elite. This chapter is a multidisciplinary investigation of the mechanism of dissuasion, combining framing theory, appraisal theory, and several approaches in metaphor research. The chapter looks at the discourse processes and argumentative techniques engendering evaluative shifts in reading this analogy. The reception-oriented analysis shows that this poisoned analogy has affected readers. Judging from remarks in the comments sections of newspapers, discourse participants tend to reproduce and reinforce most of the authorial disparaging cues.